Assessing Ink Transfer Performance of Gravure-Offset Fine-Line Circuitry Printing
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In this study, the printing mechanism and performance of gravure-offset fine-line circuitry printing technology are investigated in terms of key printing parameters through experimental and theoretical analyses. First, the contact angles of the ink deposited on different substrates, blankets, and gravure metal plates are experimentally determined; moreover, their temperature and solvent content dependences are analyzed. Next, the ink solvent absorption and evaporation behaviors of the blankets at different temperatures, times, and numbers of printing repetitions are characterized by conducting experiments. In addition, while printing repeatedly, the surface characteristics of the blankets, such as the contact angle, vary with the amount of absorbed ink solvent, further affecting the ink transfer performance (ratio) and printing quality. Accordingly, the surface effect of the blanket due to ink solvent absorption on the ink contact angle is analyzed. Furthermore, the amount of ink transferred from the gravure plate to the blanket in the “off process” and from the blanket to the substrate in the “set process” is evaluated by conducting a simplified plate-to-plate experiment. The influences of loading rate (printing velocity), temperature, and solvent content on the ink transfer performance are addressed. Finally, the ink transfer mechanism is theoretically analyzed for different solvent contents using Surface Evolver. The calculation results are compared with those of the experiment.
KeywordsGravure-offset printing contact angle ink transfer performance solvent content Surface Evolver
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