IMI Europe Inkjet Ink Development Conference

Conference Programme

13-14 April, 2016

Aquatis Hotel, Lausanne, Switzerland

Download the Conference brochure

Download the Conference brochure

For more details about the Aquatis Hotel, please visit our Venue page.

The IMI Europe Inkjet Ink Development Conference is aimed at ink development chemists looking to find out the latest products, technology and techniques, and exchange ideas with peers. The conference covers colorants, material dispersions, resins and polymers, photoinitiators, ink additives and other materials, analytical equipment and processing techniques.

The conference programme provides information on creating stable dispersions, the impact of additives on formulation performance, raw material quality and consistency for manufacturing, and other topical themes.

Conference Chairs: Dr Phil Double, Fujifilm Imaging Colorants, Holly Steedman, Indujet, Dr Thomas Benen, Microtrac, Dr Tim Phillips, IMI Europe

Speakers from:

adphos | Air Products | Alchemie Technology | BASF | Biolin Scientific | Bühler | Centre for Process Innovation | Eckart | Fujifilm Imaging Colorants | IGM Resins | imageXpert | Malvern Instruments | Microtrac | Nippon Kayaku | Pall | Printing Inks Technology | RJA Dispersions | Technische Universität Chemnitz | University of Leeds | University of Manchester

Additional Benefits


Meet with suppliers, industry experts and developers from other companies at our complimentary networking breaks, lunches and evening drinks reception. Excellent refreshments will help you enjoy this key part of the conference.


Enjoy the exhibits from key industry suppliers, and find out more about what these companies have to offer. If you are interested in having an exhibit yourself, please visit our sponsorship page.

Free report

Conference registration includes a free copy of the IT Strategies "The Numbers" market report.


Conference Programme

WEDNESDAY 13 April, 2016

09:00-10:00 Registration

10:00 Morning session begins

Session 1 - Colorants & dispersions
Session Chair - Dr Philip Double

Pigment dispersions and technology for aqueous inkjet inks
Dr Rupert McIntyre
Dispersions Research & Technology Group Leader
Fujifilm Imaging Colorants

Pigmented inkjet inks are important in every market in which the technology operates. Fujifilm Imaging Colorants will give an overview of the technology behind pigment dispersions for aqueous inkjet, highlighting the key performance requirements and what to look out for when selecting or designing dispersions.


Organic pigments for sensitive inkjet printing applications
Dr Stéphane Biry
Senior Marketing Manager Digital Printing

With inkjet showing strong and steady growth in packaging and industrial printing, there are rising concerns over the suitability and compliance of inkjet inks for sensitive applications such as food packaging, where the inks - and thereby the primary ink components like pigments, resins and additives - need to meet stringent requirements in terms of their toxicological profile and migration behavior. This paper will review pigments for sensitive inkjet printing applications, especially food packaging printing, this in the light of the latest (or forthcoming) changes in legislations and recommendations by the competent EU national and Community authorities. A selection of suitable organic pigments for inkjet inks for packaging printing will be presented.

Commercial and industrial inkjet dispersions - a key ingredient for high quality inkjet fluids
Joe Ward
Vice President, Marketing
RJA Dispersions

Inkjet technology has been recognized as an ultra precision coating system, and is rapidly migrating to industrial and manufacturing applications. At the heart of every such system is a dispersion of the key materials needed for the process. Precise, fast, reliable and cost-effective deposition is the goal, and dispersions must support this. This talk will give a brief overview of commercial and industrial applications - and the commensurate ink quality requirements including regulatory issues. It will explain the key technical parameters needed, both at the system level and for the underlying dispersions. It will also review the technologies to achieve these dispersions, and specific techniques for measuring the dispersion’s resulting quality. Finally, it will discuss some of the needs for future dispersion technology along with recent advances.

