Ink manufacturer Siegwerk has developed an ink system for gravure printing, based on a polyurethane binder system, which contains no polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Hanns Martin Kaiser, head of technology flexible packaging EMEA at Siegwerk, says, “Lately brand owners have expressed an increasing interest in PVC-free printing inks to realize complex packaging structures. Our new PUR-based ink system fulfills these requirements, while also incorporating other benefits.
“The new ink technology is optimised to meet high performance requirements such as high bond-strength values in lamination. It allows for use in harsh retort conditions and can also be applied on modern barrier film substrates.”
Siegwerk says another benefit comes from the PUR ink system solely based on ethyl acetate as a solvent to allow utilisation in mono-solvent setups in combination with solvent recovery systems. Printers can also use common co-solvents like methyl ethyl ketone or ethanol etc.
Siegwerk makes the key polyurethane binders in its PUR production facilities in Annemasse France and Bhiwadi India.
Kaiser says, “After two years of development, the new ink range performed very successful in first extended industrial trials. It showed excellent printability with solid full tone and outstanding half tone reproduction. We optimised it for best dispersion results in order to produce high colour strengths.”
“Under industrial trial conditions the new PUR inks exhibited very good printability even at high printing speeds above 500 m/min. At the same time, it has been proved that the solvent retention level of the inks is very low.”
Siegwerk says the new ink solution can also be used for medium performance applications, since it can be supplied in two different versions – either as a master base system in the form of readymade inks or as a master batch system, where the full PUR concentrates are combined with various master compounds (technical varnishes) out of one dispenser. The company says its new ink range combines the polyurethane binder with the masterbatch system.
It adds that it developed the new ink technology in accordance with the relevant product safety standards. All ingredients are compliant with the Swiss Ordinance and will also comply with the upcoming new German Ordinance. The new system will add to Siegwerk’s broad range of Flexible Packaging solutions.

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