Demand for tactile finishes is increasing with brand owners seeking haptic coatings that add a premium touch and feel to a consumer package or label. However, achieving a UV soft touch effect has historically presented challenges for narrow web printers due to the nature of UV free radical curing. With PureFX Soft Touch Varnish, Pulse Roll Label Products has formulated a product to overcome this and offer an alternative for companies choosing to move away from film or water-based coatings.
Testing of the new PureFX Soft Touch Varnish took place at selected label printing sites and yielded results that provided a soft touch effect the company believes is comparable to soft touch lamination films and water-based flexo.
Demonstrating excellent adhesion, overprintability, press stability and chemical resistance properties, the PureFX Soft Touch Varnish is suitable for a range of substrates including coated PE and PP, aluminium foils and paper. The product is also food packaging compliant, formulated for non-direct food contact packaging applications, and is particularly well-suited for end-use markets including, but not limited to, cosmetics, beauty, personal care, baby care and beverages. As well as conventional UV flexo printing, the new varnish is also suitable for finishing over digital inks to create a soft and smooth effect.
Simon Windle, Technical Manager said, ‘The very nature of UV is that it is hard, which is why it is difficult to achieve a soft touch coating with both the haptic properties and the high resistance properties required to protect product packaging from scuffs, rubs and chemicals. When compared to UV curing products, water-based coatings can achieve a good soft touch effect but are generally less durable and can be harder to run consistently on press, whilst lamination films are costly and generate more waste. Our R&D team challenged themselves to come up with a high-performance UV soft touch varnish that could be a real alternative for companies currently using soft touch lamination films or water-based lacquers.’
Tony Martin, Technical Sales Manager – UK South said, ‘We are really pleased to be able to offer customers our new PureFX UV Soft Touch that provides a high-performance alternative to water-based coatings or film application. Whilst lamination films can achieve excellent soft touch effects and provide high resistance properties, there are downsides. They are more costly, and, importantly, with sustainability a key driver, companies looking to minimise material usage and reduce waste can now achieve comparable soft touch effects with our new varnish. Films are also applied for 100% coverage, whereas a coating can be applied in selected areas, if required, to complement the package design and branding, therefore providing more flexibility. Our new PureFX Soft Touch Varnish presents the perfect sensory solution for finishing both conventional and digital print to achieve a high-quality soft, smooth tactile feel.’
Pulse Roll Label Products