4 weeks ago
Esmalglass-Itaca and Colorobbia have announced the first custom-made digital ceramic inks and glazes for the
Xaar 1002 GS40 and Xaar 001, the new high laydown printheads from Xaar. As the ceramics industry’s leading inkjet technology specialist, Xaar is driving the digitalisation of the entire tile manufacturing process.
Presented at the Tecnargilla 2014 exhibition today, the new inks and glazes have been specifically developed so that ceramic tile manufacturers can take full advantage of the capability of the new Xaar printheads to achieve a stunning range of colours and special effects. There are more possibilities for design differentiation than ever before using strong vibrant colours and a fantastic range of glaze effects. This is because the Xaar 1002 GS40, with a minimum drop size of 40 picolitres (pL), can lay down twice as much ink as the GS12 model and handles an expanded range of fluids. Complementing the exciting new pattern and effects achievable with the Xaar 1002 GS40, the new Xaar 001 printhead is capable of jetting fluids with very large particle sizes and laying down up to 700 g/m2 on a tile, enabling the application of textured patterns and functional tile features.
As the new inks and glazes contain large particles, Xaar’s TF Technology™, featured in both printheads, is essential for keeping the particles in suspension. TF Technology™ continuously recirculates the ink past the back of the nozzle during drop ejection to ensure the printhead is always ready to jet. This delivers unrivalled operational reliability — even in the harshest production environments — and reduces costly maintenance cycles and start-up times.
“As tile manufacturers learn more about the enormous potential of digital ceramic tile decoration — and consumers see the results — demand for stronger colours and more effects is growing fast,” says Richard Barham, Sales and Marketing Director, Xaar. “At Xaar we may have the most advanced printheads, but it’s the combination of our technology with innovative fluids from our ink partners such as Esmalglass-Itaca and Colorobbia delivering the spectacular breakthrough in new tile designs and new applications. These new inks are the first of many that will enable Xaar to fulfil our promise of ‘Big Colour, Big Effects and Big Advantage.’”
More intense colours, high gloss and excellent matt effects are the major features of the new digital range from Esmalglass-Itaca. At Tecnargilla, Esmalglass-Itaca is also presenting its digital range of micronic and water-based digital glazes, optimised for use with the Xaar 001.
“The future of digital tile decoration will be about more creativity and Xaar’s new printheads have a vital role to play in extending the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of colours and effects,” says Jesús Fernández Valenzuela, Inkjet Project Director at Esmalglass-Itaca. “For ceramic fluid manufacturers such as Esmalglass-Itaca, being able to partner with the acknowledged technology and market leader is a huge incentive to develop new fluids for new applications. We are proud that the first printers using the new Xaar printheads are using our new inks.”
Colorobbia’s new ink series is specially adapted for use with the Xaar 1002 GS40 printhead. This new ink series is suitable for low weight digital glazing applications, such as: applying gloss and matt effects to achieve striking variations in texture, using a multi-layer concept to obtain optical effects or using “spot” glazes to add functional properties to the tile. It also provides improved chromatic performance for an expanded colour gamut.
At Tecnargilla Colorobbia is also showing a series of water-based engobes, glazes and functional materials specially optimised for high weight Xaar 001-based, digital glazing systems. These products cover a wide range of firing temperatures, sizes, textures and surfaces and are optimised to work in a broad variety of applications including base glaze, protective coatings and providing relief on ceramic tiles. “These Xaar printheads are game-changers for the digital ceramic tile decoration industry”, says Marco Toccaceli, Colorobbia’s Marketing Manager. “The combination of these new series of materials and the Xaar printheads in a multilayer concept opens up a whole new dimension of aesthetic and functional applications. And we are pleased to confirm that our new ink series optimised for the Xaar 1002 GS40 is already running in production at an Italian ceramic tile factory. There are several avenues we are already exploring in partnership with Xaar, and we will be announcing further Xaar-optimised products in the near future.”