Inks Used in Large Format Printing

For vinyl prints we use a solvent-based inks method that involves melting the surface of the vinyl just enough for the ink to penetrate into the material. This technique results in a graphic durable to outside elements year-round and a printed image will remain vivid and sharp for years to come. Aqueous latex ink is another option for vinyl as it bonds directly with the surface. Unfortunately latex inks won’t stand up to inclement weather as effectively as solvent inks so this is a good option for indoor displays as it is less costly and an easier application than printing with solvent inks. Finally, Ultraviolet (UV) curing is more environmentally-friendly and does not require solvents or high heat while still yielding a weather-resistant and durable product.

UV-curable inks are considered “cured” at the point where they are exposed to wavelengths of UV light. UV-Curable ink consists of a photo initiator that when exposed to UV light undergoes a chemical process which transforms it into a solid film causing it to tightly adhere onto the surface of the substrate material. UV-curable inks perfectly complement flatbed printing. Unlike traditional oil- water-based inks that require heat and time to dry, Curing-UV ink sets it immediately so it can be used on almost any surface. In effect, the curing process transforms the ink into a thin layer of plastic that serves as top layer to the substrate. UV Inks are distinct from solvent inks because of their capability to print directly onto rigid substrates rather than bleeding into them, the resulting color and hardness is ideal for outdoor signs.

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Obviously the printing process requires ink to take place. Some inks are toxic to the environment which contributes to pollution, climate change and global warming. To help eliminate this toxic threat while maintaining our high standard visual quality, we at SpeedPro use and recommend the use of eco-friendly inks. Eco-Solvent inks are also known as mild solvent inks as they use a less toxic solvent-based carrier than the previous generation of inks. Eco-Solvent ink significantly reduces the amount of toxic solvent-based carriers in the environment and printers that use an eco-solvent emit less volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) in their waste. Eco-solvent ink seeps into and interacts with the fibers of the base substrate leaving the ink with different sheens and finishes depending on the substrate while providing a great bond and long-lasting coloration and image clarity. Eco-solvent ink requires heat to fully dry to remove the top-layer solvent and leave behind only the wanted imprinted ink pigment. Mild solvent ink combines the durability solvent ink while retaining the environmental benefits of water-based ink. Furthermore, Eco-Solvent inks reduce the amount of damage done to various internal printer parts such as the print head, which means we can print for a longer period without needing to replace them which also cuts down on waste over time.

SpeedPro uses UV-resistant inks on all banners and flags as well as a treatment to prevent water damage. Vinyl banners make a great canvas for custom messages and graphics. Companies trust vinyl as a material proven to display vivid colors. Print big, bold graphics onto magnetic vinyl with vivid inks and get eye-catching colorful signs. Going big is critical in our add-filled world to make your advertisements stand out. Outdoor murals from SpeedPro also use these inks to great effect and it is likely that you’ve probably seen them adoring buildings along your daily commute.

SpeedPro can print any image on nearly any surface. Our vivid colors and sharp graphics are the envy of the large format printing world. Our studios are ready, willing, and able to walk you through the entire design process to ensure that you get exactly the product you need for whatever design project you are working on.

SpeedPro’s nationwide network of wide-format printers wants to help your brand be seen and succeed. SpeedPro combines high quality materials and inks with the best printing methods so be assured that your design graphics will appear vivid and sharp for years to come.