UV curable inks refer to the inks that use the ultra-violet light instead of heat to dry or cure the inks as it is printed. It is a photochemical process that has witnessed widespread acceptance over traditional inks due to various advantages, such as increased production output, scratch and abrasion resistance, improved gloss, superior bonding, outdoor durability, reduced rejection rates, eco-friendly, and better chemical and solvent resistance properties. The process of obtaining these UV-cured inks involves combining liquid monomer and oligomer with photoinitiator and is then finally exposed to UV rays. It offers instant drying on a wide range of substrates, metals, glass, and ceramics to flexible packaging, thin-gauge polymeric films, and many more.
In addition to this, these ink do not employ any environmentally harmful solvents and do not cause loss of coating thickness and volume in final prints, which leads to a reduction in waste, pollutant emissions, and energy use. Furthermore, UV curable inks in printing applications are gaining traction as they offer higher productivity and increased printing throughput.
Therefore, the global UV curable inks market is expected to grow rapidly during the forecast period owing to the increasing demand from various industries such as automotive, medical, packaging, publication, and commercial printing. However, the availability of substitutes and volatile raw material prices may hinder the growth of the market.
Stringent Regulatory Frameworks Set by the Governments to Boost the Market Growth
Governments worldwide are now adopting stringent environmental regulations that specifically address the content of ink on every product and their impact on the environment. Therefore, they are encouraging the use of volatile organic compounds (VOC) free and no solvent inks, which are having a positive impact on the environment, and increasing the demand for UV curable inks as these are free from VOCs.
For instance, China's Ministry of Environment and Ecology (MEE) introduced a program to reduce the emission of VOC and its effects across key industries such as petrochemicals, packaging, and printing, and transportation by 10% by the end of 2020 in the year 2019. In addition to this, the European Printing Ink Association and the Underwriter's Laboratories are also contributing towards the growth of the UV curable inks market as these are eco-friendly and offer various advantages.
High Demand from Packaging Sector to Augment the Market Growth
The packaging sector is expected to boost the demand for UV curable inks during the forecast period. UV-cured inks give an overall better dot and print effect, resulting in a high-quality finish, which has increased its usage in the market. Additionally, it is also available in a wide range of finishes that are used in surface protection, gloss finishes, and many other print processes that allow UV to immediately cure. These ink are the most preferred choice among manufacturers, as they can fully dry during the print process, therefore, helping the product proceed quickly for the next step of production. UV cured inks are used on the packaging of every product of different industries. Thus, the increase in the spending on packaged goods by consumers, especially in the food and beverage sector, is propelling the market growth. Furthermore, changes in the lifestyle of individuals are also leading to the expansion of the packaging industry as they are preferring ready-to-eat, packaged food products, which is positively influencing the demand for packaging, which in turn, will drive the growth of the global UV curable inks market.
Availability of Substitutes to Restrict the Market Growth
The global UV curable inks market is expected to get hampered due to the availability of substitutes in the market. Substitutes such as water-based inks, electron beam inkjet inks, etc., are anticipated to hamper the expansion of the UV curable inks market. Progress made for the application of electron beam curing in sheet-fed processes and also widening of the ink technology so that it can be used effectively on gravure and flexo presses. Therefore, the demand for UV curable inks is expected to restrict due to this factor.
Global UV Curable Inks Market by Geography
Based on geography, the UV Curable Inks market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to hold the largest market share in the global UV curable inks market during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the increasing population in emerging economies such as China and India and the flourishing of several sectors, such as automotive, medical, electronics, packaging, and many others in the region.
The manufacturers of various markets are further shifting their focus in this region because of the easy availability of raw material coupled with low-cost labor and improved production facilities, which are anticipated to increase the demand for various consumer goods. This will propel the demand for UV curable ink as it finds extensive use in the packaging and labeling industry. As per the Packaging Industry Association of India (PIAI), packaging is the fifth largest sector in the Indian economy and is growing at 22-25% per annum.
In addition to this, the rising disposable income of the consumers leading to an increase in the purchasing power has positively impacted the growth of the automotive sector, which uses UV curable inks for different functional and aesthetic applications in manufacturing. It provides good adhesion, excellent scratch resistance, and chemical resistance for long-lasting, durable marking applications.
According to the statistics shared by the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the production of India's domestic automobiles increased at 2.36% CAGR between 2016 and 2020, with 26.36 million vehicles being manufactured in the country in 2020. Furthermore, the automobile export reached 4.77 million vehicles in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 6.94% from 2016 to 2020.
Europe is anticipated to have the second-largest market share in the global UV curable inks market owing to the growing printing industry. According to the European Commission, the printing enterprises of Europe generates an annual turnover of around 98.86 USD billion from printing on paper, plastics, or textiles. In addition to this, there are 110,000 printing companies with 56.17 USD billion worth of printed products produced, with a turnover with packaging printing of 179.74 USD as per the statistics shared by Intergraf.
Furthermore, the increasing per capita income of the population and demand for several consumer goods has led to the growth of various industries, such as automotive, electronics, food and beverages, etc., which is positively impacting the demand for UV curable inks, as these are used for printing and labeling on packaging used by these industries.
The growth of the automotive industry in the region is boosting the growth of the UV curable inks market as these are extensively used in the marking process. As per the data shared by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the commercial vehicle registrations across the European Union saw an increase of 5.7% in December 2019. Therefore, considering all the factors, the demand for UV curable is expected to rise in the region in the coming years.
The UV curable inks market is highly competitive due to the presence of a large number of established players and new entrants in the market. These players have been adopting strategies such as technology launches, product innovations, acquisitions, heavy investments in new product development, collaborative innovations, joint ventures, and R&D activities to increase their market share and retain their position in the market.
Global UV Curable Inks Market Segmentation
By Ink Type
By End-User Industry
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)