Silicone inks for environmentally friendly textile printing

Setting new quality and environmental standards with silicone printing

Silicones are an environmentally friendly high-performance option for textile printing inks. Elkem Silicones TCS Screen Printable Silicone System is engineered to provide the viscosity, rheology, and work life required to print efficiently in existing textile printing operations. In recent years, textile manufacturers have limited the use of PVC resins and eliminated plasticizer-based systems in their inks for environmental reasons and because they may be uncomfortable for skin contact. Our Textile Coating Silicones are particularly well suited to replace these products because they offer formulators, inks that are esthetically pleasing, safe for skin contact and environmentally friendly. Additionally, an increase in screen printing on performance wear and for specialty applications has driven printers and ink suppliers to find a higher performance printing ink.

Why choose Silicones for textiles printing inks?

  • Excellent durability, wash resistance and heat resistance
  • Environmentally friendly: no PVC, no phthalates, no tin
  • High elongation, prevents spider cracking
  • Excellent adhesion onto textiles including: polyester, cotton, nylon, and blends
  • Low curing temperatures prevent dye migration
  • Excellent hand feel & multiple printing effects
  • User-friendly, very easy to process

The main components of our silicone-based ink system are base and catalyst. Elkem has developed a dynamic offering which includes several bases, all compatible with the TCS Catalyst, as well as several specialty additives. The silicone system provides formulators and printers with a toolbox to develop a print effect that meets their specific requirements.

 

Appearance

Elongation

Durometer

Characteristic

TCS 7664 BASE

Translucent

>400%

30 shA

Thixotropic high stretch for printing on performance fabric. Prints through range of mesh sizes

TCS 7612 BASE

Translucent

<350%

24 shA

Low viscosity base for modifying viscosity of ink or for printing via high mesh count screens

TCS 7671 WHT BASE

White

<340%

28 shA

Good color blocking coverage on a range of fabrics

TCS 7600 CATA

Translucent

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Catalyst used to activate bases

 

Elkem Silicones TCS Screen Printable Silicone System is a proven solution for printing via manual and automatic presses through a range of mesh sizes. Screen printing is most widely used for apparel embellishment. Advancements in Elkem’s offering for silicone inks makes it advantageous to use this well-established process to apply elastomeric silicone pattern coatings in applications beyond apparel embellishment such as compression garments, wearable devices, and protective wear.

Silicone-based inks and coatings enhance finished products by making them more durable over a wide range of temperatures and are therefore resistant to ironing and washing. They also offer excellent flexibility providing comfort with durability. Our silicones are easy to process, ready for use as formulations and will cure in very little time, often less than a minute. They can be used in a wide range of processes, including screen, gravure and transfer printing.

Elkem Silicones formulations are used in a wide range of textiles, from raw and dyed fabrics and knits to finished products, such as clothing, household fabrics, specialty technical fabrics, textile toys and many other everyday items.

Silicones are also widely used as processing aids to facilitate ink spreading, avoid foaming and enhance surface characteristics to provide properties such as abrasion resistance. Elkem Silicones also offers manufacturers patented photoinitiator technology for curing in specialty UV ink formulations. These inks are becoming an industry favorite because they speed up processing and provide precision performance on all surfaces, including textile prints and 3D applications.

Additional Elkem Silicones range of ingredients and formulations for textile inks and coatings may includes:

  • Bluesil™ TCS (Textile Coating Silicones), specially engineered formulations used in textile inks and coating applications on various substrates.
  • Bluesil™ PI 2074, a cationic photoinitiator used with epoxy resins, vinyl ethers or other types of oligomers. It is useful to formulate inks, pigmented coatings or varnishes.
  • Silcolease™ UV POLY 110, a 100% reactive release coating chemistry based on acrylate-modified silicone copolymer technology. It features instant and complete UV curing offering the final cured coating non-stick or anti-mar benefits.