What types of printing are used for flexible packaging?

May 15, 2021

Flexible packaging has now become popular in various industries ranging from consumer products to industrial applications. Both flexographic and gravure printing methods are used for flexible packaging printing.

From an ink point of view, inks for flexible packaging can be divided into surface printing inks and lamination inks. For the most part, flexographic and gravure inks share the same raw materials, so for this matrix we will group both printing methods together.

Types of Flexible Packaging Inks:

1. Lamination Inks
Lamination is the process of combining two or more substrates to form a tough packaging structure to hold and provide barrier protection for the contents.

Lamination can be accomplished with adhesives (adhesive lamination) or with molten plastic (extrusion lamination) that acts to adhere to the packaging films together.

Lamination inks are typically sealed inside the lamination structure so that the ink surface is not exposed to the outside, however, the inks must still exhibit excellent adhesion to the film on which they are printed and they must not interfere with the bonding of the lamination films.

2. Surface Printing Inks
High gloss
Excellent rub resistance
Resistance to a number of different external elements, such as water, solvents, detergents and other materials that may come into contact with the printed surface

These type of inks uses a protective overprint varnish in order to increase the surface resistance and impart the desired C.O.F. and gloss

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