Exploring and understanding UV Coating for Digital Print
UV coating is a process whereby a polymer resin changes from a liquid to solid with the help of an ultraviolet light source. UV coating provides a protective layer which not only protects the printed work but also increases the vibrancy and richness of its colours Traditionally you would see this shiny or matt layer on greeting cards but printers are finding other applications now such as business cards, postcards, calendars, photobooks and many other printed products. UV Coating machines can also produce matt, soft touch and now HD gloss UV coating from Argos Solutions.
UV Coating has often been compared to laminating. Both UV Coating and laminating effetively provide another protective layer and enhance the finish and final look and vibrancy of the printed paper or card. Traditionally UV Coating machines have been more expensive than roll laminating machines. However, the advancements in technology particularly with LED UV Coating and the signficantly cheaper running costs of UV coating compared to laminating rolls has made UV coating an attractive aquisition for digital print companies.
There are two types of UV coating commonly available in the market- flood/ flat UV coating and spot UV coating. The difference is the flood UV coating machines, as the name suggests, fill the whole printed sheet (usually SRA3 or possibly B2 for the wide format market) with a layer of UV coating. Spot coating is slightly more complex and involves selecting specific areas to UV coat in order enhance the print. The spot UV market is growing but is more niche and in it's infancy than flood UV coating. This is because printers, marketing agencies and customers are still experimenting with spot UV coating and finding areas where spot UV can be used to add value to print.
The market leaders in UV coating are Argos Solutions, manufactured in Belgium. Argos Cold UV Flood Coaters have changed the game in UV Coating. Using the most innovative UV coating technology and only 2-3 grams of coating per sq metre the Argos F400 LED coater costs less than half a penny per SRA3 sheet. When coupled with Energy efficient LED bulbs the machine has an extremely low running cost. The cold UV technology causes no heat stress to the paper and is 100% safe with no harmful emissions or odours.
Check out the range of UV Coating machines on Bindingoutlet.uk. Let us know if you would like any samples or have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.