DuPontTM Tyvek® Tyvek® is a very good printing substrate that can be printed in much the same way as paper printing using standard commercial printing equipment. However, due to its own unique physical characteristics, and some models do not have corona or antistatic treatment, it is necessary to take some special measures to obtain the best printing effect.
Flexo printing is the recommended printing technique for the Tyvek® “Type 10” model. For best printing results, use the glossy side of the sheet. Although the difference between the rough surface ("texture") and the smooth surface is subtle, it can usually be felt.
In certain application areas, screen printing has been successfully used for Tyvek®, especially for short print jobs with large-format printing or simple patterns. In view of the high possibility of static electricity generation and/or deinking, paper slides may sometimes be required. When printing on corona-treated Tyvek® product models, special formulated inks must be used to cope with the low surface tension encountered. Paint inks are preferred because they produce the lowest degree of deformation. Water-based inks work well because they minimize distortion, even at heavy ink film thickness. The application of UV-curable screen inks has also been successful. Wire mesh “poster inks” and enamels contain a high percentage of mineral spirits and should be avoided. Tyvek® is a high density polyethylene (HDPE) with a melting point of 275°F (135°C). When using a chain open hearth rather than drying at room temperature, the sheet temperature should be kept below 175°F (79°C). When UV-cured screen inks are used, cooling is required to prevent deformation or shrinkage of the printed sheets.
Gravure printing is a high-quality printing technology that uses an expensive sculpted metal roller that can be used for long, multi-color print jobs. Gravure printing uses ink formulations that are basically the same as flexographic printing; however, before using this printing technology with Tyvek®, we recommend careful testing.
Relief printing is a technique used for short-run printing, usually involving monochrome printing, relatively small layout sizes, and simple graphics and line art. Since static electricity is not generated on statically processed Tyvek® product models, multi-pass printing should be avoided (for example, monochrome printing should not be used for multi-color printing). As with screen printing, paper slides are sometimes needed, especially when printing on adhesive-coated Tyvek®. To minimize the tendency of Tyvek® to curl or wrinkle, use the smallest ink film thickness possible. The target thickness is 0.0076 mm. Because of the high compressibility of Tyvek®, more plate linings are required than papers of the same thickness. In order to obtain a suitable ink repellent effect, printing deep and sharp embossed patterns should be avoided. Relief printing inks used on Tyvek® are similar to offset/lithographic inks and are usually formulated using rosin esters and long-oleic acid alcohol resins. These inks can be diluted with a dry oil, such as tung oil or linseed oil. High-boiling "quick-dry" petroleum solvents and aliphatic hydrocarbon resins should not be used. They may cause deformation and swelling of printed sheets. "Dry Pigment Grinding Powder" should be used to avoid the presence of residual solvents in the squeezing process.
Inkjet printing is mainly used for large batch marking in the aseptic packaging industrial forming-filling-sealing process. Tests conducted by DuPont have shown that UV and Latex inkjet printing are recommended for best results in inkjet printing processes. For aqueous and solvent ink inkjet printing, Tyvek® with pre-coating is recommended.
Laser printing is not recommended for Tyvek® due to the high temperatures used at the fixing station on the press. The untreated Tyvek® product model is very easy to get stuck in the fuser, and the high temperatures here will melt it.
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