Offset printing or web offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (called “fountain solution”), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. The modern “web” process feeds a large reel of paper through a large press machine in several parts, typically for several meters, which then prints continuously as the paper is fed through.
Ultra-violet cured coatings can be applied over ink printed on paper and dried by exposure to UV radiation. UV coatings can be formulated up to 100% solids so that they have no volatile component that contributes to pollution. This high solids level also allows for the coating to be applied in very thin films. UV coatings can be formulated to a wide variety of gloss ranges. UV coating can be applied via most conventional industrial coating applications as well as by silkscreen.