Ultraviolet coating or UV coating is an effective technique to make any printed material stand out from the rest. The methodology involves the application of a liquid coating on the surface of the material to make it more glossy and shiny. The use of ultraviolet coating is common for business cards, hand-out sheets, catalogues, menu cards, and postcards.  

The application of the coating is done using UV coating machines. A UV-curable liquid coating is dispensed by these machines onto the material surface, followed by its exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The coating gets polymerised and hardened by the radiation and forms a glossy, protective layer. The process is super fast because UV radiation leads to immediate curing. Also, very few volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are formed in this process, and hence, it is considered to be environmentally friendly.  

Understanding the Process 

There are several stages in the process of UV coating as summarised below.  

  • Initially, the surface of the material is thoroughly cleaned to get rid of all impurities and dust particles. This is important to ensure proper adherence of UV coating to the material surface.  
  • The next step is the application of the UV-curable liquid coating to the surface. Depending on the material’s specific requirements, coatings can be applied by rolling, spraying, or curtain-coating.  
  • After the coating application, the material surface is exposed to UV radiation. A chemical reaction gets triggered in the layer by the UV light, resulting in almost instant hardening.  
  • After curing, the surface is inspected thoroughly to check for even application without any defects.  

 Types of UV Coating Machines 

UV coating machines can be broadly classified into two categories. 

In manual machines, an operator is required to feed the print material, application of the coating, and remove the finished material. These machines are cost-efficient, and ideally suited for small-scale operations. 

On the other hand, automated machines require minimum manual intervention because these machines have automated features for the feeding, coating, and ejection of materials. Automated UV coating machines are significantly more expensive compared to manual machines, and are suitable for high-speed and high-volume production.      

Benefits of UV Coating 

The colour of printed materials gets amplified significantly by the application of the ultraviolet coating, increasing their visual appeal and vibrancy.  

  • UV-coating is extremely useful for frequently handled materials because of their resilience to wear and tear. It also increases the lifespan of the printed materials by protecting them against dust, moisture, and scratches.  
  • The overall aesthetic appeal of printed materials is enhanced by the glossy finish created by UV coating. This finish is particularly useful for promotional materials.  
  • UV coating requires almost no drying time on exposure to UV light.  As a result, the production time gets reduced drastically and print projects can enjoy faster turnaround times. 
  • Finally, compared to traditional print finishes, UV coating produces fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). This is a key advantage for businesses that are serious about minimising the environmental impact of their business activities.  

At RENZ Australia, we have an impressive range of UV coaters that can be the perfect fit for your diverse requirements. Please contact us today to find out more.