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Ink Additives & Vehicles | Umicore Portfolio

Quality Raw Materials for Superior Inks
Printing Ink Resins, Varnishes, Solvents, Wax Compounds and Metal-based Driers

As an experienced manufacturer in alkyd resins, esters, and metal carboxylate driers, we strengthen your printing inks with our high-quality raw materials. Discover our diverse portfolio: KB ink vehicles, KB & KBW ink additives, VALIFLEX ester-based ink solvents, and VALIREX metal-based ink driers. Our products offer compatibility with various ink types and substrates. We are your innovation partner for sustainable, high-quality raw materials. 
Selecting the ideal printing ink chemicals is crucial to obtain your formulation goals: the right color, finish, durability, and printing substrate. Avoid issues like cracking and over-drying by identifying the correct ink drier. Catering to your unique needs, we offer a wide range of solutions. At the core of our business, we value strong customer collaboration to find the best product for you.

raw materials for ink and printing markets

Need help choosing a suitable Ink Additive or vehicle for your needs?

Conventional Sheetfed Ink Vehicle

Ink vehicles, vital liquid components in the ink manufacturing process, act as carriers or mediums for pigments, delivering the desired color. They also help regulating key product attributes like drying time and gloss
Our KB 406 EU ink vehicle excels in printing on non-porous surfaces like plastic, thanks to its smudge resistance and excellent adhesion properties. 

KB 406 EU Mineral oil-free varnish. 
Premium pigment dispersion vehicle for plastic substrates. 
Swiss Ordinance compliant. 

Conventional Sheetfed Ink Additives, Including Pigment Dispersants and Rheology Modifiers

Our collection features pigment wetting agents, ink bodying additives and ink additives that ensure resistance to water. Pigment dispersants guarantee even pigment distribution in ink, preventing clogging and ensuring even color consistency. Ink bodying additives, or rheology modifiers, strengthen the ink structure.

KB 103 EU #3 Body linseed alkyd. 
Isophtalic, linear structured alkyd for exceptional pigment wetting. 
KB 112 EU Soya-based linseed alkyd. 
Low-odor, soya-based alkyd for great pigment wetting. 
KB 173 EU Structured linseed alkyd. 
Low-tack, high-structure alkyd for exceptional pigment wetting. 
KB 767 Mineral oil-free varnish. 
Ink bodying additive for all conventional ink applications. 
KB 791 EU Mineral oil-free varnish. 
Ink additive to reduce water- and fountain solution pickup. 

Wax Additives for Excellent Rub Resistance in Inks

In addition to resin- and varnish-based ink additives, we provide wax compounds for the ink industry. With our KBW high-quality polymers, we stand out in delivering excellent rub resistance. They can also enhance gloss and slip properties of the ink. Compatible with low-VOC ink formulations, our polyethylene compounds support foil stamping and overprinting. Suitable for both vegetable-based and solvent-based inks, our products cater to diverse needs.

KBW TF100 Linseed-based polyethylene compound. 
Used for plastic substrate inks. 

Soya-based polyethylene compound. 
Used for food packaging inks. 
Swiss ordinance compliant.

Sheetfed Overprint Base & Heatset Web Offset Overprint 

Our portfolio includes two low-odor overprint bases, suited for both HS & SF inks. The KB 3170 EU serves as a conventional, general purpose sheetfed overprint base, while the KB 3731 EU is designed for web offset, heatset ink formulations. Further, we also offer KB 8700 EU, which is a sheetfed overprint base suited for indirect food contact.

KB 3170 EU Wax-free, drier-free, low-odor overprint varnish base. 
Used for general purpose sheetfed inks. 
KB 8700 EU Indirect food contact overprint varnish base. 
Used for SF inks: general purpose, folding carton and labels. 
KB 3731 EU Wax-free, fast-drying, low-odor gloss overprint varnish. 
Used for web offset, heatset ink formulations. 

