Structural Braille varnish

  • UV-curing structural Braille varnish
  • Application of Braille letters without embossing, single unit production possible
  • Good readability of text below the Braille dots

Braille letters by varnish application

Braille, a writing system for the blind and visually impaired, is formed of raised dots, and has been around for a long time. After all, Louis Braille already invented this system in 1825. Over the years, the method of creating the dots was continuously improved. Until just a few years ago, each industrial print product with Braille letters required the prior manufacture of a separate embossing stencil to create the dots. Further improvements in the screen-printing technology made it possible to apply the varnish with “just” one new screen-print stencil.

The real “revolution” came along hand in hand with digital printing. With this technology, illustrations and texts are printed in digital form - should it not be applicable also to Braille?
A manufacturer of application systems from Krefeld in Germany had exactly this idea, and developed a complete module – from software to nozzle technology – to apply an appropriate coating in Braille dot format. The requirements which the consumable material “Braille varnish“ has to meet are very high. Several technical demands must be fulfilled – from excellent flow properties in nozzle applicators up to optimum drying – especially at high line speeds. A high technological competence and decades of experience in development, manufacture and application of UV-curing systems enabled Jowat SE to meet these very challenging demands on the product performance.

The varnish also needs to comply with the requirements of the standard that applies to lettering for the blind: Minimum diameter of the dots (coating may not run), minimum dot height (build-up of defined layer thickness), adequate adhesion to the substrate (good adhesion properties), clearly defined single dots (no splashing of the varnish) – to name just a few. With Jowat® Permacoat® 689.80, Jowat SE has successfully developed a product meets all these requirements. In addition, it also fulfils the expectations on high production speeds, without any change in quality.

The possibilities of utilisation are limitless: Whether in mass production, for instance in pharmaceutical packaging where the individual specifications and lots change frequently, or in the marking of personalised medication packages with additional caution information, on the directions for use, on labels, or as advertising effect, for instance on visiting cards. This is a field where marketing departments can now implement completely new ideas, and profit from a newly gained flexibility.

The visual effect of the product is another major advantage of Jowat® Permacoat® 689.80. The conventional expectation of a varnish is a glossy appearance. However, Jowat SE broke new ground by developing a matt, transparent Braille varnish - the writing or pictures underneath remain perfectly visible and readable. The question, after all, is: Who should be able to see the varnish? Ideally, no one. Blind people do not require visual effects like for instance gloss. People with good eyesight, however, often recognise glossy dots as negative, especially when they are positioned over small letters. This is another challenge successfully mastered by the formulators of the new Jowat® Permacoat® 689.80 Braille varnish.