UV coating also known as ultraviolet coating, is typically a very glossy, shiny liquid coating applied to a printed paper surface and cured on a printing press or special machine using ultraviolet light. The coating hardens, or cures when it is exposed to the ultra violet radiation. Some specialized coatings are dull or matte per customer need or request.
UV coating makes your printed piece eye catching and gives a POP or WOW factor. UV products are perfect for: postcards, hand-out sheets, presentation folders, business cards and catalogs, or any product that can benefit from a dramatic look. Our high-gloss flood UV coating can even be applied to synthetic paper or film.
Ultraviolet coating has several advantages over other coating methods such as aqueous coating or varnish. They include:
Very high refraction finish
- When we say refraction we are measuring the amount of reflection of light that comes off the coating; UV coatings have a very high gloss refraction value. When UV is used on deep, rich colors, like blues and rich blacks, the result is an almost wet appearance. This can be highly effective with image-rich projects, like product catalogs or photography brochures. The stunning shine it creates is why it is so popular for certain designs and products.
Superior abrasion resistance
- If your printed piece is going to be handed a good amount or travel through the mail; the combination of a visually appealing piece and durability makes UV coating a great effect for postcards, brochures or business cards. The UV coating allows the mailed piece to resist smudging and marking and allows it to maintain a professional, high quality appearance due to an extremely hard finish, one known for being both chemical and abrasion resistant. Water based coatings do not have the same resistance and are inferior for this reason.
- UV coatings make details pop and stand out and are perfect for photographic images and company logos. Raised UV coatings can also have clarity and work well for logos!
- UV coatings are free of solvents and do not emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs when cured.
- Paper with UV coatings can be recycled with all of your other paper.
- No intense solvents like you used to deal with when solvent based products were more popular
Instantaneous drying with UV light exposure
- By drying so quickly, the use of UV coating helps reduce production time, enabling earlier shipping and delivery times. There is no smearing or smudging with these products as well.
Cons: When is UV Coating Not Ideal?
While UV coating works great for a wide variety of printed pieces, there are several instances where UV coating is not a good fit; here are a few:
- When using Metallic Inks; glossy coatings kill the refraction of the metallic and will mask it
- On text weight paper under 100#
- Anything that needs to be written on
- The addressed portion of a mailing piece