Thermoform TF Technical Data Sheet
HIGH ELONGATION, VACUUM FORMABLE UV INK
Thermoform TF is an extremely flexible ultra violet curable screen printing ink specifically formulated for printing plastics used in vacuum forming.
Thermoform exhibits outstanding vacuum forming characteristics and ink lengthening while maintaining excellent adhesion and opacity. Additionally, this ink provides ideal characteristics for heat bending and routing acrylic sheets with no chipping or loss of adhesion.
• Extreme elongation for maximized draw depth, exceeding 6” (15 cm)
• Multiple passes can be heat bent and routed without chipping
• Excellent intercoat adhesion, even when cured multiple times
• Contains lightfast, lead free pigments
• Extreme moisture resistance for exterior exposures
• Elevated halftone color strength for back-lit applications
ThermoForm TF was designed to adhere to plastics used for vacuum forming, including, but not limited to: polystyrene, PETG, polycarbonate, high impact styrene, and PVC. TF also has excellent adhesion to acrylics (Plexiglass®).
To determine suitability of the product for the intended use, a pretest for proper adhesion prior to production is advised.
CURING: Thermoform cures well when printed through 355 (140cm) plain weave Polyester mesh or finer. TF’s optimal cure window of 310 to 350 mJ is generally achieved with one 300 watt per inch lamp at a belt speed of 30 feet (10 meters) per minute. This should provide a thorough cure of the product including opaque colors. Belt speeds can be increased
dramatically as the substrate gauge is reduced. Thick, plastic substrates act as a heat sink and decrease cure rates
For maximum opacity retention on deep draws, coarser screen mesh may be used, increase mJ output and test for proper cure and adhesion. Excessive film thickness does not impede vacuum forming properties.
Adhesion should be a minimum of 90% from curing unit with final adhesion developing within four hours of initial polymerization.Coarser fabrics can be utilized; however, cure parameters may need to be adjusted for the increased ink film.
If a loss of gloss or adhesion due to insufficient cure is noticed, the use of 5-10% TF Mixing Clear will increase light penetration and improve cure.
PRINTING: Mix well prior to every use. Although TF has been supplied in press ready condition, this system may be reduced up to 10% with TF Thinner for special viscosity adjustments.
Care should be taken to print the ink at the optimal temperature of 70°-90°F (21°- 27°C). Cool ink will have heavier viscosity and will not flow properly whereas excessively warm ink will be lower in viscosity resulting in poor definition and decreased opacity.
SQUEEGEE: 70 - 90 durometer polyurethane blade is recommended.
COVERAGE: 3200 to 3600 square feet per gallon for film deposit of .40 to .60 mil.
OUTDOOR USE: Extensive accelerated weathering tests have been completed. The ink
withstood over 500 hours of exposure with 4 hour cycle times of UV light and condensation at elevated temperature. Accelerated machine weathering are reference standards and can’t precisely reproduce actual outdoor performance. Based on prior correlation of accelerated
testing versus real time exposure, 500 hours is equated to approximately one year, 4south Florida.
METALLICS: A superior two part system comprised of TF Metallic Mixing Clear and the proper metallic paste has been developed. The increased viscosity of MMC helps insure a good particle suspension and our new metallic technology provides unparalleled premix shelf life and stability. The recommended mixing ratios are: 12% silver paste, 28% gold paste (by
weight) to achieve the standard metallic colors.
For optimum coverage and opacity, 280 - 305 (110 - 120 cm) plain weave monofilament mesh is recommended. Use TF Overprint Clear for extended weatherability and to improve the non-tarnishing properties of the product.
STORAGE: Care should be taken to store ink in tightly closed containers located in a cool (6F to 8F / 15° to 27°C), dark place. After long production runs, excess ink from the screen should be properly disposed. With suitable conditions, the ink is expected to have a shelf life of
approximately 12 months from the date of manufacture.
PRECAUTIONS: Read the material safety data sheet prior to processing. It contains instructions for precautions when processing, handling and storing inks, as well as first aid. If ink comes in contact with skin, wipe ink off with a clean, dry cloth (do not use solvent). Wash and rinse the affected area with soap and water.
PROCESS PRINTING: For superior halftone reproduction, Thermoform New Rheology
halftones are available in two density levels. Additional control of densities may be achieved with the use of TF Halftone Extender Base. For best results, 355 (140 cm) plain weave mesh or finer and a smooth, thin stencil coating should be utilized with four color process
DENSITY DENSITY TF Halftone Yellow 1.10 1.35 TF Halftone Magenta 1.75 2.05 TF Halftone Cyan 1.80 2.20 TF Halftone Black 2.00 2.25
TF Halftone Extender Base
COLOR AVAILABILITY: Thermoform TF is available in twenty opaque standard colors. Custom
matches, metallic, fluorescent and transparent colors are obtainable
TF-111 Lemon Yellow TF-220 Emerald Green TF-123 Medium Yellow TF-225 Forest Green TF-131 Brilliant Orang TF-226 Lime Green TF-135 Vivid Orange TF-235 Teal TF-141 Fire Red TF-240 Purple TF-151 Scarlet Red TF-260 Brown TF-155 Rubine Red TF-301 Opaque Black TF-160 Rhodamine Re TF-311 Opaque White TF-180 Warm Red TF-312 Dense Black TF-190 Process Blue TF Barrier White TF-200 Peacock Blue TF Overprint Clear TF-205 Reflex Blue TF Metallic Mixing Clear
TF-210 Ultra Blue
PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM COLORS: The nine PANTONE® approved Color Matching System shades are used to simulate the PANTONE Color Specifier 1000 colors. Formulas
were designed for maximum opacity and are available in book or Imaging Color Source software format.
TF-064 CMS GS Yellow
TF-066 CMS RS Yellow
TF-114 CMS Orange
TF-121 CMS YS Red
TF-164 CMS BS Red
TF-165 CMS Magenta
TF-127 CMS Violet
TF-230 CMS Blue
TF-325 CMS Green
TF Tinting White
TF Shading Black
TF Mixing Clear
PANTONE® is a trademark of Pantone, Inc. Portions © Pantone, Inc., 1963, 1991.