Introduction to Inkjet Printing Technology

Introduction to Inkjet Printing Technology

Modern printing technologies are based on digitizing information and representing the information through a non‐contact printing system onto substrates. Unlike the other forms of printing, the colorants to be printed are in the form of inks having low viscosity rather than pastes, or powders.

In principle, inkjet printing consists of the deposition of small jets (as ink droplets) of colored ink on substrates. The most common method of digital printing is through inkjet printers.

In the printing process, the jet of ink being printed is controlled by a computer (printing software) as determined by the digital image. The quality of the print is defined by the resolution of printing by ‘dots per inch’ (dpi).

Inkjet Color Palette and Spot Colors

Inkjet printing is based upon the colors - cyan, yellow, magenta and black (CYMK), rather than the traditional primary colors - red, green and blue (RGB) used in dyeing.

Although the color palette is quite restrictive, nevertheless, ‘spot’ colors can be added by the printer since print heads offer the capability of dispensing 6, 8 or even 12 colors during printing. In most cases, the ‘spot’ colors tend to be orange or green but can be colors specified by the client if their design is based upon a specific shade.

Spot and Process Color

The use of spot colors makes digital printing a versatile art where other aesthetics such as glitter or pearlescent effect can be achieved conveniently on any substrate.

Inkjet printing appears simple, however, inkjet inks ought to meet certain important physicochemical requirements which make their chemistry and formulation extraordinary. The important physicochemical factors that influence the ink formulation are:

  • Storage stability
  • Jetting performance
  • Color management
  • Wetting/surface tension
  • Adhesion, and
  • Environmental health

Let's explore the ingredients & latest trends that make the chemistry of various digital inkjet inks extraordinary.

Ingredient Selection for Inkjet Ink Formulation

Conventional Emerging Trends in Inkjet Printing

Standard Test Methods for Pigmented Systems

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