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Blog Home Inkjet Ink UV LED Curable Ink- Rigid vs. Flexible Inks
Inkjet Ink, ApplicationsMarch 23, 2023

UV LED Curable Ink- Rigid vs. Flexible Inks

Inkjet Ink, Applications
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BB Ultra Flexible Ink

Inkcups offers five different UV LED curable ink lines to adhere to various substrates. Whether the substrate be of flexible or rigid nature we have an ink that will move with or hold firm.

What is UV LED Curable ink?

UV LED curable inks are a type of ink that remains a liquid until it is cured with an ultra-violet light. In general UV LED curable inks are desirable because they produce vivid colors, can be paired with an ink primer to guarantee longer adhesion, and high abrasion resistance. UV LED Curable inks come in hard and flexible varieties.

How do I know which Ink I need?

When differentiating between rigid and flexible ink it is easiest to understand that those terms are describing both the characteristics of the ink and the substrate itself. For example, a sports bottle with a pliable body will require flexible ink to move as freely as the bottle itself does. So, the ink needs to be flexible because the substrate is flexible.

Rigid Ink “Hard”

For an in-depth account of hard ink read All About Ink: Hard Ink.

A hard UV curable ink refers to the ability to stick to non-pliable substrates including glass, stainless, coated metals and more. An example of a rigid ink from the Inkcups’ line would be S1 UV Inkjet Ink, specially formulated for glass, plastic and metal.


  • Exceptional adhesion properties
  • Extremely high abrasion resistance
  • Fast dry time
  • Results in bright and vibrant colors
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors


Flexible Ink “Soft”

A flexible UV curable ink is intended for products that need to be squeezed or bent such as plastic bottles, sports bottles and the like.


  • Flexible!
  • Can withstand freezing temperatures
  • High weather resistance


Inkcups Flexible Inks

Inkcups offers two different flexible ink lines to accommodate as many different flexible substrates as possible. Both XFLEXX and BB Ultra Flexible come in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, White and Varnish.


Inkcups offers XFLEXX Flexible UV Ink. It was created with flexible substrates in mind to bend and give as needed without cracking or distorting the design. XFLEXX opens the door to printing on non-traditional substrates such as canvas, foam, rubber, polyurethane, nylon, cellophane, and more.

XFLEXX is a great ink option for items such as stress balls, golf balls, lunch boxes, coolers, bags, notebooks, and face masks. It works well on fabrics and materials that are polyester and synthetic.





BB Ultra Flexible UV Ink is a great option for sports bottles, phone cases, industrial tubing, leather goods, tactical gear, and more. This ink can withstand the long-standing industry standard “squeeze test” after being submerged in an ice bucket. The design on the bottle will not chip, crack, or distort after an extended bathe in the freezing water, even after a squeeze.

Inkcups is Here to Help

Inkcups technicians are seasoned when it comes to finding the correct ink for your substrate. If you have even the slightest doubt in your mind whether you need a flexible or hard ink for your application, pass the task off to an Inkcups professional. To get started, contact us today.

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