Direct to vinyl digital printing using solvent-based inks is very well known in a piezo inkjet print head for durable outdoor signage. Due to the high cost of piezo heads, the printers are too costly for small volume printing jobs in small shop environments.To fulfill the need for an affordable printer that prints directly on vinyl and still offers a competitive cost per print, a low cost wide format printer with thermal inkjet head is suggested.The challenge in building such system is heavily dependent on development of an ink that is required to be aqueous, can jet reliably through a thermal inkjet head and still meet the requirements for outdoor performance.For this purpose we have developed an inkjet ink that is composed of pigment, aqueous vehicle, and a sufficient amount of polymeric binder that is capable of jetting reliably in thermal inkjet head with consistent image quality and no kogation. The aqueous ink can print directly on uncoated or untreated vinyl with excellent adhesion and lighfast durability.The printer and the printing process have been specifically modified to suit the special ink needs.This paper will address the steps, requirements, and conditions taken to achieve the objective application.
Dheya Alfekri, "Thermally Stable Aqueous Pigmented Inks for Printing on Vinyl" in Proc. IS&T Int'l Conf. on Digital Printing Technologies (NIP18), 2002, pp 536 - 539, https://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2169-4451.2002.18.1.art00026_2