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Inkjet Technology for Digital Fabrication by Graham D. Martin, Ian M. Hutchings

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Chapter 4

Fluids for Inkjet Printing

Stephen G. Yeates, Desheng Xu, Marie-Beatrice Madec, Dolores Caras-Quintero, Khalid A. Alamry, Andromachi Malandraki and Veronica Sanchez-Romaguera

Organic Materials Innovation Centre, School of Chemistry, University of Manchester United Kingdom

4.1 Introduction

In this chapter, we will address the various components and their function within an inkjet fluid. At the simplest level the components within an inkjet fluid fulfil one of two primary roles. Firstly there are components such as solvent, humectants and surfactants which are present to enable a stable ink to be formulated which is capable of being jetted reliably under standard operating conditions, and secondly there are components such as dyes, pigments and functional materials whose role is to give an effect to the printed substrate. It is not possible to give prescriptive formulation guidance in a text such as this but instead to make the reader aware of the important design rules as well as the exciting opportunities which exist. It should be recognised from the outset that the reliability and printing characteristics of any ink are not inherent properties of the formulation but are strongly dependent on the print-head and process architecture, thus requiring a holistic approach to ink design.

Therefore in the first part of this chapter we focus upon the constraints imposed by the different head technologies on the types of inks which can be successfully printed. Since inkjet digital ...

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