EcoLeaf technology offers a sustainable alternative to decorative metallic application in the graphic arts industry, at up to half the cost of conventional foiling, targeting applications such as labels and folding cartons.
The EcoLeaf technology consists of a metallization unit that applies metal flakes onto substrates.
The metallization unit is easily integrated inline into conventional and digital printing presses and can also retrofit existing machines.
The unit creates a monolayer of metal flakes on a donor roller, while a trigger image is conventionally and simultaneously printed onto the substrate. The donor roll transfers the metal to the trigger image, using only the amount of metal required to create the metallic image. The result is a wide range of high-impact metallic effects, using a minimum amount of metal.
The unit can be used to produce a broad range of metallic effects, from fine text to full coverage.
Using screenprinting to apply raised images, it can create an embossed effect without the need for a die, even with rough and absorbent substrates such as wine paper.
And all of this with zero waste, as the donor roll is replenished with metal flakes only in the areas of previous transfer.
The metal flakes used are less than 50 nanometers thick, reducing the quantity of metal applied to the substrate to the absolute minimum. This offers a range of unique characteristics and benefits:
- The new technology uses only the amount of metal required to create the metallic image.
- It can produce brilliant, high impact, and mirror-like effects.
- It exactly replicates the topography of the trigger image. Using different printing technologies and techniques, it can produce either a flat or an embossed effect, a glossy image or a matte one, and “orange peel” look and feel, and many others.
- By using these metal flakes versus continuous metallic films, the resulting image is not electrically conductive. It thus enables the production of microwaveable metallized packaging.