Graphic Arts Coatings

About Graphic Arts Coatings

At C.E.Bradley we offer some of the most unique coatings and modern technologies used in the graphic arts industry today. We have an in-house UV/EB chemist that has originated and/or contributed to 22 US patents that are registered in over 50 countries.

Our sales staff is always available to answer questions about the different varieties of graphic arts coatings we manufacture. We are here to provide solutions to your printing needs. Give us a call. We’re here to help.

Water Based Overprint Vanishes

Water based overprint varnishes, otherwise known in the industry as an “aqueous coating”, is a type of varnish that contains either styrene or acrylic binders. Water based varnishes require heat to dry properly so the use of a hot air oven or infrared heater is the most popular method to harden this varnish.

If a low temperature and proper air flow is used, this coating creates a clearer, glossy finish that is flawless.

Water-based coatings create lower VOCs making them environmentally friendly.

Heat Resistant Varnishes

Whatever coating you use on your marketing piece, using the correct protective coating or laminate is essential in preserving the artwork once it leaves the printer. Heat resistant coatings are most commonly used in commercial printing.

Liquid coatings that are often flooded across the entire sheet and can sometimes be spot applied are:

Varnish– available in gloss, satin, dull finish – is low cost because of its flexibility and is easy to apply, but tends to turn yellow with age.

Acqueous– low cost water-based coating, provides good protection, is shinier and smoother, but, requires heavier stock to prevent paper from curling. Is environmentally friendlier than varnish and can prevent metallic inks from tarnishing.

UV– offers more protection than varnish or acqueous coatings and provides a harder finish when exposed to uv light.

Film Laminates- provide a higher level of protection than any of the liquid coatings, but, the drawback is higher costs and longer production time. Heavier stock can sometimes be difficult to laminate. The three methods of film laminate are:

Polypropylene– best bet for increased strength and good protection for a reasonable cost.

Polyester– good strength, is abrasion resistant and provides a hard coating.

Nylon– most expensive and the most stable. Does not stretch so there is no curling or shrinkage.

These heat resistant varnishes/laminates should all be used on coated paper for the best quality results. The coated paper keeps the ink on the surface and helps create a smoother surface to adhere your protective finish.

Sales Team

John Morris – Technical Sales Engineer

Dan Laguerre – Technical Sales Engineer

Robert F. Rowinski – Technical Sales Engineer

Edward E. Rochford – Technical Sales Engineer

Heat Sealable Coatings

Thermoplastic coatings use heat and pressure to form the seal when adhering to different substrates. Heat sealable lacquers are useful for lidding applications like dairy and condiment containers. They are also recommended for containers that are coated at one facility and later sealed at the final destination processing center. Again, heat and pressure are used to perform the final seal.

Electron Beam coatings

The technology of Electron Beam (EB) coating is basically the conversion of a liquid coating into a solid, cured film. This film creates a high gloss, is resistant to scratches/abrasions and provides excellent adhesion.

In today’s graphic arts industry, manufacturers typically turn to electron beam curable technology because of its lack of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
EB technology also offers low energy consumption, low heat requirements, the ability to be used on many types of substrates and can produce specialty finish effects.

EB curing systems are composed of the electron beam, a high level vacuum pumping system, a power and control system and finally a product transport and shielding system. Since inception, this technology’s benefits have been outweighed by the size, cost and its complex inline integration.

In the past several years, smaller EB technologies have been introduced making the electron beam curing process a more common alternative to traditional thermal or uv curing technologies.

UV Coatings for Graphic Arts

The printing of retail packaging has been elevated with the creation of specialty UV coating and its techniques. The finishes that result from this process can make your product stand out from your competitors.

Special UV coatings are first applied to paper or plastic in liquid form and are then dried (cured) with the ultraviolet light. These coatings are rapid drying to reduce production time, protect your material, resist smudges, fingerprints, abrasions and has the ability to be flooded throughout the entire page. It can also be applied on a spot basis to accentuate a part of your product.

These techniques can not only create professional, high end effects, they can engage the viewer and enhance their experience. Specialty UV coatings create a look and feel compimentary to your brand which further reinforces your product.

Some of the effects of this graphic UV coating are: Gloss and raised profile, Gloss printing water droplets, Gloss and matte, UV Coating soft-touch and texture printing.

Typical Applications

The typical applications for our Graphic Arts Coatings are:

  • Paper and Paperboard
  • Bags & Boxes
  • Consumer Durables
  • Food Packaging/ Containers
  • Film Applications
  • Foil Applications

Paper and Paperboard

Bags & Boxes

Food Packaging

C. E. Bradley Labs, Inc.

56 Bennett Drive
Brattleboro, VT 05301

Phone: 802-257-7971
Fax: 802-257-7070

Manufacturer of Coatings Since 1939

C.E. Bradley Laboratories, Inc. was started by the Bradley family in 1939. The Bradley family owned one of the largest woodworking / woodturning companies in New England. The laboratory was started to supply coatings for their own internal use.