Image Quality in UV Curing Jet-Ink Technology

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UV curing inks based on 100% solids free-radical chemistry are finding increasingly wide application in inkjet printing. Such inks offer high jetting reliability and multi-purpose end-use properties, and much ink development effort has gone into these two requirements. However, a third but perhaps equally important requirement has not previously received the same attention – image quality.

Substrate, printing process and ink formulation variables may all play a key role in controlling image quality. However, whilst more established ink technologies such as water and solvent based inks will dry by penetration or evaporation, the drying mechanism for UV curing inks is quite different requiring a new understanding of the role of the UV ink formulation in image quality. This paper examines some of the issues from the perspective of UV curing inks, and looks at how tuning the chemistry of the ink formulation could modify image quality in a variety of applications.

In addition, there is a huge number of substrate and process variables in the latest UV curing inkjet applications, together with a frequent need to match the appearance of the printed output to conventionally printed materials. Improved understanding of the link between UV ink formulation and image quality will become part of a more generic approach to coping with this complexity. Ultimately, success in this area could help speed up the time to market of new UV curing inkjet printing systems.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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