Recently formed Tonejet’s electrostatic drop-on-demand deposition technology enables low cost printheads to be fabricated on a large scale using passive structures. The ejection process results in a high concentration of solids in the ejected droplets, so the ink behaves in a very similar way to traditional printing ink and can be deposited directly onto a broad range of absorbent and non absorbent substrates without any special preparation or post deposition processing.
In addition to the ability to print on virtually any surface, the technology also allows the droplet volume to be continuously varied on a drop-by-drop basis without affecting the ejection rate. This is said to give an unmatched greyscale capability, so that a Tonejet printer can deliver photographic quality images without slowing the throughput.
No special curing regimes are required, and the inks are said to comply with all major food safety standards. Because the inks behave in a similar way to conventional inks, issues such as thickness of the ink film and image quality and durability are not compromised and printing onto the thinnest heat-shrink films, and low quality recycled paper without cracking or show-through, have all been successfully demonstrated.
Tonejet also offers a print speed of 200ft/min from full width single pass systems. Work is now underway to meet production requirements for the print system and inks in terms of scale and cost, and the first system producing commercially is likely to be available within the next 12 months.
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