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Product Coding in the Presence of Chemicals

We have an ink for that!

By Chris Pangallo, Product Manager – Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) and Laser


Production uptime and low cost of ownership are hot topics among Chemical production and Chemical packaging companies. Many Chemical companies rely on Continuous Ink Jet Coders (CIJ) to provide high speed non-contact coding of variable text such as date and batch codes on their primary product. Linx model CIJ printers are ideal for Chemical producers and packagers with a proven track record of reliability and increased uptime due to very clever design. The printers have mistake-proof and mess free refills, avoiding costly downtime.

 

Linx also features the most advanced printhead on the market. The printhead is sealed with no manual parts or adjustment points. Upon shut down, the printer automatically flushes the printhead conduit, nozzle and gutter with solvent. The solvent evacuates to the controller. This cleaning, known as Full Flush™, results in quicker start up, reduces ink build up and its’ accompanying printer downtime. Self-cleaning and quicker start up allows maintenance staff more time to work on production instead of their printer.

 

Chemicals can be packaged in all kinds of substrates and under a variety of conditions. A common challenge when coding in the presence of chemicals is the reaction of coding ink to the product, process or environment. Marks can smear, bleed or disappear entirely. Linx has developed special purpose inks that provide maximum print quality and increased printer performance by eliminating coding issues before they start. Here are some examples:

 

 Alcohol Resistant Ink  
 Code on a Bottle of Mouthwash

LX1580Detergents, shampoos and cleaners are among the wide variety of products that contain alcohol. With these products there will always be the risk of splashing alcohol onto the finished product during packaging. The alcohol splash can smear, obscure or even remove coding ink. Some products, like electronic components, require cleaning with alcohol as part of their production process. If you need an ink to withstand an alcohol splash, we suggest:

 

 1075 Black Alcohol Resistant

This ink is formulated to have a high level of resistance to chemicals such as alcohol. It is fast drying (1-2 seconds) with excellent adhesion, particularly to plastics. It resists alcohol washes (ethanol, isopropanol, etc.) 

 Chemical Resistant Ink  
 Black UV Cure Ink sample

If a packaged product comes into direct contact with a wash, splash or rub of a solvent (such as Engine parts, brake pads, cables), you will need an ink with high adherence properties. If you need an ink to resist solvents, we suggest:

 

LX2015 1370 Black UV Cure

This is a black pigmented ink that cures instead of dries. When in the presence of UV lamp system, the ink cures in 1 second. The cured mark is supremely resistant to chemicals, abrasion and is tolerant of heat.


 Alkali Resistant Ink  
 Coded blister pack

Many products have alkali baths as part of their packaging process. If you need an ink to withstand cleaning with alkali solution, we suggest:

 

 

1014 Black Plastic Adherent

This ink was formulated to give excellent adhesion to plastic substrates, including those commonly regarded as difficult for CIJ inks such as polyethylene, nylon, and polypropylene. This versatile ink has aggressive adhesion and is resistant to alkalis.

 

 Alkali Removable Ink  
Coded plastic bottle
Some products (or processes) require marks with work in process information that need to be removed before the product is available for an end user, or the containers require temporary codes as they are reused or recycled. If you need to remove a CIJ mark, we suggest:

1070 Black Alkali Removable

This ink is highly water resistant when dry but is easily removed if washed with detergent or dilute alkali. It performs well on many substrates and is ideal for coding reusable containers in the brewing and beverage industries.


 Oil Penetrating Inks  
 Aluminum cans with printed code on top

Products packaged in metals may have oil present on the surface. Oils tend to separate inks from substrates, removing marks completely. If you need an ink with aggressive adhesion, we suggest:

 

Lx8591290 Black to Blue Thermochromic

Thermochromic inks are specially developed for the canning industry and to show a color change effect when processed through a retort or autoclave process. It is a robust ink and often specified for applications that do not require a color change as it penetrates thin coatings of oil and grease and resists removal by oils, waxes, fats and varnishes.

 


 





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