Printing with Reduced or Zero Alcohol Fount Solution

Printing with Reduced or Zero Alcohol Fount Solution

As the economic downturn bites harder printers are looking at saving costs wherever possible. Improvements to the environment are not an obvious place to look for savings but there are huge benefits in looking in this area.

Take a look in the pressroom at the consumables used and identify the most flammable and volatile material in use. Isopropanol Alcohol is a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) that evaporates fast and has a flash point of only 12 degrees. You might also be surprised at how much you are spending on a product that just evaporates and pollutes our atmosphere.

So why do we use so much in the press damping system?

IPA added to the fountain solution will reduce the surface tension and make the water wetter and more efficient in dampening the plate. It will also increase the viscosity, and act as a disinfectant and anti foaming agent, that’s the only good news.

Bad news

To use IPA correctly requires special handling and storage areas.

It is expensive and will get more expensive.

It forms the largest fire risk in the press room.

It evaporates and often exceeds safe levels in the press room and requires constant replenishment.

It dulls the colour and brightness of the printed job.

If IPA can be replaced by a safer non volatile alternative, costs can be saved whilst improving print quality and the environment. This is easier to achieve than most printers believe.

Alcohol has been reduced and replaced in many countries; Canada and the USA have probably the greatest experience and have legislation demanding it happens. European printers have identified the benefits and so have some governments who have applied high taxes or require a license be paid before IPA can be used.


Pillar Printing at GLOBAL PACK

Pillar Printing at GLOBAL PACK

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