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Protective Emulsion Coating

As sheets of paper go through the printing press it lays down a very thin film of wet ink on the surface of the sheets. When the sheets have just been printed you can actually rub the ink off the surface of the paper, so we must leave them to dry for a certain amount of time before we can process the sheets any further.

If we didn't allow the sheets time to dry, depending on the exact finishing process and ink coverage, we would end up with scuff marks all over the sheets and in a really bad case they may even stick together, ruining the entire job.

To overcome this problem all our printing presses have coating units and we apply a protective emulsion coating to all gloss and matt art papers. Once all the ink colours have been printed the sheets are coated with a very thin film of emulsion coating, a special varnish which is around 50% water. The sheets then pass through an infra-red drying system which heats the sheets and evaporates all the water out of the coating.

What's left is a protective varnish that covers and protects the wet ink, allowing us to process the sheets in a very short space of time without waiting for the ink to dry.

Some other benefits of emulsion coatings are:

  • Colours appear brighter and more vibrant;
  • Print looks punchier/sharper;
  • It prevents smudging and finger marking;
  • The ink won't rub off under normal use;

ISO Colour Standard
Protective Emulsion Coating
Staccato Screening
Spot Colours Ltd, Roe Street, Congleton, Cheshire CW12 1PS • Registered in England & Wales • Reg No 2924550
Tel: +44 (0)1260 292300 • Fax: +44 (0)1260 292300 • Email:
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