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Elvacite® Inkjet Ink Binders

Inkjet inks have recently experienced a rapid increase in utility and adoption within the ink formulation industry. This is largely due to the increased versatility and agility inkjet printers provide in terms of the different types of jobs that can be achieved using a single printer. While commercial and office document printing constitute a major part of the applications for inkjet inks, industrial coding, labeling, and printing applications are on the rise.

Industrial Inkjet Applications


Examples of industrial inkjet ink applications include marking and labeling electronics, parts, equipment, and more that are made of metal, glass, or plastic materials. Inks formulated for such industrial applications require a higher degree of durability than those used for printing since they often convey important information pertaining to safety, instructions, or branding. These inks must have excellent abrasion resistance, withstand exposure to various environmental conditions, and convey high detail. Mitsubishi developed Elvacite® resins for inkjet inks to ensure formulators can produce inks that encompass these features such that they meet or exceed customer expectations.

Elvacite® Resins


Mitsubishi Chemical Group’s Elvacite® acrylic resins, manufactured in Pasadena, Texas, are widely used as binders in coating, ink, and adhesive applications. Elvacite® provides formulators with better performance and functionality for their specific applications through a vast portfolio of options that spans various molecular weights, glass transition temperatures (Tg), functional group chemistries, and more.

Why Is Elvacite® Ideal for Inkjet Inks?


Elvacite® resins perform well as binders and cobinders in inkjet inks because they provide a solution to adhesion issues of inks to various substrates, imbue outstanding protection to the ink, facilitate good pigment dispersion in ink solutions, and enable good workability and application of the ink. These points are explored in depth below.

Improved Adhesion to Substrates


It is relatively more difficult to achieve adhesion of inkjet inks for industrial applications than commercial printing applications because of the metal and low–surface energy plastic materials used. Typically, primers or adhesion-promoting additives are required to introduce favorable interactions between ink-binder functional groups and these materials. Elvacite® binders inherently provide excellent adhesion to materials such as glass, metal, and plastic. In some cases, Elvacite® even eliminates the need for primers or adhesion promoters by providing 5B adhesion ratings, which indicate excellent performance and no adhesion failure on ASTM 3359 tests. The following images depict such results on various industrial substrates.

Elvacite® 4349’s Adhesion to Metal Surfaces (ASTM D3359)
Elvacite® 4364’s Adhesion to Plastic Surfaces (ASTM D3359)

Enhanced Durability and Workability


As mentioned previously, industrial inkjet inks require a greater degree of durability than those used for printing packaging, for example, because they are required to last for more indefinite periods. Elvacite® binders provide excellent resistance to ultraviolet degradation, weathering, water, and chemicals. As such, inkjet inks will retain their integrity and convey information for longer, even when exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Low–molecular weight Elvacite® binders have been developed specifically for inkjet inks to facilitate better workability and achieve the necessary viscosity for dispensing and applying inks.

Good Pigment Dispersion


Since pigments are one of the necessary components of ink formulations, it is important that they are evenly dispersed so that inkjet printhead nozzles remain unclogged and the ink itself has minimized surface defects. Mitsubishi developed Elvacite® binders with functional groups that assist in pigment dispersion and prevent pigment agglomeration. Several binders are available in various low to medium molecular weights to accommodate and optimize for various pigment sizes to achieve better dispersion.

Recommended Elvacite® Binders for Inkjet Inks

Summary


Compared to inkjet inks used for commercial printing, industrial inkjet ink formulations require a higher degree of durability and must adhere to many more types of low–surface energy surfaces. To account for this, Mitsubishi developed Elvacite® resins to perform as ideal binders for industrial inkjet inks. They increase adhesion to various industrial substrates (such as plastics and metals), facilitate good pigment dispersion, and enhance resistance to abrasion, weathering, and chemicals. Click below to request a sample and discuss your application further.
 

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