Cobalt-free ink formulations

Globally the demand for ecologically optimised products is growing. Brand owners are responding with increased efforts to optimise their print products and packaging with more sustainable solutions.

Eco-labels from governmental and non-governmental organisations are now placed on print products in order to document goods that protect the environment. Some eco-labels contain a waiver for the use of certain substances in the production process. Cobalt compounds, which act as a catalyst to encourage oxidative drying of printing inks, are generally regarded critically in this sector. Because of this, ink manufacturer hubergroup was among the first to develop a cobalt-free siccative system for drying sheetfed inks via oxidation.

These cobalt-free inks are being supplied as an alternative and have not changed the characteristics, colour distances or printability. The new siccative system has even improved the drying performance due to a smaller increase in pile-temperature during the oxidative drying phase. This shows clear improvement with regard to drying kinetics. Rub and carboning properties have also therefore benefitted.

This system, having been used for more than three years with every function proving to be a success, has enabled the parallel production of both siccative systems to be discontinued. Therefore, all sheetfed offset printing inks from hubergroup will now be available in a cobalt-free formulation only. The company is thus fulfilling its corporate responsibility as a printing-ink manufacturer by strengthening the development of sustainable print products.