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Digital Print technologies and their relation to Vitreous Enamel on metal for the visual artist.

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The Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England has recently installed a large-scale electric enamelling kiln for firing enamelled panels to be used in public art projects. This has necessitated research into methods of transferring digital photographic imagery printed using vitreous enamel onto steel and copper flanged panels. The panels have to be light fast, vandal proof and be able to withstand outdoor weather conditions for approximately thirty years

In order to obtain the best quality photographic rendition and to guarantee accurate registration large-scale decals have to be used. Two primary methods of transferring a digital image to a decal have been investigated to date. The investigation compares commercial electrostatic ceramic decals to a new screen-printed decal system patented by the CFPR. The problem is a balance between ink deposition, photographic rendition, thermal shock effects and particle size and deposition.

Microphotographs comparing decals before and after firing to ascertain strength of deposition, colour quality and ability to flux with the basecoat demonstrate the results. Some of the problems encountered will be discussed and examples of public art projects completed as a result of the study will be demonstrated.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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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