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'Smart' Inks and Coatings: An Alternative to Traditional Printing Methods

SpecialChem / PCI Magazine – Dec 12, 2007

Over the past few decades, the printing industry has undergone a number of developments to existing techniques such as ink-jet and laser printing. Developments have focused on improvements to existing techniques rather than completely new innovations. The last few years have also seen the introduction of "smart" technologies, ones that have intelligent features - for example color-changing inks and coatings, which are active rather than passive techniques. One company has developed an award-winning, "smart" process that looks set to revolutionize the printing industry - DataLase®. This article will review traditional printing techniques and the technology that has emerged as a viable alternative. Four printing techniques have prevailed in the printing industry as the techniques of choice: flexography, rotogravure, large-character ink-jet and laser printing. The innovative, "smart" technologies have been developed to work alongside these existing methods in order to add substantial benefits and take printing techniques to a new level.

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