Advances in colorant chemistry for inkjet printing
Takashi Yoneda
Senior Chemist, Dyestuff Synthesis
Nippon Kayaku

Inkjet technologies using dye-based ink started with consumer desktop printers for home and office uses. Today, dye-based inks are well-placed in industrial fields. When manufacturing dye-based inks, one should not only choose suitable synthesising methods and dyestuff, but also correct ink formulation techniques. Additives and dispersion methods are very important to adapt the ink for given applications. In this talk we present Nippon Kayaku’s inkjet colorant technologies with a focus on dyestuff. Typically, dye-based inks offer high chroma but low ozone and light stability. Our developed products with improved durability are presented as examples.

Digital metallic inks - challenges, progress and applications
Volker Jordan
Head of Formulation Technology - Digital Printing

Inkjet technology is increasingly being used for industrial applications. In order to increase adoption for production printing of packaging, tiles or labels, printed silver and gold effects are key. This talk will give an overview of the different challenges facing formulators of inks based on metallic pigments versus established inkjet inks. The hurdles needing to be overcome in development will be discussed, as well as the acceptance of metallic inks in the market and the opportunities this brings.


13:00-14:30 Lunch


14:30 Afternoon session begins

Session 2 - Equipment & techniques
Session Chair - Dr Thomas Benen

Controlling pigment properties for optimal inkjet results
Dr Thomas Benen
Sales Manager D-A-CH

As printhead and inkjet technology are progressing, the demand for characterization of inks regarding their pigment size, single oversized grains and colloidal stability is increasing. The size of pigments has an impact on factors like printability, printhead blockages, sharpness of texture, optical density and color gamut. Laser diffraction is the most popular method of particle size analysis for the milling process, allowing close control and optimization of a number of final product performance criteria. Integrated image analysis is able to detect single oversized particles or clumps which cause a risk for blockages. On the other side, heterodyne dynamic light scattering with reference beating technology can be used to measure the size of nano-pigments and dyes in the final product with little dilution, and to assess the risk of formation of aggregates by zeta potential analysis.

Read Thomas' blog article here.


Characterising and optimising particle size for inkjet applications
Dr Anne Virden
Product Technical Specialist – Diffraction
Malvern Instruments

Inkjet technology and the printing flexibility it offers is enabling a rapid growth in industrial and commercial inkjet printing. Modern inkjet printheads can be designed and configured to print on many different substrates, and can produce functional 3D structures as well as 2D images. The inks used for a specific application must meet certain criteria; firstly they must be printable and secondly they must produce the desired decorative effect or functionality when printed. The particle size of pigment or other solid components is critical for meeting these criteria, since properties of the ink such as opacity, colour, hue, tinting strength, gloss, durability, stability and also ink viscosity are dependent on them. In this talk we will discuss the importance of particle size measurements, including laser diffraction and dynamic light scattering, for evaluating and controlling pigment size for optimum printing performance.

Read Anne's blog article here.

Kyle Pucci.jpg

Innovations in inkjet analysis
Yair Kipman

This talk will give an overview of the necessary parameters for success in inkjet printing. It will then explore a single one of the considerations, distance from printhead to substrate, in greater detail. In doing so, the presentation will provide techniques and guidance for inkjet analysis along with information about tools for drop visualisation, sample printing, and print quality analysis. It will also update you on the latest technologies for inkjet research and development, as well as how the top developers in the industry are using them.

Read ImageXperts's blog article here.

Production concepts for textile inkjet inks
Dr Franz Giger
Market Segment Manager

Printing on textiles is a well-known process, today mostly done by screen printing. Inkjet technology for textiles is an option that is developing as well as growing fast. Digital inks for fabrics need to be ground and well dispersed down into the nanometer range. To prepare such water-based inks with dyes or pigments efficient size reduction equipment is required. Agitated bead mills with high specific energy input and operated with small beads are the most efficient way to produce textile inks. Bead mills are suitable to reach the requested fineness and dispersion quality when operated in recirculation mode at high throughput to achieve narrow particle size distributions. They are used to produce sublimation dye inks, direct dispersed dye inks or pigmented inks for digital printing on fabrics. Zirconium oxide beads with 0.1 to 0.3 mm are used with a high specific power density, which is essential for true grinding of crystals down to nano size. The mechanism and results from grinding different pigments and dyes in a variety of mills including small research and larger production mills are presented.

