Soft Touch Coatings Raise the Bar

Soft Touch coatings are able to provide products with a unique soft, warmer, more comfortable, luxurious, feel that humans intrinsically desire. The tactile, haptic effect provided is able to enhance the sensory perceptions of the consumer. Soft Touch coatings unquestionably add value to products as they impart appealing visual and tactile properties, setting products apart in the marketplace.

It’s been long known that humans have an affinity for soft things. Because of this there is an ongoing global marketing trend to offer Soft Touch coatings to satisfy consumers and alter buying trends. Soft Touch coatings are being applied across a wide range of consumer product applications including automotive interiors, appliances, and consumer electronics, packaging, and labeling products. The result is the creation of a soft feel on ordinary paper, plastic, and metal substrates that is appealing to consumers, and adding value.

AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Cork's GREENSOFT™ UV curing product series, and in particular, GREENSOFT™, GREENSOFT™ 123, and AQUEOUS CORKOTE-375SFT-EU Soft Touch coatings have been creating a stir in the graphic arts marketplace. They are raising-the-bar in terms of application performance and awesome Soft to the Touch results.

These fascinating Cork Soft Touch coatings are demonstrating extraordinary application characteristics whether being applied in-line or off-line over ink or alone. Cork Soft Touch coatings are providing a recognized, unrivaled, luxurious, aesthetic, visual appearance, and an awesome velvety, tactile gentle feel adding value to finished goods.

AWESOME GREENSOFT™
GREENSOFT™ Soft Touch UV coating produces a stunning translucent, soft, tactile, luxurious velvety gentle feel after curing. Fast curing, it may be flood or spot coated over UV, heatset, hybrid or water based inks resulting in superior Soft Touch properties combined with excellent adhesion. GREENSOFT™ is formulated for use on paper, paperboard, selected foils, and plastic substrates. It has been especially successful in the coating of conventional and in-mold labels providing an improvement in hand grip in bottle applications.

GREENSOFT™ is designed to be applied using flexo, gravure, web/sheetfed anilox coaters, alone or over ink. GREENSOFT™ UV coating is 100% reactive, zero VOC, contains no solvents, and is formulated using up to 25% renewable resource raw materials. Further, it is nonflammable and cleans up easily using Cork’s proprietary water based CORK-CLEAN™ blanket and roller wash.

UNIQUELY DIFFERENT GREENSOFT™ 123
Unique, can be used to describe GREENSOFT™ 123 Soft Touch UV coating. Like GREENSOFT™, it also produces a stunning translucent, soft, tactile, luxurious velvety gentle feel after curing.

Differentiating itself from other Soft Touch coatings, GREENSOFT™ 123 is capable of being processed in two ways. One, it can be applied and UV cured as supplied for most decorative packaging, and publication applications or, two, it may be used in “Work & Turn” applications over two sided printed dense inks, and/or to optimize mar and abrasion resistance. Here, the coating is processed using an initial hit of IR, or HVHA followed immediately by one pass UV curing on applicable equipment.

GREENSOFT™ 123 is designed for flood or spot coating using flexo, sheetfed litho anilox, or smooth roller coater processes, alone or over UV, heatset, hybrid or water based inks. Applicable substrates include paper, paperboard, selected foils, and plastics.
Environmentally, GREENSOFT™ UV coating is 100% reactive, zero VOC, contains no solvents, and is formulated using up to 38% renewable resource raw materials. Further, it is nonflammable and cleans up easily using Cork’s proprietary water based CORK-CLEAN™ blanket and roller wash.

STUNNING AQUEOUS CK-375SFT-EU
Another stellar performer is Soft Touch AQUEOUS coating CK-375SFT-EU, which is a translucent, non-yellowing, low gloss, ultra-high solids product that develops a soft, tactile, velvety feeling. Superb mar resistance and film build in a single pass results from it being formulated to have twice the amount of solids of industry standard Soft Touch coatings.

Drying exceedingly fast with HVHA, CK-375SFT-EU does not exhibit the two side coated “Velcro™” blocking problem that is an issue with industry standard competitive coatings. It is designed for anilox application alone, or over UV, and aqueous primed/dry conventional litho inks printed on paper, paperboard, selected foils, and plastic substrates.

Soft Touch CK-375SFT-EU will accept foil stamping, and is embossable, (subject to pretesting). When used to coat conventional and IML labels for bottle applications it will improve hand grip.

Optionally, it can be cross linked to obtain maximum water, rub, solvent, and product resistance.
Corks’ Soft Touch coatings are printable, glueable, embossable, foil stampable, scorable, and foldable, (all subject to pretesting).

Further enhancement of Corks’ low gloss Soft Touch coatings may be accomplished by spot top coating with Corkure CK-1137HG-99GT high gloss UV coating to provide eye catching, contrasting, graphic interest. To learn more contact Cork coating experts


About the Author

Elmer W. Griese Jr, having accumulated 35+ years of knowledge working in the coatings and printing ink industries has now authored the Cork Tech Talk News, newsletter since 1992 producing 112 issues. He remains dedicated to educating and illuminating technological progress that offers the potential to advance coating technology and its applications.

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