Scratch Off Ink Printing

scratch off card printing

The Graphics Shop provides custom scratch off card printing for tickets, games and other retail marketing campaigns. Scratch off cards are a great way to engage the customer in contests and promotions. Scratch off card campaigns increase your brand awareness as well as drive visitors to your website. Also, it's an excellent tool to bring in more revenue.

​Our Process

We use speciality screen printing ink to produce scratch off cards. Scratch off inks are specially formulated to be printed on cards, tickets and games that are typically given away by retail outlets. These inks form a very opaque film that hides the “prize” until the ink is removed by scratching with a fingernail or coin. The card stock is also coated with a UV curable screen print clear to seal the cardstock prior to the application of scratch off inks. An under-print of a clear provides the best adhesion and scratch-off properties of the scratch off inks. Whatever your appication TGS can help you with your scratch off printing.

MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT SCRATCH OFF?

Whether you are a retail company that needs scratch off cards or a commerical printer that needs a partner with scratch off printing capabilities, we are here to help. Contact our offices for more information.

Print Production

Scratch off inks are formulated to be press ready. Only enough ink is added to the screen in order to print for 5-10 minutes. Additional ink is added in small increments throughout the print run to maintain screen stability. We insure that the ink is thoroughly mixed prior to printing otherwise improper mixing can lead to inconsistent color and ink performance.

We maintain recommended ink temperature of 65°-90°F (18°-32°C) for optimum print and cure performance. Lower temperatures increase the ink viscosity, impairing flow and increasing film thickness. A heavier ink deposit will provide increased opacity. Elevated temperatures lower the ink viscosity, reducing print definition and film thickness.

TGS also pretests to determine optimum printing parameters for a particular set of ink, substrate, screen, press, and curing variables/conditions.

We do not inter-mix of scratch off inks with other inks​ as it will effect the performance of the scratch off inks.

Drying / Curing Parameters

After printing, the scratch off inks dry by solvent evaporation in 10 to 20 minutes depending on ambient conditions. We can also force dry the scratch off cards in seconds at temperatures of 90 F° to 160 F° (32 C° to 71 C°). We insure that that it is not excessive heat at it may cause ink not to scratch off. All the while, good air circulation is provided to remove the vaporized solvents.

Clears / Varnishes

As mentioned earlier a clear coast UV litho clear is used beneath the scratch off inks to seal the card stock and provide a surface that can be scratched without damaging the underlying graphic. For best results, we print PSLC 294 UV Litho Clear through a 355-380 tpi (140-150tpcm) mesh and UV expose to a single medium pressure mercury vapor lamp emitting output of 140-160 mJ (millijoules) /600+ mW (milliwatts).

Prior to a full production run, The Graphics Shop:

  • Tests the adhesion characteristics on the card stock with PSLC294 UV Litho Clear.
  • Thoroughly evaluates the clear varnish chosen in combination with the scratch off inks for ease of scratch off test a) within 24 hours and b) over the expected life time for the printed pieces.​

Common Performance Additives

The market specific performance properties of the scratch off inks should be acceptable for most applications without the need for additives. When required, any additives are thoroughly mixed before each use. Prior to production, we test any additive adjustment to the ink. Inks containing additives are not mixed with other inks.