For dedicated UV/EB printing, special EPDM, ethylene propylene diene Monomer (M-class), rubber compounds are used by Icetech. These compounds are used to avoid the problems of swelling, shrinking and stickiness that can often arise when conventional rubber compounds are used in presses that rely on ultra-violet or electron beam for ink curing. Icetech EPDM compounds are offered in a range of hardnesses to meet the requirements of different positions in the roller train.
UV inks are formulated from raw materials that differ in part from those used in conventional inks and can seriously damage the compounds used on conventional ink rollers. Conversely, rollers designed for use with UV/EB cured inks can be damaged irreversibly by even a single exposure to conventional inks or their wash-up compounds.
EPDM as a material has proven to be usable with UV inks, coatings and varnishes. However, EPDM cannot be used with conventional inks, because it does not tolerate exposure to conventional ink raw materials such as, toluene, hexane, aromatics and hydrocarbon oils. On the other hand it has excellent resistance to the monomers, oligomers and UV photo initiators used in UV & EB inks. EPDM, as a compound is very hard and it has been a challenge to produce rollers with the Shore hardness range of common NBR rollers. However, plasticizers have been successfully introduced into roller compounds making these high performance products available.