Market acceptance of ultraviolet (UV) screen printing technology has arrived in the glass and ceramic container industry as suppliers of equipment and inks have optimized the methods necessary to achieve the durability decorators and their customers expect. The first responsibility of suppliers is to make clear the requirements for achieving durability with UV technology on glass containers, but first a word about expectations.
UV inks are able to withstand many dishwasher cycles, boiling, freezing, filling lines and aggressive scratch testing. These inks are perfectly suited for applications such as amber beer bottles, liquor and wine bottles, pint and Champagne glasses, and more. The type of glass printed, quality of pretreatment, UV dose, ink film thickness and ink chemistry all contribute to the durability of the ink film. Some UV inks develop an immediate cure, which allows users to test adhesion immediately, while others require a 24-hr period to reach full cure. Where full cure is achieved immediately, it’s possible to palletize or box containers right away.