Printech Archives, June 1997: Re: ethylene glycol fountain solutions

Re: ethylene glycol fountain solutions

Jeff Adrian (
9 Jun 1997 11:17:48 -0500


There is a great deal of information that is available on replacement of
alcohol solution on the printing press, so much so that an e-mail response is
hardly adequate. But to provide you with some guidance, here are some things
you should know.

Alcohol substitutes, whether ehtylene glycol based or otherwise, are not
simply a drop in solution. Most alcohol substitues perform in a narrower
"window" than alcohol itself. That is to say, there is a considerable learning
curve as the substitutes are not as forgiving as alcohol.

Additionally, the quality of the local water supply can affect performance,
and so there may be a need to process the water by some method (reverse
osmosis, for example) to make the system work.

Other changes may be required to make a chnageover, including possibly
modifications to the press rollers, etc.

As to the substitues themselves, they may be eithera one-part mixture or a
two-part system of substitute and "etch". The later system offers greater
control at some expense of extra effort.

Over the years, manufacturers of these substitues have improved their
products, and so the changeover to substitues will likely be somewhat easier
than a few years ago.

The potential for reduction of fugitive VOCs with alcohol substitutes is
substantial, and this plus savings in materials costs can make the project
very worthwhile!

A good manufacturer's rep or distributor rep can be enormously helpful to
making a successful changeover.

For more specific information, I suggest you start by contacting some local
graphic arts distributors who can provide specs on some of the available
products. Also, the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) should have some
useful materials. Contact them in Pittsburgh at 412-741-6860.

Good luck on your research.
Date: 6/9/97 10:40 AM
I am looking for information on the costs involved in replacing IPA fountain
solutions with ethylene glycol, and what types of equipment changes
may be necessary. Also, I would like information on how ethylene glycol
functions versus IPA. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!



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