Ciba Specialty Chemicals introduces Prime IT

Ciba Specialty Chemicals is presenting a new, patent-pending technology, Ciba Prime IT, at the drupa. The first durable surface modification technology for plastics, Prime IT improves adhesion of UV-curable inks, coatings and adhesives, says the company.

Hermann Angerer, Ciba Specialty Chemicals Coating Effects Segment global head, says, “We’ve taken our combined expertise in photoinitiators, printing and polymers to create an innovative solution to the problems of adhesion on a range of plastic substrates.

“Conventional treatments to improve wettability and therefore adhesion are not stable and surface modification is uneven, resulting in variations during printing and coating processes. Prime IT really makes it stick. It physically modifies the surface of the plastic, allowing durable chemical bonding and high-quality printing.

“The technology is adapted to market needs and adds value from printer to end user. It ensures a more reliable printing performance and improved print quality. The appearance and physical properties of the plastic substrate are retained. Fewer rejects, less waste and lower inventory help to reduce overall printing costs.”

Prime IT is suitable for labels, flexible and rigid packaging, smart cards, and commercial printing. It ensures improved adhesion on a wide variety of plastic substrates, including OPP, PVC, PET, PE and PA.

Homogenous surface treatment and durable, consistent performance result in high printing quality and improved color appearance. The best results are obtained with UV inks, but as Prime IT durably changes the plastic surface, the resulting higher surface tension allows other printing technologies, such as water-based inks, to be used.

Prime IT technology offers customers total solutions: it includes products, equipment and expert technical service; furthermore, in-line systems allow treating and printing on the same machine for cost-effective, reliable, efficient processing. The products can be applied on a standard engraved flexo or gravure roll, and following carrier removal, the substrate can be immediately printed or stored. Other suitable application methods include spraying. The substrate can be further processed without any additional surface treatment.

At drupa, Ciba Specialty Chemicals will be running four live demonstrations per day using BOPP film specially developed by Radici Film, on a four-color E-Combat flexo press equipped with IST UV lamps, supplied by Italian press manufacturer Gidue SpA. A Super Combi 2000 1300-mm-width converting machine supplied by Nordmeccanica and fitted with IST UV lamps will be presented on video at the Ciba stand. Both machines will be used for Prime IT development activities in Ciba laboratories.

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