UV curable coatings and inks are experiencing rapid growth and adoption due to the many advantages they offer. Higher productivity due to near instantaneous curing makes the UV printing and coating process more economical. The lack of heat used in curing is ideal for heat sensitive materials such as plastics. In addition UV coatings and inks can have very tough surface properties. For all of these reasons and more UV cured coatings and inks are a great option for a variety of applications.
However, there are some drawbacks that one should consider when formulating a UV curable coating or ink. The absence of solvent and speed of cure can lead to poor wetting, leveling, flow, and pigment dispersion. Due to the high cross link density UV coatings and inks can also shrink upon cure causing adhesion issues. Ultimately these issues can lead to a coating or ink with sub optimal appearance and performance.