Electronic ink manufacturing process and advantages

With the continuous networking and digitization of printing technology, digital offset printing has begun to spread at home and abroad, and a new type of ink, electronic ink, which is suitable for the use of digital offset printing machines, has also been used by people. Electronic inks contain charged liquid ink particles that make it possible to electronically control the position of printed particles in digital printing. Electronic inks can reach very small particles (1-2 micrometers), so that small particles enable printing with higher resolution and smoothness, sharpening the edge of the image, and forming a very thin image layer. Electronic inks have now taken effect in the following areas. (1) The standard basic color CMYK; (2) The advertisement field 6 color settings increase the orange, purple, so that the color reproduction capability is much higher than the original 4 color based on the color reproduction capabilities; (3) and PANTONE compatible Indigo Color system; (4) opaque white coating of colorless printing materials; (5) fluorescent ink. Indigo's color digital offset printers provide a unique combination of features. The presses use electronic ink (Indigo's unique liquid ink).

First, the electronic ink manufacturing process

Electronic ink A special type of ink that is printed on a treated base material and has a diameter of only the size of the hair, and is made of microcapsules. In a microcapsule there are many positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles. Positive and negatively charged particles are distributed in the transparent liquid within the microcapsules. When the microcapsules are charged, the positively charged particles gather on the side that is visible to the viewer, which is white; when negatively charged, the negatively charged black particles gather on the side that the observer can see, which looks like It is black. These particles are controlled by the positioning of the electric field, ie the position at which the color is displayed is controlled by the previous electric field, and the control electric field is generated by the backplane with a high-resolution display display.

The manufacturing process of the paper-array electronic ink display media tool can be divided into:

1, the electronic ink coating.

First, the electronic ink is uniformly printed onto a conductive transparent plastic substrate. That is, the microcapsule-colored particles are suspended and dispersed in a liquid medium to form an ink in a general sense, and then printed on a plastic by a screen printing method.
As with plastic sheets, various surfaces such as fibers, glass, and even paper can become substrates for electronic ink, form an information display medium, and expand the scope of information media.

2. The plastic sheet printed with electronic ink is pasted on a base plate.

When sticking, first apply a layer of adhesive on the plastic sheet, and then roll it with a roller to make the plastic sheet evenly adhere to the bottom plate.
A pre-laminated plate (FPL) with electronic ink is formed. The backplane has a high-resolution display array whose circuitry is controlled by the display software to form graphics composed of pixels.

Second, the advantages of electronic ink

Indigo's color digital offset press, with its electronic ink and other advantages, achieves many advantages:

1, high brightness, high definition and durability. Manufacturers use the same ingredients as traditional inks, and only charge the sub-inks to make electronic inks. Therefore, electronic inks read similar to inks traditionally printed on paper, but they have high brightness and contrast when matched with paper. And can have a 180 degree perspective. From the high magnification results, it can be clearly seen that the image formed by the electronic ink has a sharper degree of sharpness than the image formed by the electrophotographic dry powder. This advantage makes it clearer when printing continuous or finely printed text images. The clean and pollution-free background of electronic ink images is also worth noting. This advantage comes from the way that tiny particles of electronic ink are transferred during printing.

2, network points and color consistency. Dot enlargement refers to the tendency of printed continuous blended line images to spread under embossing. Indigo digital color offset printers can control dot gain. The Indigo press has a calibration function that allows printed dots to be in the required size range. In addition, Indigo's printing opportunities automatically adjust the optimal density (such as the darkness of the appearance) and the size of the dots, so that each print has the same appearance.

3, the image smoothness. Many people think that the key to the quality of offset printing is image smoothness, which is not the case. The key to quality lies in the uniformity of the image. Indigo presses, unlike electrostatic dry powder printers or copiers, can only output images with the same smoothness regardless of the material of the paper. This results in varying degrees of smoothness (such as solid dry powder coverage) and highlighted areas (not covered) in dark areas. Dry powder covered area). The electronic ink image matches the smoothness of the substrate and, like a conventional offset press, produces effects ranging from rough to dull to high brightness. According to different figures and the smoothness characteristics of the offset press, the actual operation shows that the ideal smoothness of the electronic ink can basically meet the requirements of various papers other than super-glossy paper. For moderately smooth paper, electronic ink is more advantageous than lithographic ink, but lithographic ink is superior in the field of ultra-smooth paper.

4, color. Electronic ink can be printed according to international color standards. All of these standards are based on four-color standard basic color CMYK (cyan, product, yellow, black). Lithography uses different ink formulations according to different standards, while electronic ink uses only one set of colors for different standards. The electronic ink adjusts the density of ink (color concentration) through electrons to suit different needs. The special properties of electronic ink and the charging characteristics of its ink determine its unique features on a four-color basis. In addition to printing the four-color basic color, the electronic ink of the spot color system expands the color gamut to a color gamut that cannot be achieved by the four-color basic color. The spot color ink system is capable of six-color printing, and imaging uses a primary transfer technology.

5, instant dry. Because the electronic ink solidifies when it is transferred to the substrate, the finished product will dry when leaving the Indigo press. Electronic ink does not require further drying. Electronic inks can be cured without emissions without further drying. At the same time, the electronic ink only needs 100°C, and the relatively low temperature does not allow the substrate to be heated, damaged or curled.

6, light does not fade. The pigment particles encapsulated in the electronic ink silicone resin will prevent the chemical composition of the pigment from being oxidized or affected by moisture. Especially under the strong sunlight ultraviolet irradiation, the electronic ink has advantages over the traditional offset ink in this respect.

7, low energy consumption. The electronic ink display media is a kind of completely reflective reading media and does not require a background light; unlike display media such as computer displays and LCDs, light and shade are used to express graphic and textual information, and the generation of light depends on electrical energy. Once the electronic ink is displayed on the display panel, they maintain the information content in a stable display state until the next display page is updated. In order to maintain a stable display of page information, display media such as computer displays and LCDs need to be constantly supplied with electric power in order to emit light for display. In this way, the advantage of electronic ink is that it consumes not the amount of display time but the number of page updates.

8, strong printability. Electronic ink can be applied to almost all materials, it can be printed on textiles, paper, plastics and many other materials. We know that the LCD is displayed on the glass, but it is heavy and fragile. The electronic ink can be displayed on the plastic surface, which makes it ultra-thin, elastic and not brittle. Electronic ink is an ink. If someone accidentally gets splashed with electronic ink when he enters the laboratory, the person becomes a walking monitor.

Printing with electronic ink is very easy. For example: It can be used for web printing and it is estimated that in the near future it will be used for glossy advertising papers and other large format labels. Today, electronic ink has begun to cooperate with other electronic devices. For example, E-Ink Corp. recently announced that it will cooperate with IBM to jointly develop a world-class SVGA electronic ink display. It is estimated that electronic ink display devices may be put into the market within the next year or two. It is said that electronic ink will also cooperate with emerging changes in the entire publishing industry in the field of printed electronics. E-Ink and Lucent Technologies have produced the world's first fully printed display. Their ultimate goal is to print on one side of the paper with ink and the other side with electronic ink.



Source: Graphic Arts

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