Surface tension and wetting – Experimental approaches and significance in inkjet printing
Dr Maiju Pöysti
Product Manager
Biolin Scientific

Surface tension of inkjet inks and the wettability of the printed substrate are important parameters influencing the final printing quality and process reliability. This presentation will give an overview and practical examples of the available experimental approaches to define surface tension and wetting. It will also look at how to apply these techniques on real-life samples taking account substrate surface roughness and small size of the inkjet droplets.


17:30-19:00 Reception

Join us for wine, beer, canapés and good company!

THURSDAY 14 April, 2016

09:00 Morning session begins

Session 3 – Materials & formulation
Session Chair - Holly Steedman

UV radiation cure raw material solutions for inkjet
Tracey Norton
Technical Product and Services EMEA
IGM Resins

The presentation will outline basic raw material requirements for UV radiation cure inkjet inks and why UV technology is suited to inkjet application. Basic photoinitiator (PI) chemistry will be presented, describing the difference between free radical type I, type II and cationic initiators. Considerations for formulating for LED cure, aligning the PI used to spectral output and methods for reducing the effects of oxygen inhibition will be discussed. Low migration requirements and the need for specialty PI products for food packaging applications is also highlighted, with information on how generic polymeric PI structure leads to a low migration potential. A selection of water compatible acrylate and PI solutions will be presented.

Read Tracey's blog article here.

Polymer degradation and the role of chain architecture in inkjet printing
Prof Stephen G. Yeates et al.
University of Manchester
(in collaboration with ITECH Textile and Chemical Institute and Domino UK)

Polymers can fulfil a number of functions within ink formulations for both drop-on-demand (DOD) and continuous inkjet (CIJ). The addition of small amounts of polymeric materials to a formulation can have a large effect on the drop ejection and ligament breakup performance. It is often assumed that polymeric solutes are the same before and after the jetting process. In contrast, we have found that in small scale research DOD systems polymers in the ink formulation exhibit degradation due to a flow-induced process in the printhead. Industrial CIJ systems also exhibit polymer degradation, but due to a long-term mechanochemical process in the pump system.

The challenge of inkjet printing with high molecular weight polymers is therefore the risk of degrading the macromolecule and the limited concentrations that it is possible to print. We have found that hyperbranched materials have low intrinsic viscosities, allowing larger polymer concentrations to produce inks with comparable viscosities to those using linear polymers. This higher concentration of polymer has greater stability over time when exposed to high shear environments inherent in inkjet printing due to the polymer topology.

Superwetting surfactants for water-based ink applications
Roger Reinartz
Lead Research Chemist, Additives Europe
Air Products and Chemicals

The application of inks onto difficult-to-wet substrates such as plastics, films and contaminated surfaces presents significant challenges for ink formulators. Selecting the surfactant is critical to allow good substrate wetting and adhesion, while minimising defects such as retraction. This technical presentation describes the importance of substrate wetting and focuses on the performance of superwetting surfactants.

Inkjet printing beyond colour: efforts to go lab-to-fab
Prof Dr rer nat Reinhard Baumann
Department of Digital Printing and Imaging Technology
Technische Universität Chemnitz

In this talk we discuss the challenge of formulating inks for functional applications. For industrial application inks must achieve a high level of reliability while still delivering the application performance on the substrate. We will discuss examples of this and present the work at TU Chemnitz on developing functional applications.

Dispersion and stability in formulated systems
Graham Worrall
Principal Scientist
Centre for Process Innovation

Formulation, the creation of multi-component, often multi-phase products, is an enabling capability creating value through intricate microstructures and powerful ingredient synergies. Formulation underpins many sectors in our economy and high-value manufacturing industries and has wide ranging product applicability including inkjet inks, paints, pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. Many formulation issues encountered are common across these different industry sectors. Understanding interactions between different components can lead to better, more efficient use of ingredients which in turn leads to a reduction in raw material cost and improved product performance. Examples of how interactions affect product stability, quality and performance will be discussed together with different characterisation techniques.

