The printing of labels is rapidly evolving with a myriad of flexographic and digital UV decorating options. Label converters are concerned with conversion costs, label performance, and the impact of their process on the environment. As the surface performance characteristics of label inks and coatings become increasingly more complex, more emphasis must be applied to label substrate surface preparation to ensure the mission-critical success of label.
Many factors affect the adhesion of inks and coatings. Substrate surfaces are typically contaminated with low molecular weight processing additives such as fatty amides which inherently have very low surface energy and which create a barrier to adhesion of high surface energy inks and coating which are water-borne or high solids-based.
This paper reviews surface preparation methods and shares comparative trial data of corona and atmospheric plasma. Readers will learn how atmospheric plasma systems are generating game-changing advantages including high surface tension, chemical surface modification, and significantly longer-lived surface wettability.
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