From their early development stages to their final manufacture, products are marked for various purposes, such as branding, checking or grading. While marking activities mostly concern semi-finished products, decoration activities are only related to end products before their market release. As such, the use of highly specialised inks with good adherence properties is necessary for achieving satisfactory results. The ever-growing need for increasing production has imposed new demands on expediting marking and decoration activities. While computer-controlled printing processes have been adopted, most of the inks already available appear to be insufficient for use. Particularly for products that involve high processing temperatures (800ºC), it is very difficult to find suitable inks for acceptable markings. To resolve this, this project developed a range of inks with advanced properties to fulfil the requirements of quality markings and decorations. These are especially designed for materials that can be heated under high temperatures (600ºC) over a long time, such as ceramics, glass and metals. For proving the printing quality of inks, the partners also developed a reliable software-driven printing system for these marking and decorating procedures. The project partners employed various scientific methods and tools, including nano-particle technology, ink rheology, sol-gel technology, pigments/dyes, colloid chemistry and novel polymers. Apart from their good adhesion capabilities to such surfaces, they display improved mechanical, chemical and UV-light resistance. All these attributes provide them with increased potential against abrasion, scratching, heat, UV light, domestic solvents and cleaning materials. The inks can be used in software-controlled, non-contact, printing equipment.
High temperature inks and a computerised, reliable, printing system for marking and decoration of products and semi-finished products
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6 February 2019