The mechanical properties of latex ink

In the oncoming years, industrial inkjet printing is expected to further replace industrial analog printing techniques such as offset printing. In 2015 Océ Technologies BV in Venlo introduced a production printing sheet-fed printer that makes use of latex binder. Latex are dispersed polymeric particles of roughly 100nm in diameter. By jetting these dispersions in picoliter (10-12liters) drops on substrates, these particles fuse spontaneously when removing the water matrix at relatively low temperatures. Hence, polymeric films of typically 1µm form, see Figure x. ‘Latex binder technology’ is widely applied in the paint industry where layers have hours to dry and face little mechanical impact during drying. In contrast to paint, inkjet inks only have seconds to dry and face mechanical impact directly after drying. Understanding and quantifying the mechanical properties of drying latex ink layers is essential to further improve these inkjet production presses.

The objective of Océ is to predict the mechanical performance of these ink layers on paper. A first step towards this objective is made in this project by parametrization of the mechanical properties of latex ink layers by means of nano-indentation and nano-scratch measurements. The next step is to develop a model that can accurately predict the mechanical performance of these latex ink layers.

Type of research: Experimental/Numerical