09.06.2015

Liquid Inks and Pigments in Flexible Packaging Printing

The brilliance, the brand color and, of course, the printing process wouldn’t be possible today without the combination of inks and pigments. The packaging and quality we see today has vastly changed over the past 20 years. We can find foods and everyday goods in packaging only dreamed of in the past.

Pigments and ink are instrumental in selling the product. The products being sold contain high-end labels, pouches, wrappers, or flexible packaging that displays and grabs the attention of the consumer. The main components of an ink are pigment, resin and carriers. Each component in the final ink formulation contributes to its ability to be printed and meet the end-use performance expectations.

Pigments used in printing inks are classified as organic and inorganic. Inorganic pigments are derived from a natural or mineral source. Most of the common printing inks today use organic, engineered pigments. Organic pigments typically yield a cleaner, brighter color and are stronger in developed color strength. The pigment selection in inks has many factors. For example, a select range of pigments are able to be formulated for retort packaging.

The selection of the appropriate pigments is important for the heat, bleed and migratory specifications required. In liquid inks, the pigments used are in dry toner or press cake form. Dry toners are used in solvent and water borne printing inks. Typically the press cake contains 50-70 percent water, which makes it easier to formulate it into water borne formulations.

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