Analysis and Measurement of Ink Media Interactions in Inkjet Printing

R. Sharma, E. Bedford, B. Brys, K.T. Viswanath, E.P. Furlani
Cabot Corporation, US

Keywords: inkjet printing, ink media interactions, flocculation, ink pigment aggregation, ink absorption, population balance modeling of particle aggregation, porosity of ink jet paper, permeability of inkjet paper


The development of modern inkjet printing systems is a complex process that requires an interdisciplinary team to address numerous critical and fundamental issues encountered throughout the commercialization cycle. An inkjet development effort spans a broad range of diverse yet coupled activities that include the rational design of ink formulations, optimization of droplet generation, high-throughput precision deposition of droplets onto a moving receiver media and consideration of ink media interactions such as the spreading and absorption of droplets and the impact on image quality. The focus of this presentation is on ink media interactions. Specifically, results are presented on the absorption and spreading of droplets upon impact with porous media and the behavior of colloidal ink pigments during the deposition process. Theoretical and experimental results are presented to quantify these processes. The theoretical work involves the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to study ink absorption as a function of fluid properties and media properties. Results are also presented on the use of a population balance model (based on DLVO theory) to predict pigment aggregation as a function of pigment size and ink properties. Experimental results are presented describing the characterization of the permeability of the media and the behavior of droplets upon impact with the media. The challenges associated with the quantifying ink media interactions are also discussed.