Combining Glass with UV-Curable Digital Printing

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					Combining Glass with
   UV-Curable Digital Printing

functional and aesthetic                                                                                                                                                                                         functional and aesthetic

              Process Overview

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Skara KG | arbucomp
                                                                                                                  UV-curable ink is the key element in sustainable systems for decorative applications. It reduces pro-
                                                                                                                  duction costs and responds affirmatively to green concept requirements in architecture, and to global
                                                                                                                  demands for environmental manufacture.

                                                                                                                        •    Saving energy costs: the process does not require post-processing, either in an oven or a
                                                                                                                             furnace, as the UV-curable inks are printed and dried simultaneously by exposure to specific
                                                                                                                             wavelengths of ultra-violet light, completed during the printing phase

                                                                                                                        •    Generally, the composition of UV-curable inks make them free of metals or other harmful
              Both the current economic situation and environmental concerns correlates with consumer trends in
                                                                                                                             elements; this is regulated intensively by responsible producers
              favouring the following considerations when purchasing:

                                                                                                                        •    The decorated output can be recycled easily through regular glass disposal channels
              Sustainable processes with:

                  •   Fast turnaround                                                                             Digital printing is fast and of high quality.

                  •   High quality                                                                                      •    It produces the product in the shortest possible time: there are no screens, films or storage

                  •   Cost-effective production
                                                                                                                        •    Colours are printed and dried simultaneously in the same printing sequence

                                                                                                                        •    Excellent shelf appeal: semi-translucent to opaque effects in saturated to natural colours

                                                                                                                        •    Unique designs with minimum effort: all that is needed is a digital file

                                                                                                                        •    Photographic quality at industrial production speeds

                                                                                                                  Because of these factors, digital printing reduces costs and makes production more affordable
                                                                                                                  for the end user.
                      functional and aesthetic                                                                                                                                                                                functional and aesthetic

Skara KG | arbucomp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         VIRTU Clean
                                    Inline glass decoration solution enables constant production at maximum output quality and   The quality control needed to ensure the cleanliness of the glass is very demanding because the
                                    throughput with minimal human intervention.                                                  UV-curable ink layer sits on the surface of the substrate without being absorbed or penetrating its pores.

                                         •    Continuity: there is no waiting time between the steps in the process                   •    A regular, transparent surface must be produced during the cleaning phase, eliminating any
                                                                                                                                           microscopic contamination of the glass
                                         •    Adjustable speed to vary quality modes and throughput
                                                                                                                                      •    Grease, oil and other residue that may contaminate the glass during pre-processing will
                                         •    Operates in both offline and semi-automatic modes                                            prevent good adhesion of the ink to the glass. These residues can be removed through careful
                                                                                                                                           control of cleaning methods
                                         •    Software monitors the status of each machine element
                                                                                                                                      •    Cleaning can be performed either manually or automatically, with the latter option being
                                         •    Quality control for each step in the process                                                 useful for large glass surfaces

                                         •    Consistent print quality in both repeat and individual production batches
functional and aesthetic                                                                                                                                                                                                   functional and aesthetic


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      VIRTU Safe | VIRTU Bond
              Because the glass surface is smooth, shiny, non-porous, clear and static-loaded, it tends to repel any type      The pre-treatment phase is a two-stage process which addresses each of the inherent material properties
              of coating, show all impurities and can spoil the image quality; it requires special intervention at the level   detailed previously. It creates a bond between the material and the UV-curable ink:
              of the glass surface.
                                                                                                                                    •    A flame coating is used to ensure both consistent wettability (ink spreading) and good
              Precise chemical engineering is required to ensure good compatibility between the inorganic material and                   adhesion between the glass surface and the UV-curable ink through the adhesion promoter
              the organic ink.
                                                                                                                                    •    The adhesion promoter is applied in a fine layer immediately after the glass is flame-coated,
              The pre-treatment phase meets these challenges by compensating technologically and scientifically for the                  which results in improved stability of the ink layer and provides the strong adhesion necessary
              chemical and physical incompatibilities of ink and glass.                                                                  when printing direct to glass
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       VIRTU RS 25 / 35
              Because the glass is fragile and has a clean surface, it requires careful and precise transportation through   The act of decorating glass implies a challenge for decorators and glass processors, as it must create
              the print process.                                                                                             an artistic result for the viewer. The systems involved must make the end result appear as naturally as
                                                                                                                             possible, while being handled safely through the process to avoid waste through breakage.
              Many different sizes of decorated glass are required by architectural projects and need an accurate and
              versatile positioning system. This allows the same transportation and precision                                The consumer’s wish is highly respected throughout decoration to ensure that the product has the greatest
              of decoration across all glass sizes.                                                                          shelf appeal and lifetime possible, while also ensuring the greatest respect for the environment and
                                                                                                                             retaining easy recyclability.
              Decoration conveys messages through colour to appeal to the viewer. The right software and application
              skills are required to create and render this message accurately.
                   functional and aesthetic                                                                                                                                                                                              functional and aesthetic

                                                                                                                                         Summary review
VIRTU RS 25 / 35

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lechner AG
                                     Technical Specifications

                                     •   Smallest printable plate size: 148 x 210 mm (A5)

                                     •   Smallest plate transportable inline: 250 x 400 mm
                                                                                                                                         Summary review
                                     •   The maximum printing width of 3.5 m edge-to-edge easily accommodates the most popular
                                         jumbo glass size of 3.21 m x 6 m, yet also allows specialist dimensions to be used with         The perfect decoration line provides fast, cheap and high-quality results.
                                         the machine
                                                                                                                                         Glass decoration is highly subjective and relies on the viewer’s interpretation: an understanding of art,
                                     •   Variable thickness of the glass to be decorated: from 0.7 mm to 19 mm thickness                 architecture, science and technology is necessary to ensure longevity.
                                         (general specifications: 50 kg/m2 and 95 mm thickness)
                                                                                                                                         It is important to produce correctly from the first day of implementation: this includes service, expertise
                                     •   The ink colours of cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K) are printed and cured in a   in alternative glass decoration methods and digital printing, scientific understanding of the media,
                                         single pass. The additional ink channels for light cyan (Lc) and light magenta (Lm) integrate   technological management and quality glass processing lines.
                                         seamlessly with those used for the CMYK ink set to ensure overall smoothness of the print.
                                         White ink can be incorporated to complement the other colours either as an underprint and       A complete Inline system without waiting times and with adjustable speeds is mandatory when production
                                         overprint layer or as a separate element within the design                                      timing depends on the volume of glass to be decorated.
                                                                                               11POL16.2/Glass Digital Printing/e/0411
Glass decoration systems allow its customers to bring consumer
demand, technology, art and purpose to the heart of daring, visionary
architectural projects around the world.


Polytype SA, 26, route de la Glâne, C.p. 1184, CH-1701 Fribourg/Switzerland
Tel. +41 26 426 11 11, Fax +41 26 426 11 12,,


Polytype America Corp., 10, Industrial Avenue, Mahwah, NJ 07430-2205, New Jersey/USA
Tel. +1 201 995 1000, Fax +1 201 995 1080,,

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