At HARMAN technology Ltd we are applying the technology we have learnt in decades of experience in the photographic field in other areas.
Aqueous Ink Jet Inks for Outdoor Use
In addition to coated ink jet media, HARMAN technology Ltd also has experience of developing ink jet inks for specialist uses. For instance, there is interest in employing ink jet printing methods in large and very large format applications for uses such as banners, signage, displays, posters, and billboards. For applications where the print may be exposed to the elements in outdoor usage it is common to use a hydrophobic, durable substrate such as vinyl (PVC), but the water-based inks generally preferred in ink jet printing do not print well (or at all) on such substrates, either because the ink does not adequately wet the substrate during printing resulting in a poor quality print, or because the ink does not adhere well and is insufficiently robust to handling damage.
Thus it is common either to use an ink-receiving coating on the substrate, or to employ solvent-based or UV cured inks that will print successfully on the uncoated substrate.
However by careful choice of the various components that make up the ink we have designed a water-based ink jet ink formulation that will print successfully on such substrates. The picture below shows a test chart being printed on an uncoated vinyl substrate using an experimental water-based ink.
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