SGIA 2017 – New Orleans Part 2 of 3
Ink Development of 2017 – Water-based Applications for Sign and Label by Prism Inks
The booth that really caught our eye for printing on non-porous, semi-porous, or microporous material was Sensient. They have been busy formulating top of the line inks for both mechanical durability as well as UV stability. The exact quote their SGIA representative used was, “For our new SX 3000 inks we are only using pigments with a Blue Wool Value of 6 or higher. This means that all of our pigments in the SX 3000 inks have the highest resistance to color density loss and Delta E color fade.”
The statement from the SX 3000 SensiJet Ink Brochure states:
“SensiJet SX 3000 inks are pigmented, water-based inkjet inks designed for non-porous substrates to generate images with excellent adhesion and fastness properties.”
These inks were developed with the environment in mind. The SX 3000 aqueous inks have been designed to have a low impact on the environment and meet the modern environmental and regulatory requirements.
SensiJet SX 3000 Ink Applications
- Labels, posters, flexible and rigid packaging
- Signage and displays (advertising panels, outdoor and indoor banners, backlit displays, temporary signage, vehicle wraps)
- Decorative industry (wall coverings, photomurals, professional photography and fine arts, glass, ceramics)
- Leather (fashion, automotive)
- Laminated applications (with adhesive or thermal lamination)
SensiJet SX 3000 Print Head Applications
Sensient Printer Integration
Sensient partners with several companies to develop printers and systems solutions. Their specialty lies in the inks and as such they have ensured compatibility with Epson, Kyocera, and Konica print heads. These print heads can be integrated into 3rd party printers or printer solutions.
SensiJet SX 3000 Ink Printing
SensiJet SX 3000 inks have been tested on various industrial prints. The suitability of the inks for individual machines and model’s needs, has to be validated by the 3rd party integrator. Depending on the ink and Piezo print head being used, heat may be required during printing (45C to 60C is recommended), the ink will set immediately.
SensiJet SX 3000 Compatible Substrates
SensiJet SX 3000 inks can be printed directly onto non-porous or semi-porous materials such as: polypropylene, polyethylene, PVC, TPU, window glass, leather, polycarbonate, ABS, polyamide, and various exterior vinyl applications.
SensiJet SX 3000 Curing Conditions of the Aqueous Ink
For the maximum mechanical resistance, prints should be cured at 100C for 1-2 minutes. If lower temperatures are required due to the nature of the substrate, the curing time should be increased by 3 minutes for every 10-degree decrease in temperature. The dry time is most notable for smudging the image, but is truly critical for the exterior and mechanical durability. While an image may appear dry to the touch it can be due to an exterior skin forming at the liquid air interface. If this is not fully dried or cured the image will degrade significantly faster than a fully cured print.
SensiJet SX 3000 Pre and Post Treatment
Depending on the substrate, the surface may need to be optimized for wetting out. Many companies rely on Corona or plasma treatment, but there are specialty coating companies who develop print receptive topcoats or primers to avoid pre-treatments like Corona. Post treatment is never necessary but can be used to improve durability if an over laminate is applied with UV stabilizers or absorbers.
SensiJet SX 3000 Cleaning and Head Maintenance
While this is highly dependent on the print head and the subsequent integration into a printer, it is recommended to use the SensiJet brand cleaning fluid for all preventative maintenance. The SXY 1010 will clean out any residual inks from the print head, as well as to clear out any nozzles which may be misfiring or clogging. Also, if the printer remains idle for longer than 60 minutes or becomes unplugged, the printheads need to be properly capped.
SensiJet SX 3000 Capping of the Printhead when Idle
It is recommended to use a water-filled capping station with the liquid level close to the nozzle plate to ensure that a proper vapor pressure is maintained through the capping periods. Depending on the print head used ask your Sensient representative if a co-solvent such as a glycol can be added to improve the cleaning of the print head and nozzles after the capping session.