Plastic is an exceptional material, and provides many of the conveniences we enjoy in our day-to-day lives. Its wide range of applications was on display at K 2016, the world’s leading trade fair for plastics and rubber, held in Duesseldorf, Germany. Marabu was among the exhibitors, and showcased its solutions for this versatile substrate – including inks for screen, digital and pad printing.
At this year’s K trade fair, Marabu presented its inks for a multi-faceted substrate: plastic. The enterprise spotlighted its highly reactive, LED-curable products, and low-migration UV-curable screen printing inks for personal care packaging. A further highlight, its inks for printing in the auto industry and for touch user interfaces, proved popular.
Marabu also exhibited its water-based range – the result of a successful partnership with a German toy manufacturer. Additionally, there was strong interest in its recently developed water-based inkjet inks for plastics.
LED UV-curing is a fast-growing trend, particularly in the packaging industry. At the K trade show, Marabu has been showcasing its Ultra Pack LEDC ink line. Purpose-developed for packaging and containers, these LED UV-curable and highly reactive screen printing inks deliver outstanding results in terms of adhesion, opacity and gloss.
Personal care packaging, such as shampoo bottles and cosmetics tubes, come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Not only do inks need to meet rising expectations in terms of attributes and appearance, but they must also comply with legislation. This includes low-migration requirements – i.e. inks must be formulated to minimize the transfer of their ingredients to packaged items, safeguarding the health of the user. At K, Marabu exhibited its Ultra Pack UVCP UV-curable screen printing inks; the ingredients are selected with the utmost care, and fulfill stringent criteria based on food packaging standards. The new range is ideal for printing on packaging for personal care products, and caught the eye of many plastics industry professionals.
For the best decoration results, Marabu developed its Ultra Pack UVPHR inks with this substrate in mind. These screen printing inks are highly reactive, making them suitable for use with high-speed equipment. They can be leveraged to communicate branded messaging, and offer a number of other advantages.
In car manufacturing and beyond, membrane switches and capacitive systems, such as plastic touch panels, are vital to controls used for electronic functions. With this in mind, Marabu offers solvent-based and UV-curable ink lines for all commonly used films.
Ultra Switch UVSW dries rapidly by means of UV curing, and is formulated to avoid clogging mesh screens. The ink film is also highly elastic and individual layers feature excellent adhesion. The solvent-based Mara Switch MSW range is ideal for front panels and membrane switches, high-quality touch user interfaces for industrial systems, and for diverse controls, such as black and white panels. In this context, the non-conductive MSW ink system offers exceptional coverage, and high resistance to adhesives and moisture.
Colored injection molded parts with scratch- and abrasion-resistant decorations are a firm fixture in everyday life. With this in mind, Marabu has created a line of inks specifically for this purpose: its UV-curable Ultra Mold UVPC products. These inks do not require any additional tempering, accelerating the manufacturing process. Moreover, the ink film is highly flexible, and guarantees outstanding moldability. A further line of UV-curable inks shown at K was the dual-cure Mara Cure HY for screenprinting. The two-component range can be deployed for diverse applications and to create attractive glossy and matte effects. Additionally, visitors interested in solvent-based ink systems had the opportunity to discover the attributes of Mara Mold MPC inks. In-mold decoration is the method of choice for highly precise molded parts – objects that have to meet the exacting demands of their respective industries. These encompass an extensive variety of items, including dashboard components such as speedometers, switches and other controls.
Sensitive products, such as toys, baby items and medical supplies, are associated with heightened safety requirements. The manufacturer must guarantee that neither substrate nor ink pose a health hazard to the user or consumer. In addition to the existing solvent-based pad printing inks, Tampa Tex TPX and Tampa Plus TPL, Marabu has now introduced a new water-based system. These innovative and eco-friendly inks feature the Maqua Coat MAF base shades, plus Maqua Color MAC concentrates. The inks dry very quickly to leave a high-quality silk-matte finish that is highly scratch-resistant.
The latest water-based inkjet technologies and Marabu’s purpose-developed Maqua Jet ink lines represent a highly eco-friendly alternative to UV-curables. Marabu currently offers inkjet products that are specially engineered for plastics such as ABS and polystyrene, and for flexible materials such PET, OPP and polyethylene films. At K, Marabu demonstrated a number of the advantages of water-based inks for inkjet printing on plastic. They produce a flexible ink film and adhere to a wide range of substrates.