Security Inks Industry Research: Types & Applications
With the advent of technology and innovation, the world has grown advance and secure in several ways. Security inks are considered as one of the finest options to protect printed materials in diverse appearances.
Since the last few decades, the market for security printing has experienced significant changes comprising technological intricacy. Hence, the various versions of security inks have matured in features which are different as compared to conventional printing inks. Presently, one of the most widely used inks is invisible ultraviolet; it gets revealed when the print is focused on a black lamp or any sort of UV light source.
Security Ink Applications
What makes security inks so important? The utility and application of security inks are fixated to fields where secrecy is the prime motto of an individual, company or government. Usually, security inks are devoted exclusively towards security applications such as creating banknotes, postage stamps, official identity documents (identity cards, birth certificates, passports etc.), security labels, tax banderoles and product markings. It is essential to know that with the growth of the financial system across different nations, the security ink industry is flourishing at a significant rate.
Inks and Printing Processes
What is an ideal security ink? As per expert knowledge and analysis, an ideal ink is the one that can transfer, print and dry smoothly in different operational environments. However, considering the real aspect, the structure of each security ink can vary provisional to a number of printing factors. Some of these factors such as rheology, pigment size, drying chemistry and viscosity are framed to match the industrial printing performance of diverse printing processes and machine types along with a combination of substrate variations. At present, the different printing processes used for the production of banknotes as well as security documents are silkscreen, intaglio, offset, gravure, flexography, letterpress as well as inkjet printing.
Types Security Inks
Security ink variety indeed matters depending on the application involved. Let us check out some of the most preferred security ink types which are needed for high-end preservation purposes.
Invisible ink is the most widely used ink which is also called as ‘invisible ultra violet’. UV light is the only source which makes the ink glow. Invisible ink is primarily used for cheque printing and document protection. The most advantageous aspect about this ink type is that it is cheap and can be accessed in a wider colour range.
The chief application of magnetic ink is stressed towards serialization and numbering purposes. This variety of security ink contains small magnetic flakes which permit a particular number to be machine read. Magnetic ink further finds its application in cheque printing; you can easily spot the ink printing on the MICR numbering present at the bottom of a cheque.
Biometric ink is a special type of security ink which consists of DNA taggants that can easily react to a solvent or can be machine read. Hence, this enables the verification of a genuine product and every individual batch of printed documents can comprise of different biometric properties.
Thermochromic inks are known to be temperature sensitive. In simple terms, this ink would appear or disappear at varying temperature markers. For example, if you apply a finger or thumb to a 15 °C dark blue printed spot (thermo), the ink would disappear and as soon as you remove your impression the ink would re-appear. Thermochromic inks are available in varied temperature sensitivities; the common temperatures distinctions include 15°C, 31°C and 45°C.
Optically variable ink
Optically Variable Ink or OVI consists of minute shavings of metallic film. With a change in the viewing angle, the colour transforms from one to another. Therefore, it needs to be printed with a comparatively heavy weight to attain excellent results. This ink variety is preferred in currency printing and visa documentation. Further, the most common colour changes comprise a switch from brown to green and red to purple. Optically Variable Ink is quite expensive and that is why its application is restricted.
The above-mentioned security ink categories are all distinctive based on their composition as well as usage. Some other varieties such as Solvent Sensitive Ink (reactive), Fugitive Ink (water based) and Secondary Fluorescing Ink are also available in the market holding special characteristics.
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