The Importance of Stable Pigment Dispersions For Inkjet Printing

Posted by Performance Coatings Team on 05/11/2022

In industrial inkjet printing, ink is the lifeblood of the digital presses. That’s especially true in the packaging market, where presses must keep up with short runs, versioning and customization in folding cartons, corrugated and flexible packaging on plastic films.

Working alongside the printhead, ink is the key element that enables digital printing and sets apart new industrial presses from their rivals in helping businesses compete for consumers’ attention and dollars.

Today’s digital presses can run fast—nearly 400 feet per minute (or 120 meters). To get an effective return on investment for digital presses that retail at multi-million-dollar costs, printers need to run around the clock with no significant downtime. And highly stable pigment dispersions play an important role in enabling high-speed, uninterrupted inkjet printing.


Eliminating a Point of Failure

Because of the stressors put on ink and the printheads, one of the primary points of failure of industrial inkjet presses are blocked or missing nozzles. That results in print quality issues, downtime, and printhead repair or replacement costs – decreasing profitability in a cost sensitive market. That’s why it’s so important for printers to maximize uptime, printhead life and the quality of printed items. Pigment dispersions are a critical component to achieving those objectives in high-speed printing applications.

One of the main causes of printhead failure can be traced to the quality of the pigment dispersion. At best, poor quality dispersions will lead to jetting issues with misfiring dots or a nozzle drops out and that color is missing. At worst, the entire printhead becomes blocked and needs replacing.

Highly stable pigment dispersions are designed to extend printhead life and maintain printer uptime to help ensure the overall success of an industrial inkjet printing ecosystem.


Stable Dispersion Technology

Lubrizol is enabling the transition to high-speed digital printing in the packaging industry through highly stable dispersion technology. In packaging applications, stability under very high-speed printing is critical.

Advanced dispersions offer increased open time, which is important if the press is stopped and the press operator needs to quickly start without going through set up again. If the nozzle stays open, the ink does not dry in and around the nozzle, eliminating the need for repeat set-up. These dispersions also eliminate jetting problems and blocked nozzles. Formulating ink using highly stable pigment dispersions provides the printer with quality assurance and improved printhead lifetimes.

Contact a Lubrizol expert to discuss our latest development in highly stable dispersions for the packaging market.

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