Pad printing ink solvent is added to the pad printing ink to break-up the resin and pigments to ensure the ink is tacky enough to be transferred from the silicone pad printing pad to the substrate. Before being added to the ink, the pad printing ink solvent is calculated by weight as a percentage. This number can be as low as 10% or as high as 30% depending on the depth of the etch in your plate (cliché) or the color of your ink. For example, black ink and white ink take different percentages of solvent due to the differences in pigment. Solvent can either be fast evaporating or slow evaporating. This article will take you through the differences of each as well as examples of what Inkcups offers.
Fast evaporating pad printing ink solvent works best in cool environments. Since this solvent evaporates quickly, a warmer environment would cause the solvent to evaporate too quickly and will dry out the ink before it can be transferred to the substrate. Most companies choose to switch between a fast solvent and slow solvent depending on the season. The benefit of working with this type of solvent for tagless printing is that it leads to a brighter print. Since the pad printing ink is not given enough time to settle too much into the fabric, the ink is much more opaque.
Slow evaporating pad printing ink solvent or retarder is typically very oily in texture. It is best used in hotter climates as it takes a longer time to fully evaporate. Screen printers typically use this type of solvent as it helps to keep the ink as tacky as possible without drying too much before being printed. As mentioned above, the environment is extremely important when it comes to choosing the type of solvent you choose. As with fast evaporating solvents, in times of more of a cooler climate, the solvent is switched for a fast evaporating solvent.
Inkcups delivers a full-solution for both pad printers and screen printers. The line-up of pad printing solvents include:
In addition to the standard fast or slow evaporating solvents, there are also a few exceptions to the rules. Medium solvent is a medium evaporating solvent that can be used with every pad printing ink by Inkcups excluding any silicone inks. Additionally, the SI solvent is strictly for the SI Series Ink (silicone ink) and the SI-HDS solvent is for the SI-HD Series Ink.
The final question is: can pad printing ink solvents be used for clean-up and the answer is yes! Solvents are a great cleaning solution for excess ink on pad printing plates and ink cups. The solvent helps to keep all consumables in printing shape and we encourage cleaning at the end of each shift.
For more information about our pad printing ink solvents, contact us!Back to Blog Home