Published in 59th Annual Technical Association of Graphic Arts Technical Conference Proceedings: Pittsburgh, PA, March 18, 2007.
Most products are boxes, bottles and bags. The printability of biodegradable film has not been fully investigated. This study tested the printability on clear and white Polylactic acid (PLA) films, and compared the print qualities to common packaging films like Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Water-based flexo ink was used to test printability on PLA films. The influence of anilox roll and plate screen ruling was also considered. The print qualities were reported as dot shape, tone reproduction, and mottle. This study showed that biodegradable films could achieve similar quality compared to common packaging films. While printed at different screen rulings, clear PLA showed the highest dot gain and white PLA showed the lowest. All tested films appeared to have similar quality in keeping dot shape. In terms of mottle, white PLA appeared to be the worst among the four tested films.