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UV Ink & Eco-solvent Ink, What are the Differences Between Them?

Aug. 31, 2021

Nowadays, when printing large pictures, ink is essential. Among the numerous inks, the most common ones are UV ink and eco-solvent ink. So what are the differences between them?

UV Ink

UVKM InkMall UV-curable ink for Konica

UVKM InkMall UV-curable ink for Konica

It is formulated with four components: pigments, monomers, oligomers, and photoinitiator. UV inks have a unique cure, and it can fast cure without penetration and evaporation. The ink is delivered to the printing medium in liquid form, and then the UV lamp in the printer works To trigger the photoinitiator. This will cause a chemical reaction between the oligomers and monomer molecules in the ink to form a water-insoluble plastic coating and firmly fix the ink to the medium. It does not require solvents, has fast curing speed, high gloss, bright colors, water resistance, ink resistance, and solvent resistance. Now, it is widely used in inkjet printing and has become a relatively mature ink technology.

Eco-solvent Ink

I3200 Eco Solvent Ink

I3200 Eco Solvent Ink

The eco-solvent ink uses a mild solvent carrier, which means that the ink has virtually no odour as they don't contain as many volatile organic compounds.The pigment-based formulation makes it resistant to sunlight and water, too. It has the characteristics of safety, low volatility, and low toxicity. Eco-solvent inks are perfect for trade show graphics, vinyl and banners due to the vibrant colour they produce. 

The Differences Between Them


From the structural point of view, the biggest difference between UV ink and eco-solvent ink is that UV ink contains almost no or no volatile solvent, while eco-solvent ink contains about 50% solvent.

Different Curing Principles

When the UV printer is irradiated by the UV lamp, the UV ink can be dried and cured immediately. The UV printer can achieve instant printing and instant drying effects during the printing process.

Products printed with weak solvent inks need to be baked at a high temperature to dry and solidify the surface of the product, and the ink curing process is slow. Therefore, the drying process of eco-solvent ink is more troublesome.

The Color of the Ink

UV ink just has 5 color: C,M,Y,K,W (of course you can add double white because printer and accept 6 color/8 color);

Eco-solvent ink has 6 color (for 6 color printer) or 8 color (for 8 color printer), you will know, eco-solvent ink has no white color, so eco-solvent printer can not print on black items.

Printing Effect

UV ink can be used together with white ink to enable UV printers to print relief effects which can give people a special visual 3D effect.

At the same time, UV ink is suitable for printing on a variety of materials, and is simple, convenient and practical in coating processing.

Eco-solvent ink cannot be used with white ink. Therefore, the embossing effect cannot be printed using weak solvent ink. Many materials need to be coated during the printing process. Products printed without coating are easy to fade, which is a disadvantage of eco-solvent inks.

InkMall has different types of ink; if you want to learn more about our products, please contact us.