The objectives of this project are :
- to increase the speed by the use of polymerizable materials cured under UV or EB irradiation so as to involve in-situ-network formation in which the pigment particles are occluded and local covalent-bondings with the chemical structure of the textile material.
- to significantly decrease energy consumption by elimination of the drying operation.
A new process for textile printing under ultraviolet (UV) and/or electron beam (EB) curing has been investigated, and complete data concerning formulations for screen and ink jet, curing parameters and printing quality on cotton and cotton polyester web are available. Prototype lines (UV and EB) were constructed. Their experimentation provided a complete process cost evaluation under industrial conditions.
Since the screen printing process uses nonthermal curing, it is intended to exploit this for printing polyolefinic materials (polyethylene and polypropylene).
The ink jet printing process has many advantages over traditional screen printing. An assessment is to be carried out focussing mainly on the colour matching capabilities of the process and on industrial printing conditions.
It is expected that the new water dispersible and UV curable oligomers will also find applications in wood or paper coatings, lithographic inks, etc.
Pigment printing is the most important process used in the textile printing industry. This process presents the following disadvantages :
- low speed of printing (washing and rubbering resistance, dry-cleaning speed)
- bad touch due to the hardening of the binder necessary for the link formation between pigment particles and the fibre
- energy consumption due to the thermal treatment needed for fixation (150-160 degree from 1 to 4 minutes).
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