Printing Lingo: What is Aqueous Coating?

Introduction to Aqueous Coating

Aqueous coating is a prevalent finish in the printing and packaging industries, serving as a protective top layer on various print projects. This water-based coating not only adds durability by providing resistance to scuffs and scratches but also enhances the overall aesthetic of the printed materials.

What is Aqueous Coating?

Derived from its name, "aqueous" indicates the water-based coating. It involves applying a flood coat over the print substrate, where water helps disperse polymers onto the surface. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a thin film of polymers that forms a protective barrier over the printed material.

Benefits of Aqueous Coating

Aqueous coatings are celebrated for their dual role in protection and aesthetic enhancement. They provide a robust layer over the ink and substrate, helping to prevent damage from external factors, thus extending the lifespan of the printed material. Additionally, these coatings are available in several finishes, each offering unique visual and tactile qualities.

Types of Aqueous Coatings

Gloss Aqueous Coating

Gloss coatings are known for adding a high sheen to printed items, enhancing the brightness and vibrancy of the ink colors beneath. This finish results in a smooth, shiny surface that catches the eye and makes the colors pop.

Matte Aqueous Coating

In contrast to gloss, matte aqueous coatings offer a subdued sheen that brings a sophisticated and elegant look to the printed piece. This finish is ideal for projects where a natural, understated appearance is desired.

Soft Touch Aqueous Coating

Soft touch coatings are distinctive for their velvety texture, which adds a tactile dimension to the printing. This finish softens the colors and invites engagement through the sense of touch, making it a popular choice for high-end marketing materials and packaging.

Environmental Benefits of Aqueous Coatings

Aqueous coatings are not only effective but also environmentally friendly. Known for their quick drying times, these coatings contribute to more efficient production cycles. They are preferable for projects involving recyclable materials, as they are biodegradable and do not impede recycling.

Why Choose Aqueous Coating?

  1. Economical: Aqueous coatings are cost-effective, making them an accessible option for a wide range of printing projects.
  2. Versatility: Aqueous coatings are ideal for use on coated paper stocks and are suited to applications where full coverage is necessary. Their inability to be applied as spot coatings is often seen as beneficial for projects requiring uniform protection.
  3. Durability: Offering greater scuff resistance than traditional varnishes, aqueous coatings are less durable than UV coatings but provide adequate protection for most print applications.
  4. Flexibility: These coatings are particularly useful for printed materials that need to be folded or creased, as they are more flexible than UV coatings or laminates.

Conclusion: Opting for Aqueous Coating

Aqueous coating is a premier choice for those looking to combine aesthetic appeal with functional durability in their printing projects. Its environmental benefits align with the growing demand for sustainable production practices, making it a responsible choice for the planet and your printing needs.

For more information on how aqueous coatings can enhance your next printing project, contact Formax Printing today. Our experts are ready to assist you in selecting the perfect coating option to meet your specific requirements and sustainability goals.

About the Author

Rick Stallings is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Rick is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221 or by submitting our easy quote request form. Rick and the Formax team have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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