VOC-free, Sustainable Solvents for Ink Formulations 

Our VALIFLEX fatty acid esters feature several products made from sustainable Tall Oil Fatty Acid (TOFA), a raw material with a negative carbon footprint, obtained from responsibly managed pine forests. These biodegradable esters maintain the benefits of TOFA, offering an eco-friendly solvent solution for ink manufacturers. 

Our green chemistry solvents grant unrivaled formulation flexibility. Due to their high solvency power, they can effectively replace mineral distillates and increase solids. The result: low VOC-inks with high gloss retention, robust rub resistance, effortless application to printing surfaces, and swift, uniform drying properties.

VALIFLEX BM 100.28 Butyl monomerate ester solvent derived from tall oil. 
High solvency, VOC-free. 
VALIFLEX BT 100.04 Butyl tallate ester solvent derived from tall oil. 
Used as co-solvent in low-VOC lithographic ink systems. 
VALIFLEX OO 300.25 Octyl ester derived from oleic acid. 
High solvency, VOC-free. 

Manganese, Zirconium, Cerium and Cobalt Driers for Ink Formulations

Ink driers hold a significant place among the chemicals used in printing inks. These additives accelerate ink drying time, making them crucial for high-speed printing applications where rapid drying prevents smudging, offsetting, or other complications. 
Ink drying time depends on various factors, like ink vehicle type, environmental conditions (temperature and humidity), and ink layer thickness. Ink driers catalyze the oxidation of the ink vehicle, promoting faster polymerization and solidification. Our VALIREX and ECOS drier collection features metal-based compounds that react with unsaturated fatty acids in the ink vehicle, accelerating the drying process
Note that regulatory developments cast doubt on the future use of traditional cobalt-based carboxylates, particularly in consumer applications such as the printing ink industry. To address this uncertainty, we have created our ECOS portfolio based on patented technology. ECOS products incorporate metal into a polymeric structure, restricting its bio-accessibility. 

Interested in reading more on our efforts to create safe, low-toxic chemicals with improved environmental impact? Read our information on the replacement of traditional cobalt products.

ECOS MND 10 Manganese polymer drier. 
ECOS ND 15 Cobalt polymer drier with 4% metal content. 
ECOS ND 15 5 Cobalt polymer drier with 5% metal content. 

VALIREX Cu 4 ETP  Copper-based drier with 4% metal content,
diluted in ethoxy propanol. 
VALIREX Ce 8 Neo Ester Cerium neodecanoate drier with 8% metal content,
diluted in a fatty acid ester. 
VALIREX Mn 8 Neo D60 Manganese neodecanoate drier with 8% metal content,
diluted in a dearomatized hydrocarbon mixture with a flash point of 60°. 
VALIREX Mn 8 Neo LV Manganese neodecanoate drier with 8% metal content,
diluted in a fatty acid ester. 
VALIREX Mn 8 Neo Ester  Manganese neodecanoate drier with 8% metal content,
diluted in a fatty acid ester. 
VALIREX Co 10 INKOIL Cobalt octoate drier with 10% metal content,
diluted in a mineral oil. 
VALIREX Co 10 Neo INKOIL Cobalt neodecanoate drier with 10% metal content,
diluted in a mineral oil. 
VALIREX Zr 18 Neo PR D60  Zirconium neodecanoate drier with 18% metal content,
diluted in a dearomatized hydrocarbon mixture with a flash point of 60°. 

Your experienced partner for Ink Drier, Vehicle and Additive solutions!
Get in touch with our experts. 

If our product overview does not cover your needs, note that that Umicore provides customized solutions for your unique formulation or process requirements. As a quality-driven, experienced manufacturer of metal carboxylates, alkyds, and esters, we are committed to create the perfect solution with you. Our R&D department is eager to assist with analysis and testing to meet your demands. Additionally, our pilot plant capacity ensures seamless scale-up for your tailor-made drier, vehicle, or additive

Ali Atak

Ali Atak

Application Manager Inks, Coatings, Composites