Water Base Research

For several years, —Thanks to the important collaborations with installers and manufacturers of printheads in the ceramic industry— we have been working on water-based ceramic inks in Inco’s research center.

Water-based ceramic inks contain within them an important quantity of water, an inorganic fraction, and a remaining fraction of organic substances. Due to the reduced content of these organic substances in the formulation, and to the typology of these chemical substances, the water-based ceramic inks are distinguished by the characteristic—when fired in the ceramic oven—of emitting a limited quantity of volatile substances in the atmosphere, practically odorless.
The quantity of total coal, as well as, volatile organic substances emitted during the firing— in the ceramic oven— if not purified with other downstream physical engineering methods, they are inversely proportional to the formulation’s dry and water fractions.

But why add a fraction of organic substances in the formulation?
To guarantee a good printing performance: with the available —past and current— printing technologies, it is necessary that printing inks —whether they are colored, textural, contain a fraction of solvents—guarantee certain rheological characteristics as well as dryness.
Guarantee the continuity, speed and performance, even colorimetric, of classic ceramic inks.

For this reason we are equipped with cutting-edge scientific instruments, to characterize and study their behavior, even in extreme environmental conditions, on a printing machine for several weeks, and during the ceramic oven baking.
Inco’s water based ceramic inks have been developed, other than to maintain its own qualitative characteristics—on its oil based inks on the market—, also to keep their colorimetric characteristics unaltered.

Indeed, during the research phase — on each developed formulation —important characterizations are carried out in order to ensure that the produced ink has excellent stability and shooting performance—even in the long term—; therefore, thanks to the pilot ceramic ovens, the best formulations are characterized in terms of emissions and odors emitted into the atmosphere.

Inco has an ongoing research on this subject, which is in continuous evolution.
Inco works with printers and printhead manufacturers of digital inks, to help outline the path of these new technologies, for reliable printing and an increasingly ecologically sustainable ceramic