Printing on Plastics is obviously a large part of the Promotional Products industry, however there is a lot of confusion about what inks are best… I’m hoping to impart some of my Technical knowledge on you and give you some solutions…
The J3 Series ink is a great pad printing ink for ABS, SAN, and styrene parts… not only is it a fast drying ink, it is a Class VI certified Medical Grade ink… and works well on a lot of somewhat flexible parts. As you know the ink can be used as a 1 or 2 component ink (with or without 1000H hardener. Hardener is added for extra abrasion resistance). The J3 Series uses a Chemical adhesion standard to bind to the substrate… this means the resins in the ink attack the plastic and ‘bite ‘into it. If you misprint with the J3 on a part… you don’t have very long to remove it before it leaves a ‘ghost’ or shadow. It’s not the inks fault…it is doing what it is designed to do…to STICK.
As I mentioned before the J3 is best for pad printing, but can be screen printed, however you must really slow it down with the S-3 Retarder to keep it from locking/drying in your screen.
Our next ink line, the BT Series is a very versatile ink and works exceptionally well at screen printing on the same substrates as the J3 Series. BT series ink is VERY opaque and works well on a lot of translucent items… flexible key fobs, ABS, vinyl products AND prints very well on Styrofoam. As many of you know Styrofoam is a very difficult substrate to print on because it is very solvent sensitive… just a few small drops of solvent will eat thru the materiel…. Well that issue is not as much of a problem with the BT Series ink. We have extensively tested the BT Series and the print on Styrofoam cups is glossy and dries quickly…it will not dissolve the substrate. As I noted the BT series can be pad or screen printed, but its true value comes shining thru when screened on difficult substrates.
In closing, you will not go wrong with either of these inks when printing on plastics. Please give us, over at Inkcups Now, a call to let up help you determine the best ink for your needs and applications.