top of page
  • Writer's pictureBarry McCann

High-Speed Flexo / Gravure Solvent Specialty Inks

Thermochromic, Photochromic and Glow-in-the-Dark have arrived


In 1909, Henry Ford told his management team "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." Similarly, for years Thermochromic, Photochromic and Glow-in-the-Dark have only been available in UV and Water-Based Flexo formats, which aren’t ideal for long runs on wide Flexo and Gravure presses, particularly for mass consumer goods production.

For that, the best ink format, hands-down: solvent.

Because solvents like acetates and alcohols comprise most of the formula, these inks print smoothly, cure quickly and produce excellent color. They also allow for strong bonds in laminated structures and make regulatory compliance easier, without other raw materials that might not be acceptable, such as mineral oils.

After years of research and development, CTI has introduced a full line of solvent-based inks for large Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands. Here are details:

Types of Solvent Specialty Inks

Glow-In-The-Dark Solvent Specialty Ink

Glow-in-the-Dark: The first to be launched and widely used for Halloween Candy, snack foods and other CPG campaigns, this printed ink glows green after being exposed to blacklight or UVA light. The longer and stronger the exposure, the brighter and longer-lasting glow. Design tips: Use large 100% areas for Glow-in-The-Dark ink and place this ink against a white background for best contrast and glow reflectance (although there are excellent examples against metallized foil, but these require heavy coat weights).

Photochromic Solvent Ink

Photochromic: Next up, Photochromic inks change from very slight residual color to brilliant rich color when exposed to sunlight or UVA light (specifically 365 nanometers). When taken out of sunlight, they gradually return to their unactivated state in a few minutes, depending on the color. Design tips: Again, use photochromic inks in large areas at 100% line screen values, and place against white substrates or a white backing ink. Because photochromic inks are translucent, avoid trapping with standard inks, or you may discover some strange color combinations.

Thermochromic Solvent Ink

Thermochromic: The most recent innovation launch, Thermochromic inks were once thought to be impossible in solvent ink, due to their sensitivity to solvents, short pot life and thus large waste during commercial print runs. CTI invented an industry-first technique to reduce this sensitivity, allowing months of stability in unopened containers and weeks even in opened containers. Combined with amazingly smooth laydown and excellent mileage, this ink has already won accolades from major converters.

Other technologies under development for solvent format include Fluorescing Security, High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) and Freeze/Heat Tamper.

For a limited time, CTI will support large format printers and converters wanting to test and certify solvent specialty inks. Contact us today to see if your company qualifies for free ink and tech support.

Ask the experts at Chromatic Technologies

At CTI, we’ve helped thousands of companies across 55 countries with unique applications of thermochromic, photochromic, glow-in-the-dark and security inks. We don’t just sell technology delivered through commercial inks – we offer expertise with problem-solving, concept development, technology solutions, qualification and production.

Contact our team today to talk about how we can help you and your customers.

355 views0 comments


bottom of page