New inks for digital printing thanks to nanotechnology

Researchers at the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) and the Technological Center Lurederra devise new inks thanks to the nano technology that can be applied on non-porous materials, such as glass or ceramic, and, due to the size of the particles that compose them, the Printing equipment needs less maintenance. These are the main advantages of the new inks for multicolored digital printing conceived within the Inkoptimum project.

Thanks to nanotechnology, they combine the ease of handling of organic dyes and the thermal and chemical stability of inorganic pigments. Due to limitations such as the adherence of some inks on non-porous surfaces or their degradation, the need for this work has arisen, the aim of which is to design and manufacture new inks that combine the best of the two main categories necessary for that labeling: organic and the inorganic pigments, thanks to the potential of nanotechnology.

The solid-liquid integration and the problems of agglomeration of solid particles that damage stability are the main challenges that the project has raised. In this sense, nanotechnology is one of the techniques that “allow to design and manufacture materials in extremely small-sized powder format, which makes it possible to face the main challenges of the use of pigments in high-resolution digital printing,” the researchers highlighted. Luis Gandía and Fernando Bimbela.

This team of researchers works in the manufacture of nanomaterials that correspond to the primary colors as the basis of the new inks. These, in addition, “will not have limitations to be able to be cured at high temperatures and thus achieve its fixation on non-porous materials such as glass or ceramic. Also, they can be applied outdoors and, due to the small size of their particles, maintenance associated with obstructions in printers will be easier and cheaper, “concludes researcher Cristina Salazar.