Memjet Partners with Kao to Develop New Pigment-Based Inks

Memjet reports this week that it’s partnered with Kao Corporation to develop the pigment-based inks used in Memjet’s new DuraLink inkjet printing platform introduced last week (see story here).

Memjet says the new partnership brings together Memjet’s expertise in inkjet printing and ink formulations and Kao’s expertise in encapsulated pigment-dispersion technology designed to create a highly stable ink that provides superior print quality and durability across different media.

Memjet will be providing demonstrations of its new DuraLink printing platform and its pigment-based ink in booth number 3822 at the PRINT 17 trade show being held September 10 through 14 in Chicago.

DuraLink is Memjet’s groundbreaking new printing platform. It’s said to  combines long-life print heads, pigment ink, and flexible modules to give OEM partners “a fast, easy way to develop solutions for high-volume commercial, packaging and industrial printing markets.”

When developing the aqueous pigment inks, Memjet says it faced “steep challenges.” The ink would need to achieve water-fastness and resistance to fading from light, and be compatible with a broad range of media. It says it would also need to have a competitive color-gamut range and image quality, fast drying time, high reliability, and long life, all within the low-cost, and small drop-volume of the Memjet thermal inkjet print head.

For over five years, Memjet and Kao worked together to develop the aqueous pigment inks that could meet these challenges. The companies used their collective expertise to create “a highly stable, pigmented ink for use on plain, treated and inkjet-coated media.” The custom design of the ink, combined with its highly controlled pigment dispersion manufacturing process, means the ink is extremely stable and produces excellent ink-on-media performance with DuraLink print heads in high-speed inkjet presses.

Kim Champion, vice president of ink and materials at Memjet, commented: “By leveraging Memjet’s ink and print-head expertise with Kao’s in-depth knowledge of dispersion technology and ink formulation, we were able to create a high-performing and reliable ink set for DuraLink. In my experience, Memjet’s partnership with Kao has been one of the most collaborative and productive, and I look forward to continuing the alliance, which will no doubt lead to future technology advancements in ink for Memjet print heads.”

DuraLink aqueous pigment inks are said to provide excellent image quality on a range of media from plain paper to media targeted for water-based pigments, while also ensuring resistance to damage from rubbing, moisture, and light. The inks are also said to promote long ejection and installed life of DuraLink print heads.

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