As competition for shelf space heats up, brand owners are looking to create more compelling-looking products. That means prettier graphics, more vivid colors and unique packaging. Today’s narrow web printers, also facing intense competition, are turning to UV inks and specialty coating formulas to produce higher print quality, speed up turnaround times, increase throughput and reduce downtime. Unfortunately, using a steel doctor blade to meter these chemistries often result in the UV ink spitting onto your print job, causing a speckled appearance. Where steel falls short, the TruPoint Orange® next generation doctor blade may be the solution in these applications.

Eliminate UV Ink Spitting with TruPoint Orange

The surface energy and flexibility of a steel blade can impede a smooth transfer of ink to the plate. The dyne level of a steel blade is higher than that of TruPoint Orange, causing the ink to have a greater tendency to adhere to the blade. With Orange, the characteristics of the material give the blade a significantly lower dyne level than steel, decreasing the attraction between the doctor blade and ink and facilitating a more fluid movement of ink to the plate.

ink spitting steel doctor blades vs plastic doctor bladesAlso, UV ink has a normal viscosity of 5-7 times that of water and solvent-based inks, and its thixotropic properties (ability to thin out when agitated) make it transfer differently on press. This thicker consistency applies excessive pressure to a steel metering blade, often causing the ink to sling off, or “spit,” especially at high press speeds. The TruPoint Orange doctor blade prevents UV ink spitting. The blade’s tip provides enough stiffness to maintain a strong contact area with the anilox roll and prevent ink from sliding under the blade.

Specialty Inks and Coatings Are Abrasive

Specialty coatings and tactile finishes such as glitter, pearlescent, textures and soft touch, are being used to enhance the look of product packages, but the same challenging properties of UV inks also exist in these formulations. They have high viscosities and contain large particles, making it difficult to accurately control the volume being applied. These chemistries, and coarse anilox surfaces used to apply them, are extremely abrasive to steel doctor blades – printers consume blades faster which increases downtime and costs. TruPoint Orange next generation polymer blades are highly abrasion-resistant and chemically compatible with all ink and specialty coating formulas; they last longer and minimize press downtime for blade changes. Click Here to Read “5 Ways to Conquer UV Ink Spitting”

As the industry evolves to keep up with the demands of the market, printers are faced with new challenges. The ink and coating formulas being used to make products stand out on the retail shelf and improve pressroom efficiency are difficult to meter with steel doctor blades. Due to its material properties and tip design, TruPoint Orange can help by reducing downtime and costs associated with UV ink spitting and accelerated blade wear.

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