UV-Curing inks have been widely used in “traditional” printing processes such as flexography, gravure and screen for many years. More recently, they have been the subject of considerable attention in the world of inkjet. The attraction of UV-curing inks being the possible environmental benefits of having solvent free formulations, fast “drying” (ie curing) by UV exposure of the ink and excellent final properties of the print.With the ever-increasing speeds of inkjet digital imaging processes the cure speed of UV-curing inks has become a critical aspect of their performance. Due to the inherent need for low viscosity, fast curing inkjet inks are a significant challenge to the inkjet formulator. Various factors affect cure speed some of these being:- ink vehicle chemistry/molecular weight, photoinitiator choice, UV-lamp source, print thickness and lay-down/curing strategy. In addition to these the presence of oxygen can have a detrimental effect on cure speed. This paper examines the effect of oxygen inhibition on the cure speed of drop-ondemand piezo inkjet ink formulations and the potential benefit of nitrogen blanketing during the curing process.
Nigel Caiger, Shaun Herlihy, "Oxygen Inhibition Effects in UV-Curing Inkjet Inks" in Proc. IS&T Int'l Conf. on Digital Printing Technologies (NIP15), 1999, pp 116 - 119, https://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2169-4451.1999.15.1.art00031_1