Formulating inkjet inks for material deposition applications - challenges and opportunities
Dr Alan Hudd, Founder & Director
Alchemie Technology

The fundamental requirement of a functional ink is that it provides the necessary application performance on the substrate, while still being able to be printed reliably. The requirement often leads to a trade-off in the formulation process calling for extensive development and lateral thinking. This talk covers the principles of functional ink formulation with case studies showing this trade-off in reality, including inks containing graphene, ceramics and metallic flakes.


12:30-13:30 Lunch


13:30 Afternoon session begins

Session 4 – Processes & applications
Session Chair - Dr Tim Phillips

Understanding the ink drying process and its impact on print performance
Dr Kai Bär

The talk will review the key part that the ink drying process has on print performance, including the impact on adhesion on the substrate, penetration into the substrate, rub resistance and print quality. The differences in process between porous and non-porous media are discussed, with the impact of ink bleed on print performance highlighted. Absorption characteristics of wet and dry inks, as well as typical substrates and any coatings used, are presented, with the impact of any water present shown to be significant. Potential drying techniques and the mechanisms they use are reviewed. Advantages and disadvantages of each technique are reviewed, and the benefits of near IR drying presented. Finally, future trends are presented and discussed.

Inkjet ink filtration – Process overview and filtration in the lab
Michael Mehler
Key Account Manager

Inkjet ink cleanliness is critical to the proper operation of an inkjet printer. Properly filtered ink will assure printer output quality and long run periods between purge cycles. Whether the ink is a dye-based aqueous ink for office printing or pigmented UV curable ink, cost-effective solutions exist to meet the needs of the inkjet ink formulator. With the wide variety of inkjet ink chemistries, several different filtration technologies are used to achieve superior cleanliness. The talk will update you on the state of the art filtration technology available for inkjet ink filtration for various ink types.

Read Michael's blog article here.

Particle size – the key indicator in development and quality assurance of inkjet inks
Alexander Gutsche
Head Business Unit Décor
Printing Inks Technology

When developing inks a significant amount has to be considered: measuring and adjusting colour strength, hue, pH, solid content and viscosity to name only a few. But the measurement of particle size is all-important when it comes to the development of inkjet inks. Nowadays this is measured by state-of-the-art devices unleashing laser beams onto the inks to determine particles and their sizes as exactly as possible. The driver of this development is the literal bottleneck of the technology: the nozzle of the inkjet printheads. Clogging this tiny hole has to be prevented to ensure a smooth running production process. In this talk the imperative of particle size determination and control will be highlighted together with the challenge of accurate measurements.


Simulations of inkjet drop formation in complex rheological fluids - can rheology improve jetting performance?
Dr Oliver Harlen
University of Leeds

Inkjet printing relies upon accurate delivery of drops generated in the jetting process. However the process of jetting and drop formation is strongly affected by fluid rheology. Inks containing high loadings of colloidal particles will be shear-thinning and so may have a different characteristic viscosity within the nozzle compared to the ejected ligament. Moreover, even trace amounts of long chain polymers can cause substantially different breakup dynamics compared to that of an ordinary (Newtonian) fluid, influencing in-flight fragmentation and detachment from the nozzle. We have developed numerical simulations of drop on demand inkjet printing that allow the effects of different types of non-Newtonian behaviour (shear-thinning, viscoelasticity, thixotropy) to be considered, and compared with experiments on “model” inks. From these we are able to establish the parameter values controlling the break-up length and character of jet break-up, such as the production of small satellite droplets. In particular for appropriate choices of rheological parameters it is possible to obtain satellite-free drops at higher speeds than is possible with Newtonian fluids.


16:00 Conference ends