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Blog Home Applications Cylindrical Machines to Print on PET Bottles
Applications, Inkjet PrintingSeptember 23, 2021

Cylindrical Machines to Print on PET Bottles

Applications, Inkjet Printing
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Consumers are reaching more for their favorite reusable water bottle, than for plastic water bottles as we become more informed about our planet, plastic pollution, and recycling. But what about the instances when you forgot to pack one, or it isn’t a feasible option? Long days at an amusement park, city tours, and sporting events are times you may find yourself in need. PET plastics for food and drink packaging has come a long way in terms of recyclability. If your business is looking to print on PET bottles, look no further. Inkcups offers multiple cylindrical machines to print on PET bottles.

What does PET stand for?

PET is short for polyethylene terephthalate, the chemical name for polyester.

What is PET?

PET is a lightweight, clear, and strong plastic. It is used for a wide variety of packaging of both food and drink as it is not only lightweight and strong, but also hygienic, shatterproof, and retains freshness.  PET is an ideal material for food and drink as it repels microorganisms and does not corrode.

How Do I Identify PET?

One can identify PET containers by the distinguishing universal recycling symbol surrounding a number 1 found on the bottom of the bottle. Often ‘PET’ or ‘PETE’ can be found below the triangle.

PET is used for convenience-sized juice, soda, and water bottles. It is often the material used for packaging peanut butter, salad dressing, and personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, and hand soap.

Take a minute and flip over your water bottle at your desk, or check out the bottom of your mouthwash to see the symbol for PET for yourself.

PET Versus Glass

PET plastic is often chosen over glass simply because it will not break and cause harm to any person or object. However, there are other reasons just as important to consider when deciding between PET plastic and glass.

  • Compared to glass, PET can be recycled into more products in the long run.
  • PET is lighter than glass resulting in the ability to transport higher quantities at a time, reducing the carbon footprint comparatively.
  • Glass production requires more energy and creates more greenhouses gasses than PET.

Sustainability & Safety

PET is known for its recyclability and is one of the most recycled plastics in both the US and worldwide. Even thought the raw materials for PET are derived from crude oil and natural gas, PET has a more favorable sustainability profile in comparison to glass, aluminum, and other materials.

PET outshines other plastics when it comes to FDA compliance. Only in their unrecycled form are most other plastics FDA compliant and food safe. However, PET is both FDA compliant and food safe in both unrecycled and recycled states.

Ink for PET Bottles

UV Inkjet InkAs PET is a plastic, the typical ink suggested is the S1 UV Inkjet Ink line. It comes in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, White, Varnish, and now Vivid White. Our Vivid White UV Curable Ink is the whitest ink available on the UV ink market. If you previously shied away from printing on dark colors and black our Vivid White promises to pop due to its high opacity.

Even thought we have a suggested ink for specific materials, we at Inkcups always recommend taking the time and care to send in your substrate to us for testing before you begin the printing process.  Together, you and our in-house ink experts will discuss expectations. The ink expert will then test out different combination of pre-treatments and inks to find the best fit combination for your needs.

It should be noted that there is no one universal ink that sticks to everything. That is why we offer so many different types of inkjet ink.

Cylindrical Printers for PET Bottles

While PET plastic can be molded into a variety of different shaped products, it is most used for bottles. Bottles are cylindrical in nature, and lucky for you, Inkcups specializes in cylindrical inkjet printers. We offer world class support in machines, spare parts availability, and knowledge.

Cylindrical inkjet printers are designed specifically with straight-walled PET bottles in mind. The Helix® and Double Helix® both speedily print full-color, high quality, designs onto your PET bottle one or two at a time, respectively.

When it comes to decorating your PET bottle there are two main competitors, printing directly onto the substrate, or adhering a label to the surface of a product. Dye sublimation had its day, but we are no longer limited to it. With advances in technology, UV cylinder printers such as the Helix® phase out the past process of purchasing all the consumables and wasted time of dye sublimation.

For the high production speeds and print output for PET bottles consider the Revolution® cylindrical inkjet printer. The Revolution is complete with all the offerings of the Helix® or Double Helix® but with a whooping 12 stations, automatic load and unload, optional corona or plasma pre-treatments integrated into the unit, and output of 600 parts per hour.


For more information do not hesitate to reach out and ask! Contact us today to get started printing on PET bottles.

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