Mills for Ink Jet Inks

Mills for Ink Jet Inks

As noted above, the two major areas of growth within the printing ink industry are ink jet inks and UV/EB inks. Ink jet and digital inks are the fastest-growing segment of the ink industry, with estimates placing the growth at better than 20 percent annually.

Considering the improvements being made in ink jet technology and the gains being made in digital presses, it is clear that ink jet inks are on the rise.

“Digital inks and e-inks are a growing industry,” said Wendy Rogalinski, MFIC Corporation’s marketing communications manager, “and our customers are becoming ever more demanding so they can stay ahead of their competition.”

In order to be effective, ink jet inks are low viscosity and fine particle size. Milling manufacturers are working to meet those two requirements.

“Ink jet inks are very low in viscosity and require a high degree of fineness to pass through the nozzle,” said Kirsten Grosse, sales manager, grinding and dispersion group for Buhler Inc. “Usually these inks require a narrow particle distribution.”

John Sneeringer, technical director of Premier Mill, said he is also seeing an interest in digital printing. Many new formulations are being developed in the low to medium viscosity range. This fits well with Premier’s Supermills and Submersibles basket mills, which are most efficient in this range.

“We’re seeing a trend toward finer particle size and more narrow particle distribution requirements for applications such as ink jet inks,” Mr. Sneeringer said. “Our customers also want to use finer grinding media as small as 0.1 mm., not just in inks, but also in other applications such as automotive coatings and conductive ceramic applications.”

“Our Morehouse-Cowles division manufactures dispersers and media mills that can reduce particles sizes to 1 micron,” Ms. Rogalinski said. “For more demanding digital and e-ink applications, our Microfluidics division manufactures Microfluidizer Processors which produce submicron particle sizes for pigmented and dye type inks. With these processors, all of the ink is forced through the ‘interaction chamber’ which has a diameter smaller than a human hair, and all the ink particles are subject to shear and impact. This unique technology means Microfluidics is listed in a lot of patents because our equipment allows our customers to create products they couldn’t otherwise without our equipment.”

“In the ink jet market, Netzsch is the leader in terms of process knowledge,” said Harry Way, manager of research and development for the grinding and dispersion division of Netzsch Incorporated. “The patented Netzsch media separation system easily allows use of grinding media smaller than 200 microns. Netzsch’s experience in this market has optimized materials of construction for metal free grinding; process control with the Voyager control system results in minimal downtime and process repeatability. The broad pallet of machines in the Netzsch product line allows tailoring of the correct premixing and grinding systems for each product rheology.”

“With a standard spike mill and small-sized ceramic media, we’ve been able to successfully achieve submicron size,” said Gerry Chait, vice president and COO of Inoue USA.


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Post time: Mar-27-2018
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