Kronos improves white ink support

9900 water-based white dispersion for inkjet inks

Dirk Imhof, head of Kronos' technical service and product application.

Last year, Kronos, which makes white dispersions for use in printing inks, coatings, and paints, introduced its 9900 water-based white dispersion for inkjet inks. The company described at the Japan Inkjet Technology Forum in October this year how it has spent the past year improving on this.

Kronos specializes in producing titanium dioxide pigments, or Ti02, which is the main base for whiteness. The company uses the pigment to produce a number of dispersions in different grades, each designed for a specific use such as gravure inks. This comes in the form of a slurry that ink manufacturers can use as the base for their inks, adding other components to achieve the properties and functionality that they require.

Dirk Imhof, head of Kronos’ technical service and product application, explained: We have a lot of pigment powders, but three to four years ago, our customers told us that they needed to move towards pigment dispersions for the inkjet industry. So last year, we launched our Kronos 9900 and during this past year, we have made a lot of raw materials screening to see which custom binders and additive types are comfortable and stable for our product. And that is very much for our customers to have a starting point in their formulations so they don’t have to start from zero.”

The value of this is that it saves the ink manufacturers a lot of time and money in testing different materials and can get to market quicker, which is always useful in a fast-moving market such as inkjet inks.

This image shows a graphic printed Direct-to-Film on a fabric using a white ink based on a Kronos 9900 dispersion.

Kronos 9900 is a chloride pigment base that offers good brightness and opacity with a bluish tone in white inks. It is stable for storage with a 12-month shelf life. It has a pH value of 8.5 – 9.5. It contains 52-56 percent solids, with a density of 1.60 – 1.70 g/cm3 with a viscosity up to 300 mPas. It is suitable for use with both water-based and hybrid (which contain UV components) inkjet inks.

Imhof says that the dispersion is supplied free of any binders specifically so as to target a wide range of applications. Imhof adds: “We just have an additive to stabilize the pigment which is important.”

However, this approach does mean that the customers have to have the technical expertise to source their own binders and additives as part of their ink formulations. He added: “I have been able to speak to several customers here in Japan and have been able to talk to them about the results they have had and to recommend further materials to stabilize their inkjet formulations.”

Kronos 9900 is mainly aimed at textile use for both DtG and DtF inks as well as packaging, particularly for printing to flexible films for use in food packaging, but can also be used for paper-based print applications. Imhof notes: “Packaging is very new and we have a lot of customers that would like to qualify it for packaging. There are a lot of certifications, which is a challenge. And a lot of customers tell us that the pigment dispersion looks good but the printer technology is not yet ready to use water-based white inkjet inks.”

He adds: “We see that the biggest market for inkjet ink is for water-based inks.”

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This story was first published on on 6 November 2023. Republished with permission.

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