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Metallic Inks for Nanographic Printing

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  • Metallic Inks for Nanographic Printing

    Ok admittedly, there has been enormous promotion, optimism, monies invested and joint ventures between companies in trying to get this print process off the ground. Of course there has also been the skepticism, the doubting of fruition and sometimes too much criticism to the validity of the realization for the print process. That will continue until actual productive progress and profit is captured by the investors into the conceptual entity.

    However, let us just say that finally this type of printing were to become a reality. The ink has been successfully planted on a substrate and produces print work that is sellable and AFORDABLE.

    Thinking forwardly ahead of that, I pose to the forum members the feasibility of the pros and cons of printing with metallic inks, even pearlescent effects.

    I will start with the possible PROS: 1) The concept of instant dry and polymerization would be a positive for the usual associated problems encountered with the more conventional print processes, such as offset and even UV cure offset on various substrates. 2) Being a vehicle less ink, more of the micronized nano particle could be delivered to the sheet, again versus traditional ink systems that contain varnish (vehicle), solvents and pigment. A normal loading of metallic pigment in offset would be never any more than 40%, and that is still considered very high. So there might be an advantage for nanography. 3) Durabilty leads back to point 1.

    Looking at the CONS: 1) The nano ink particle being so small, there seems that any expected brilliance or leafing possibility would be improbable. 2) With the development of the nano conventional type of ink particle and waiting for proof in working properties, any metallic instance of research and development are probably not even thought of or conceived. 3) Any micronization that would absolutely be necessary for delivery from nozzle in transport to substrate would also detract for the desired effects of metallic or pearl especially. 4) The same problems with de-inking methodologies and being a friend to the environment with the standard nano ink will only exacerbate itself when you are speaking of disposing or recycling of metal elements.

    This post is presented as thought as to the long road a new process needs to take to become successful. This is just one of the many obstacles that need to be considered and faced as time proceeds and ambitions are tested.

    Please add more to this posting as you see fit for the positives and negatives of the nanography challenges.

    D Ink Man

  • #2
    I think you're right about the improbability of metallic inks with nanographic printing since the smaller the particle (i.e. less than around 20µm (microns) , the less shiny the final effect.

    Other potential cons:

    1 - What happens when the nanographically printed material enters the paper recycling stream? Is it innocuous or will it cause contamination or? I've posed this question to the Landa org but there has been no response.

    2 - Nano-sized particles can pass through human skin. What are the health consequences in the pressroom with the use of this kind of ink?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by alibryan
      While this thread brings up an interesting topic for sure, I think I'll take the side of 'wait and see'.

      This technology is still brand new and is just now entering into the production side of the printing market. While I believe that most (if not all) of these questions have already been thought of and addressed by the founder of this technology, little is still known by the actual customer/consumer. It's going to take some time to find these things out and I also think that (unless posted by someone who has one of these presses, or at least works with one) unfortunately, anything that's presented here is going to be mostly speculation at this point.
      The technology is not so new. Landa began working on it in 2002 and first introduced a working press in 2012 - so, depending on where you want to start, it's at least 10 year old tech. IMHO that's time enough to determine basic issues like recycling and nano particles passing through skin (which is a characteristic of nano sized particles irrespective of Landa's ink). The issue of metallic inks is well known - the smaller the particle the less brilliant the silver - so, if there's a 5th unit that is used for metallic inks, those inks won't use nano ink, and that's OK.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gordo View Post
        Nano-sized particles can pass through human skin.
        The ink is not supplied or used in powder form, but suspended in liquid. It Is not airborne.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Schnitzel View Post

          The ink is not supplied or used in powder form, but suspended in liquid. It Is not airborne.
          From their website: "Landa NanoInk® colorants are supplied as liquid concentrates and need only be mixed with water onsite to prepare it for use." It's the end user that's doing the mixing with water to prepare the colorants for printing. Not sure about how safe that process is. I guess we'll see.

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          • #6
            We've been printing with HP Indigo since 2003. Still waiting for our first can of metallic ink to arrive. During that time HP seem to have sold a lot of presses. I'm even told that some of them don't break down and one or two of them are profitable ;-)

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            • #7
              Wow, that size or chemistry to penetrate the epidermal of the living organism is something I never fathomed Pritch!

              And certainly, if factual, would trump all predecessors of skepticism offered to date. This is quite a revelation.

              All methinks, now more than ever must exercise caution to the wind.

              D Ink Man

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