NEWS: Flexible packaging industry to benefit from solvent thermochromic inks

02-07-2019

The allure of printed packages and labels that change colours to reflect product temperatures has been expanded. Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) has launched what it says is the packaging industry’s first thermochromic ink for use in solvent ink applications. CTI believes this represents a technological breakthrough, especially for the flexible packaging industry.

Solvent inks for printing are used by over 95% of flexible packaging suppliers. Prior to CTI’s development of its Solvent Thermochromic Ink, printers were forced to run water-based technology.   Using water-based inks inside a solvent plant creates challenges which affect efficiency and economics for customers, as well as increasing set-up times, cleaning and solvent recapture.  

CTI says Solvent Thermochromic Ink offers other advantages, such as delivering much stronger colour compared to water-based inks, which often required more than one printing station to achieve target colour density. The new ink is delivered as a one-part, finished product to customers.  

Prior attempts at using solvent thermochromic inks failed due to the solvents attacking the encapsulated chemistry of the printing process, it explains.  In some cases, customers would wait to mix a thermochromic concentrate with a solvent immediately prior to printing.  As such, the ink must be typically applied in the next eight hours, and everything that is unused was thrown away, resulting in 30%  typical waste.

These solvent-thermochromic inks that can be delivered as a single, finished, print-ready ink which maintains a shelf-life of 90 days,” said Lyle Small, CTI’s founder and president.   “This new technology just made a lot of production and economic headaches disappear for our customers and creates a pipeline of innovation they can bring to market.”

In addition to thermochromic, CTI now offers a suite of solvent-ready specialty ink technologies including glow-in-dark, photochromic, hydrochromic, pressure-activated and reveal inks.

During August 2019, CTI is offering free solvent trials to qualified customers.  Trial requests can be submitted at inquire@ctiinks.com