Isopropyl Alcohol - IPA
Isopropyl alcohol 99% (IPA) is used in offset printing for several reasons:
- Reduces surface tension: IPA reduces the surface tension of the dampening solution, which facilitates transport. It also ensures better wetting of the rollers and printing plate.
- Acts as a coolant: IPA acts as a coolant to remove heat from rollers and ink and helps cool critical components of the press printing.
- Stabilizes ink-water balance: IPA stabilizes the ink-water balance.
- Has a cleaning effect: IPA has a cleaning effect.
IPA is traditionally used as a dampening aid. It's added to the fountain solution, which is a liquid that keeps the areas of the plate that don't have printing graphics clean and ink-free. The fountain solution is made up of water, a buffer salt, and IPA in the proportion of 6% to 8%.