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Technical Evolution of Ceramic Tile Digital Decoration

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The first digital systems to appear in the traditional decoration of ceramic tiles were for the manufacture of photolithographs, screen printing screens, and rollers. However, since these systems do not allow direct digital decoration of the ceramic tile, they are not very versatile and constrain productivity.

The formulation of inks with soluble and vitrifiable stains enabled inkjet printing technology to be introduced into ceramic tile decoration. The incorporation of milled inorganic pigments into the inks then broadened the available colour palette. The colloidal instability of these inks and the own constraints of the printing heads made it necessary to reduce the particle size of the pigments used, thus limiting colour saturation.

In order to overcome this technological challenge, pigments with larger particle sizes need to be used, making it necessary to introduce other digital decoration techniques, such as xerography.

The adaptation of this technique to ceramic tile decoration entails the development of ceramic toners and the adjustment of the printing machines. A system has been developed that is able to print ceramic tiles by contact, which has required adjusting the mechanical and electrical properties of the transfer roller.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • 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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