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Green environmental protection has been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. Printing technology and materials have entered a green era.

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core tip: as the awareness of green environmental protection is more and more rooted in the hearts of the people, the concept of green printing is also concretized, detailed and practical. Both printing technology and printing equipment reflect the development pace of green printing

[China Packaging News] as the awareness of green environmental protection has become more and more popular, the concept of green printing has also become specific, detailed and practical. Both printing technology and printing equipment reflect the development pace of green printing

green printing technology

the progress of the times and the development of technology have made printing methods present a diversified development trend, and more integrated into the characteristics of green environmental protection

1. Inkjet printing

inkjet printing is a non-contact printing reproduction technology with substrate, which has three characteristics: pressure free, contact free and plate free. The main working principle is that the computer directly imports the processed graphic information into the inkjet printing equipment, adjusts the size of the ink drop by controlling the pressure of the ink pump, and adjusts the position of the ink drop by controlling the voltage of the ink pump to deflect the charged ink drop in the electric field. The ink drop beam formed in this way is sprayed onto the surface of the substrate to complete the transfer of information. The plate free printing method of inkjet printing not only saves the plate making process, but also uses water-based, UV and edible green inks, which highlights the green and environmental protection of printing, and can also complete a small amount of printing of variable information

2. Flexographic printing

flexographic printing belongs to traditional printing, but compared with other traditional printing methods, it has better green environmental protection and development prospects. At present, flexographic printing technology has been applied in the fields of corrugated box printing, milk and beverage carton packaging printing, cigarette bag printing, label printing, books and textbooks printing, personal care products and children's products printing, among which flexographic labels can represent its highest technical level. The printing characteristics of flexographic printing are mainly manifested in the use of water-based or UV ink, strong printability, high flexibility, strong post-processing ability, strong equipment combination, simple structure and convenient maintenance. Although the total market volume of flexographic printing is still relatively small and the production cost is relatively high, as people pay more and more attention to green printing, it will become a rapidly developing area. Flexographic printing has good green environmental protection and development prospects

3 Waterless offset printing

waterless offset printing is a kind of offset printing technology, and its main feature is that it does not need fountain solution. In order to ensure that the printing plate can be better wetted and reduce the surface tension of water, isopropanol (IPA) is generally added to the fountain solution used in traditional offset printing, which itself belongs to toxic and harmful substances. Anhydrous offset printing requires relatively few chemicals in the process of plate making, and the use of chemical free thermal printing plates, its plate making process is relatively more environmentally friendly, and the cleaner is more environmentally friendly, which will become a new trend in the development of offset printing in the future

4. Digital printing

digital printing is a new modern printing technology that is more integrated into the new Internet technology, which can realize short version printing, on-demand printing, personalized printing and remote printing. Based on the digital printing management process, it has no waste gas and wastewater pollution, green environmental protection and low noise. However, in terms of the current printing situation, due to the high cost of digital printing, consumers' current awareness of it is low. Therefore, the market rotating shaft torque durability tester is an instrument for testing the mechanical properties such as rotating shaft life, torque, compression resistance, bending resistance, etc. used in products. The total demand is low

greening of printing materials

in addition to the green development pace of printing technology, the selection and treatment of printing materials can also achieve the purposes of reducing pollution, saving resources and energy, and promoting natural degradation to a certain extent. At present, printing materials are mainly reflected in three aspects, namely, the ink used in printing, the substrate and the printing plate

1. Green ink

volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals in ink are the main substances that cause environmental pollution and harm to human body, and are also the main inspection indicators of green printing. VOCs are mainly produced by the solvent added to dissolve the oily resin in the binder, which generally accounts for 30% - 50% of the ink. Heavy metals mainly come from filler ingredients, which are designed to increase the fluidity of ink. In addition, the drying process of ink will be accompanied by the volatilization of heavy metal compounds

water based ink is recognized as the most environmentally friendly ink at present. It is made of organic pigments, water-soluble resins, solvents and related additives through compound grinding. Compared with traditional inks, it uses water instead of organic solvents, which greatly reduces VOCs emissions. UV ink, the full name of UV curing ink, the monomer polymer in its binder polymerizes under the irradiation of UV light, which can make the ink film-forming and drying. Compared with traditional ink, there is no volatilization of metal compounds in the drying process. Edible ink, whose components are edible materials, is a new type of green ink. However, due to the influence of rheological properties, it is currently only suitable for silk printing and inkjet printing

at present, due to the limitations of cost, technology, equipment and other factors, the use of green ink is low, but it shows a gradual growth trend. It is believed that more new green inks will be widely used in the future

2. Greening of printing materials

and packaging. Printing materials include paper, film, plastic, aluminum foil metal, glass products, etc. the principle of selection is to try to choose some degradable, renewable and recyclable printing materials. Green substrates are mainly divided into two categories. One is made of natural plant fibers, which can be degraded after being discarded, and has no pollution and harm to the environment; The other is synthetic degradable materials, which have little environmental pollution and can be recycled. In addition, when making some non degradable product packaging, we can consider using paper to print and then adhere to the product, and achieve the purpose of green environmental protection by replacing the packaging paper for recycling

3. Greening of printing plates

when making traditional printing plates, heavy metals and organic substances will be discharged during the development and fixing process. At present, the most widely used environmental protection plate is the CTP plate without treatment, also known as the third generation thermal plate technology. After exposure, the plate can be directly printed on the machine without any washing and processing steps, realizing no waste liquid discharge in the plate making process. Since 2010, in the context of catering to digital printing and green printing, domestic CTP has entered a stage of rapid development, while PS plates have shown a negative growth trend. At present, the growth rate of CTP has decreased, but it still maintains a steady development trend

nowadays, the concept of green printing has gradually entered people's lives. Although certain achievements have been made, the proportion of products is still very small, mainly for the following reasons. ① At present, green printing is still in its infancy, and the market demand is insufficient; ② Many printing enterprises have been in the traditional printing industry, and the equipment, environment and technology can not meet the requirements of green printing. The transformation to green printing requires a certain process; ③ Because the price of green printing products is generally higher than that of ordinary printing products, so that their market share is insufficient. Consumers only see the difference between the surface price and fail to be deeply aware of the discovery of ammonia smell or other fault precursors. Green products not only protect the environment, but also protect our own health. To solve various problems in the development of green printing, first of all, social publicity is needed. Both printing workers and consumers can put green ideas into their hearts and are willing to pay for green printing products. Secondly, the development of green printing needs the support of the state, such as strengthening the supervision of the industry, subsidies and preferences for new technologies, new equipment and new products, and so on. It is believed that with the joint help and support of the state, enterprises and consumers, green printing will be able to firmly develop and go further on the road of future development

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