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Inkjet InkApril 19, 2022

Digital Primers: What Makes them Special

Inkjet Ink
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Adhesion Testing

What makes UV ink stick? What a loaded question! Ink sticks on its own of course. But then there are isolated cases where it doesn’t stick. Sometimes it needs a little persuasion. Often ink is expected to stay on a glass for years to come and withstand countless rides through the dishwasher.  Other times ink is required to withstand touching and contact. For these reasons and more digital primer is a huge player in the printing process to ensure that your print results in the printing quality and longevity that you expect.

The sole function a primer is to ensure long lasting adhesion and abrasion resistance. Even though digital primers serve one purpose there are numerous different options. Often the substrate you are printing on dictates the primer for your application.

Inkcups offers ten different UV digital primers: DigiBond, PowerBond, Magicoat®, GB, S, PP, J, GL, PL, and XF. Now, if those names do not give you enough information to know which materials they promote adhesion to, read on.

New! XF Primer

  • Powder coated metals
  • Plastics

The XF Primer is the newest addition to Inkcups’ digital primer line-up. The XF Primer is a jettable primer available for mainly powder coated metals but also plastics.



  • Powder coated metals

DigiBond is one of the most recent additions to the Inkcups primer lineup. It is an ideal choice for promoting adhesion to powder coated substrates. This primer can be either sprayed or jetted and is compatible with our MagiCoat® Pre-Treatment system.

*As of September 2022 DigiBond has been discontinued. Please see other primers available. 



  • Powder coated metals

The other newest addition to the line, which also promotes adhesion to powder coated substrates is PowerBond. Much like DigiBond, it can also be either sprayed or jetted. This is a great primer choice for vessels that are metal as well.



  • Powder coated metals
  • Glass
  • Stainless

MagiCoat® is the third primer that Inkcups offers for powder coated metals. This primer is unique as one needs to mix the three parts: A, B, and C and spray directly onto substrates right after flame treatment. MagiCoat® is not limited to metals, but also is a great option for glass and other drinkware.


GL Primer

  • Promotional Glass
  • Tile
  • Metal

The GL Primer was created to alter the surface of glass, tile, and metal products, offering superior adhesion and abrasion resistance.


GB Primer

  • Stainless steel
  • Coated metals

This primer is proven to pass scratch, tape, and wash tests after being applied to products that are made of stainless steel or other coated metals. Superior adhesion and abrasion resistance are drastically improved with use.


PL Primer

  • Plastic

PL primer is known for being an excellent plastic adhesion promotor, specifically general purpose plastics. As with all primers, it’s main goal is improving abrasion resistance as much as possible.


J Primer

  • Coated metals
  • Soft-touch materials

J Primer is available for promoting adhesion and abrasion resistance on items that are either coated metals or soft-touch materials.


PP Primer

  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene

Within the printing industry it is commonly known that it is incredibly difficult to print on low surface energy plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene, but enter PP primer to reduce surface tension and promote adhesion.


S Primer

  • Coated metals
  • Dense plastic
  • Carbon Fiber

By now you know the drill, S Primer promotes adhesion and increases abrasion resistance on coated metals, dense plastics, and carbon fiber products.


Inkcups offers world class service and we are more than happy to perform adhesion testing and custom color matching for your business at our business! That way you can begin the printing journey with all the right tools, inks, and primers to ensure success in the printing process.

**These are all recommendations based on typical products. Some products may require a different mix of pre-treatment methods. Testing should be done prior to recommending solutions.

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