The benefits of offset printing using Electron Beam curing

In Rotatek we develop machines that integrate the highest quality, economical and sustainable curing technology

Curing by Electron Beam (EB) technology provides instantaneous ink fixation on the substrate, which provides many advantages when applied to offset printing. The discharge of electrons polymerises the ink, meaning that it immediately solidifies on the printing surface, preventing even the slightest migration.

EB curing technology is the optimal solution for primary packaging offset printing and is particularly critical in the food sector.  The benefits it offers, in terms of quality, variety of substrates and sizes, elimination of the risk of ink migration and absence of toxic or contaminating components, are far superior to those that can be provided by flexographic printing or rotogravure. 

In Rotatek we are betting on Electron Beam technology. Our experience, technological mastery, and the knowledge of the competitive demands of each industrial sector enable us to incorporate this curing system to our offset machines, in accordance with the specific needs of each client. 

A more affordable and sustainable technology 

Electron Beam curing has been used in the printing industry for over forty years. It is a technology that has evolved and been refined to expand its applications, so that today its advantages over other ink fixing systems are many. 

It is the solution with the lowest cost for many different applications, among them, mainly, the printing of food packaging. EB curing equipment is much cheaper and smaller than it was years ago, so betting on this system is the wisest investment. It means savings in running and maintenance costs, and on the other hand, the waste reduction compared to other technologies is considerable.

Electron Beam offers a much wider range of physical properties than any other curing technology, mainly as a result of the highly crosslinked curing of inks, coatings, and laminated or PSA (pressure sensitive) adhesives. 

EB provides:

  • Higher brightness. 
  • Improved matt finishes. 
  • More resistance to wear, abrasion and chemicals. 
  • Increased heat resistance. 
  • Covalent organic frames (COF) consistent with EB inks and coatings. 

EB curing inks have a very high viscosity, so they cannot be transferred industrially using traditional rotogravure dosing blade systems, and very complicated by flexography at significant widths, and very complex by means of flexography at significant widths. On the other hand, offset allows working with any substrate width.

They are Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) free and do not produce other pollutant emissions, and do not generate residues or energy waste in their production.

EB inks for offset are more affordable than UV inks. They run cold, so they produce less waste. They can be used with very thin films (9 microns), lower quality papers and cardboard. They provide instant curing with stable properties over time, even on laminated adhesives.

The benefits of EB curing 

We have already seen the many features offered by Electron Beam curing. At Rotatek we are experts in developing the most competitive offset printing machines, which, combined with EB technology, brings great advantages over other systems:

  • No solvents needed. 
  • Provides a clean and safe working environment. 
  • The ink does not dry in the inkwell. 
  • There is no need for daily cleaning of the machines. 
  • Works without photoinitiators, which avoids many regulatory constraints related to food packaging printing. 
  • There is no thermal transfer on the printing materials. 
  • Requires extremely low energy consumption. 
  • It is a mature technology (more than forty years of experience). 
  • There is a wide variety of manufacturers of EB inks. 

Should you want to learn more about offset printing and EB curing, we invite you to contact us.