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The Art and Science of Thermoforming

Thermoformers have long been able to print designs and mold them. But screen printing demands skill, is time consuming and therefore costly. Additionally, it’s not possible to obtain near-photographic images. UV-curing screen inks are easier to handle and less harmful to the environment than solvent-based screen inks.

Consequently, much graphic printing has moved to UV-curing inkjet inks. These dry instantly, producing strong colors, and adhere well to a wide range of substrates. They produce consistently high quality print. Our aim was to produce equally excellent results after thermoforming. Uvijet KV inks are designed for the production of decorative print in deep draw thermoforming applications, but also maintain the ability to produce general purpose prints. KV inks have been developed to be printed on Fujifilm Acuity presses opening up many creative design and customization opportunities for thermoformed products.

Elongation – Over 1,000%
Fujifilm has reinvented its UV-curing ink specifically for thermoforming. Uvijet KV jets exactly like a normal UV ink, but during the forming process becomes thermo-plastic, elongates, and finally cools to its original properties. Its elongation is excellent – right up to the usable limit of the substrate – even on 90° corners.

Fuji-thermoformed-domes

Thermoforms Perfectly at 302‐392°F/150-200°C
Some substrates and thermoforming processes work better with higher temperatures. Uvijet KV is formulated to perform perfectly in a wide range of situations, all the way up to 392°F. It’s as flexible as you need it to be.

First-surface and Second-surface Forming
Polystyrene, PETG, Polycarbonate, Acrylic, PVC, ABS – If you can thermoform it, Uvijet KV will give excellent results. Its unique properties mean it works well on all the materials your customers choose in thicknesses of 0.8mm to 2mm.

No Cracking, No Flaking, No Defects
To work perfectly every time, Uvijet KV’s components must be absolutely pure, which entails rigorous scrutiny and testing. We make sure the entire process keeps it that way, constantly analysing at each stage throughout production.

The manufacturing process uses Fujifilm’s proprietary ‘Micro-V’ dispersion technology, which mills pigments down to an ultra-fine, sub-micron scale. It’s a demanding ink to produce, but the results are worth it.

Global Research, Excellent Science
Thanks to a global collaboration from our scientists we were able to fine-tune the elastic modulus and manage precisely the glass transition temperature of the ink. These properties control how the ink deforms then resets during and after thermoforming, all the while having to give the same outstanding colors and definition as with two-dimensional media.

 

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