CTI – Glossary

CTI Glossary

Thermochromic ink –  Also called temperature inks, this technology can be cold- or heat-activated.  For cold applications, colors change from virtually clear to the target color at temperatures lower than 18C° / 64F° and below freezing.  In contrast, warm or hot applications will see the color change to nearly clear at temperatures greater than 29°C up to 65°C / 149°F.

CTI’s exclusive Reveal Thermochromic ink systems combine two cold-activated inks to make images and text magically appear and persistent even after the product has warmed to room temperature.

Here are available commercial printing formats and available colors:

photochromic inks – These sunlight-activated inks go from almost clear to the target color when exposed to sunlight or UV light containing 365 nanometer wavelengths. While they turn on almost immediately, they make take several minutes to return to their original state, depending on the color. 

Available formats and colors are below:

Sunlight “Burnout” irreversible inks  – Similar to photochromic ink, this technology activates under sunlight or UV light. After a given time, the ink changes from green to a pinkish brown. One application: a swim diaper printed with the Sunlight Burnout ink changes color to show that the child has been in the sun for a certain time and should parents should take a shade-break or re-apply sunscreen.

hydrochromic ink – Another first from CTI, this solvent-ink Flexo / Gravure technology changes color when exposed to water or moisture. Careful manufacturing practices are required so that the color doesn’t change from exposure to ambient humidity. Click here to read a blog about wetness-indicator technology. 

SECURITY inks – CTI offers a wide variety of inks designed to protect companies’ intellectual property. Such inks include touch-activated thermochromic ink and PhotoTag technology. 

phototag – PhotoTag technology is a propriety chemistry invented by CTI. PhotoTag technology protects a company’s IP with a scannable feature that detects the product authenticity during the supply chain process.

High-Pressure Processing (HPP) Indicator ink – CTI invented HPP Indicator technology, delivered through commercial printing inks, to show visually that a food package has been HPPed. Before processing, the ink looks clear or barely visible. After HPP, the ink changes color to a bold and beautiful blue or aqua. Color persists until a package warms to high temperatures.

thermochromic masterbatch – Color-changing technology can be added to typical masterbatch plastic colorant resins for thermochromic cold- and heat-activated colors, photochromic colors and Glow-in-the-Dark. 

Glow-in-the-Dark ink – Used for special effects for DVD secondary packaging, point-of-sale displays, and Halloween, Glow-in-the-Dark ink uses natural phosphorescence. When an end-consumer exposes printed materials to sunlight or fluorescent lights for a few minutes, the prints glow in the dark. Glow strength and duration depends on the time and light intensity of charging. CTI stocks large amounts of raw materials to service the largest CPG brands.

BlindSpotz Freeze, Thaw and Warming Alerts – In a series of technological breakthroughs, CTI has created an entire line of solutions for pharmaceutical, medical, industrial and food sectors. Examples include freeze alerts that change from almost clear to color for vaccines that must be stored without freezing, as well as thaw alerts for foods that must remain frozen until use like breads and meats. 

L I B E R O — for Printing & Data Processing Industries