"UV-cured matts aren’t matts when they body up in the duct like custard and need copious amounts of solvent in them to keep them running. We just don’t have the press time to be nursing these sorts of products along," says Taylor.
APS is familiar with such sentiments in the industry, and says that this reason is behind its decision to develop a low viscosity 100 per cent solids UV cure flexo matt varnish that would have the same press stability and performance characteristics as a traditional UV cure Gloss Varnish.
Peter Mousouleas, APS technical manager, says "most UV flexo matts on the market today are just gloss varnish with matting agents in them and solvents to bring the viscosity down. Once the solvent evaporates or flashes off they thicken up, become unmanageable on the press and are a printers nightmare.
"Our new low viscosity 100 per cent solids UV cure flexo matt varnish is revolutionary in the fact that it is totally 100 per cent solvent free and low viscosity, which makes it perfect for the narrow web label printer with a flexo coating unit. The varnish has a gloss level (or a mattness) of around 15 –20 at 60 degrees. It has good holdout on porous stock and excellent scuff resistance but it is not foilable or glueable."
Michael Agnew and Anthony Laruffa, Ever-Redi Press printers, run the flagship Gallus TCS250 press, where the demand for matt finishes on wine labels has grown exponentially over the last few years.
"The beauty of the APS low viscosity 100 per cent solids UV cure flexo matt varnish is that I can run the product all day and it is as fresh at the end of the shift as if it were straight out of the can," says Agnew.
"We have no waste problems anymore, having to throw out varnish that has turned to custard and a 100 per cent consistency on our print quality."
Laruffa says, "The thing that I am most impressed with the new low viscosity 100 per cent solids UV cure flexo matt varnish is the smoothness of the finish it gives. It’s not grainy like most matts on the market."