Choosing Between UV-LED and Water-Based Inkjet Ink for
Digital Print

UV-LED and water-based are high quality inkjet inks leading in the digital print industry because they produce fast, efficient and affordable results. Compatible with a wide variety of applications, both options can enhance print production capabilities. Understanding the distinct differences and benefits that each ink provides can help you identify which inkjet technology could best fit your business and market needs. The information below discusses what each ink type is and some of the main differences between them.

UV-LED Inkjet Ink

UV inkjet ink is liquid until exposed to ultraviolet LED light soon after the ink touches the substrate. This process almost instantly cures the ink and creates a durable film on top of the substrate. The ink is not absorbed into the substrate, but rather cured on top of the material. The UV-LED lamps provide a deep penetrating light source that enables a better adhesion to thicker substrates. This often results in UV ink producing vibrant, durable color on the final printed product, making it ideal for applications with long shelf-lives.

UV-LED and Water-Based
Pros
  • Scratch, scuff and rub resistant
  • Ability to print on flexible and more rigid substrates
  • Can be used in outdoor and industrial settings
  • Sharp contrast and color consistency
  • Water, chemical and solvent resistant
Cons
  • Not compatible with highly absorbent substrates
  • Ink regulatory and safety compliance standards need to be considered
  • Capital investment can be high at the beginning
Water-Based Inkjet Ink
UV-LED and Water-Based

Water-based inkjet ink is made with water rather than other components like plastic, PVC or others. Water-based ink uses water as the medium to carry the pigment (color) into the substrate. Contrary to UV-LED, water-based ink requires longer drying time during the production process. This inkjet ink technology is a good match for primary and secondary packaging applications, including food packaging production due to the lower chemical risks associated with water-based inkjet inks.

Pros
  • Broad application compatibility
  • Environmentally friendly
  • High possibility to meet different safety regulations
  • Require low maintenance while running on press
Cons
  • Not as compatible with long-term outdoor applications, best for use indoors
  • Application on certain substrates may be difficult due to water component
  • Longer drying proces
Choosing Which Ink is Best For You

There are several factors to consider when choosing an inkjet ink for your digital printing needs. This includes application, substrate, press technology and more. Colordyne has extensive knowledge about inkjet printing technologies and we offer a variety of digital print engines using water-based or UV-LED ink to produce applications in a wide range of markets. Working closely with our strategic integration partners (SIPs), we help them identify the right technology for their products and markets.

Contact our team today to discuss what inkjet ink solution would be the best fit for you!