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Cohesive Ink Failure in Thermal Transfer Printing

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Thermal Transfer Ribbon (TTR) printing is a useful digital marking technology for printing on-demand bar code labels. Over the past decade, a number of advances have taken place with both the printing mechanism and media to enhance image performance in terms of print speed, image durability, print quality, resolution, and cost of ownership.

This technical paper investigates a printing defect referred to as “ink split”, a phenomenon that manifests itself under certain printing conditions. As part of this investigation, the TTR printing model is revisited. Empirical evidence of the ink split defect is reviewed. Conventional thermal transfer ink layer construction is described. A cohesive failure mode is described in terms of the printing model and includes a description of crack propagation that occurs within the ink structure during the printing process.

From this analysis we have found that complex ink formulations and multiple ink layer constructions in conjunction with high print speed have the potential to produce this ink split defect. The severity is influenced by temperature and nip pressure conditions. Furthermore, this defect can be reduced and eliminated by several different print system modifications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2001

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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