Also called temperature inks, this technology can be cold- or heat-activated. For cold applications, colors change from virtually clear to the target color at temperatures lower than 18C° / 64F° and below freezing. In contrast, warm or hot applications will see the color change to nearly clear at temperatures greater than 29°C up to 65°C / 149°F.
CTI’s exclusive reveal thermochromic ink systems combine two cold-activated inks to make images and text magically appear and persistent even after the product has warmed to room temperature.
Here are available commercial printing formats and available colors:
These sunlight-activated inks go from almost clear to the target color when exposed to sunlight or UV light containing 365-nanometer wavelengths. While turning on almost immediately, they take several minutes to return to their original state, depending on the color.
Available formats and colors are below:
Sunlight "Burnout" Irreversible Inks
Similar to photochromic ink, this technology activates under sunlight or UV light. After a given time, the ink changes from green to a pinkish brown. One application: a swim diaper printed with the sunlight burnout ink changes color to show that the child has been in the sun for a certain time and should parents should take a shade break or re-apply sunscreen.
Another first from CTI, this solvent-ink Flexo/Gravure technology changes color when exposed to water or moisture. Careful manufacturing practices are required so that the color doesn’t change from exposure to ambient humidity.
Security & Anti-Tampering Ink
CTI offers various inks designed to protect companies' intellectual property. Such inks include touch-activated thermochromic ink and fluorescing ink.
High-Pressure Processing (HPP) Ink
CTI invented HPP Indicator technology, delivered through commercial printing inks, to show visually that a food package has been HPPed. Before processing, the ink looks clear or barely visible. After HPP, the ink changes color to bold, beautiful blue, or aqua. Color persists until a package warms to high temperatures.
Color-changing technology can be added to typical masterbatch plastic colorant resins for thermochromic cold- and heat-activated colors, photochromic colors, and glow-in-the-dark.
Used for special effects for secondary packaging, point-of-sale displays, and Halloween, glow-in-the-dark ink uses natural phosphorescence. When an end-consumer exposes printed materials to sunlight or fluorescent lights for a few minutes, the prints glow in the dark. Glow strength and duration depends on the time and light intensity of charging. CTI stocks large amounts of raw materials to service the largest CPG brands.
BlindSpotz™ Freeze, Thaw and Warming Alerts
In a series of technological breakthroughs, CTI has created a line of solutions for the pharmaceutical, medical, industrial, and food sectors. Examples include freeze alerts that change from almost clear to color for vaccines that must be stored without freezing and thaw alerts for foods that must remain frozen until use, like bread and meats.