Printing inks called offset inks are used in the offset printing process. Offset printing is a well-liked commercial printing technique in which an image is transferred from a printing plate to a rubber blanket and subsequently onto the printing medium, usually paper. Offset inks have a number of features that make them ideal for high-quality, mass-printing tasks. They are created expressly for this printing method. Offset inks’ main characteristics and attributes are listed below:
- Oil-Based Inks: Although certain offset inks are water-based and UV-curable, offset inks are typically oil-based. These inks’ oil-based makeup allows for enhanced ink adherence and transfer to the printing plate and blanket.
- Offset inks have a defined range of viscosity to guarantee even and smooth ink flow throughout the printing process. The proper viscosity prevents problems like excessive or splattering ink buildup.
- Offset inks oxidize during the drying process, where oxygen in the air combines with the ink’s oil component to form a solid layer. The inks can be worked with on the printing plate for a reasonable amount of time before they dry on the paper, and the drying time can be adjusted.
- Offset inks are available in various colors, including Pantone spot colors for accurate color matching and the traditional process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) used for full-color printing.
- High Opacity: Offset inks have a high opacity, which enables them to conceal the underlying surface completely—even on dark or colorful papers—resulting in vivid and reliable print results.
- Offset inks are made to correctly replicate fine dots and minute details, resulting in final prints with high-quality graphics and text.
- Offset inks are designed to work with a variety of printing plates, including polyester plates for some digital offset processes and aluminum plates for conventional offset printing.
- Environmental considerations: In recent years, there has been an increase in interest in creating offset inks that are less harmful to the environment and contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) so as to lessen their effect on air quality.