The studies and experiments have proved that computer-controlled decoration of plastic products can be achieved by continuous ink-jet printing. The integration of such a decoration system in a production environment would bring both flexibility and cost reductions when compared with conventional printing techniques such as screen or pad-printing.
It has been firmly established that the association of pigmented inks with substrate surface-treatment enables the creation of durable coloured images on poor adhering polyolefins like polypropylene. On the graphics side, file manipulation, colour separation, and specific half-toning procedures have been cast into a PC-based Colour Imaging System. Research is still proceeding, aimed at adapting the resistant pigmented ink formulations to the high-resolution technology developed during the project (high-resolution printouts still lack solvent- and light-fastness).
Customization of high-volume production to smaller batches of different styles is of growing importance to the competitiveness of consumer products, but requires flexible production means and automated control. Considering environmental aspects, the introduction of recyclable plastics in industry is still hindered by their poor printability.
The aim of this project is to develop a high-resolution, multi-colour, environmentally friendly inkjet printing process for plastic and laquered products and to improve the printability of recyclable, but poor adhering polymers.
The major research tasks are:
- Development of a microdrop printer with a colour composition and image manipulation system.
- Printability enhancement by control of injection moulding parameters and laser surface activation.
- Development of environmentally friendly opaque inks to enable raster printing on light and dark backgrounds.
Successful completion will lead to the development of a new industrial flexible decorative printing process, that will yield production cost reduction and market growth of at least 10% for the packaging, toys, household equipment, graphics and consumer electronics industries.
Recyclable plastics can be wider introduced and working conditions for operators are largely improved compared to using other decorative printing methods.
Call for proposalData not available
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
5600 MD Eindhoven
4844 CL Terheijden