When it comes to paper coatings, there are several options to choose from depending on the intended application. This range of options makes it possible to tailor every formulation to meet the unique specifications of each project. For over 70 years, Polytex Environmental Inks has been providing customers around the globe with customized, environmentally safe coating solutions.
Types of Print Coatings
There are four main types of print coating, each with its own unique properties.
Available in gloss, matte, or satin finishes, varnish is a clear ink that can add both protection and sheen to the page. A flood varnish coats the entire page, while a spot varnish only coats certain parts. This makes it possible to highlight certain areas on the page, such as a logo.
This water-based coating offers the advantage of drying very rapidly. It is available in both gloss and matte finishes, and it assists in preventing the accumulation of fingerprints and dirt marks. Manufacturers often apply an aqueous coating to the entire surface, rather than using it for individual spots on the page.
Offering the highest levels of rub-resistance and gloss, UV coating is the most popular small shop option. It begins as a clear liquid before it is exposed to ultraviolet light. This light instantly cures, or dries, the coating. UV coating is available as both a flood and spot coating.
There are two types of laminate coating: water-based and film-based. Each offers a strong finish with a variety of tint and texture options. Water-based lamination is the more affordable option of the two, while film-based laminate offers a slightly wider range of features.
Each type of paper coating offers its own unique properties and benefits. Understanding these benefits is helpful in choosing the best coating option for your project.
The most significant advantage of varnish is the fact that it is applied on a press. This enables the manufacturer to easily spot coat or flood the page. Varnish also tends to be one of the most affordable coating options.
Aqueous coating keeps surfaces looking clean, as it deters fingerprints and dirt. It is highly durable, providing a significant amount of scuff resistance even on objects that people handle frequently, such as business cards. This type of coating also has a significant aesthetic appeal, and it is environmentally friendly due to its water base.
UV coating offers the highest gloss finish. It is also resistant to chemicals and abrasion. UV coating is available in a range of standard and specialty finishes, including satin, matte, pearlescent, and orange peel.
Laminate is particularly beneficial as it provides water-resistant properties. It is also washable, making it easier to maintain clean surfaces. This type of laminate is resistant to scratching and does not turn yellow or flake over time. Both water-based and film-based laminate coatings are available in a range of finishes, tints, and textures.
Each coating is well suited to its own range of applications. The following are just a few common applications for each coating option.
In addition to its applications in the print industry, varnish is often used as a protective coating for:
- Wooden surfaces
- Decorative objects
- Wooden floors
- Wooden trim and paneling
Its durability and ability to deter unwanted marks make aqueous coating one of the best choices for applications requiring high levels of protection. People often opt for this coating on materials that experience a high level of handling, such as direct mail. Many magazines also utilize aqueous coating.
Additionally, aqueous coating is an excellent choice for surfaces with unique inks that require protection. Significant amounts of black ink, for example, tend to show fingerprints. Aqueous coatings can help prevent this as well as prevent metallic inks from tarnishing.
Often the coating of choice for small shop applications, UV coating is ideal for applications requiring intense levels of shine and gloss. It offers the highest levels of rub resistance out of all the coating options. However, it is not well suited for surfaces that people need to write on, as it does not allow for additional imprinting. As such, people often choose to utilize UV coating only on the front side of items such as business cards and postcards.
Laminate coating is highly versatile. It is ideal for use in flexible packaging applications as well as any application requiring a certain amount of water resistance. It is also a good option for weightier items that require high levels of protection, such as brochures, tickets, and cardstock.
Paper Coatings from Polytex
Choosing the optimal coating can improve the durability and appearance of various products. Since 1943, Polytex has been an industry leader in the supply of environmentally friendly coating solutions. Thanks to our manufacturing locations in both the United States and the Netherlands, we can supply products and provide technical support throughout China, Japan, the US, and Europe.
To provide the highest quality options, we custom-engineer our coating formulations to ensure they perfectly suit the specifications of every project. By focusing on water-based rather than solvent-based solutions, we reduce the prevalence of hazardous substances that are harmful to the environment. We prioritize creating products with low to no VOC content and are dedicated to low waste production throughout every stage of the manufacturing process. To learn more about paper coating solutions from Polytex, contact us or request your quote today.