The world of creative decorations is richer by one innovation: With Heraeus Inkjet Gold, substrates such as glass or ceramics can now also be digitally printed with real gold. The technology company Heraeus is introducing its latest development to the field at the glasstec trade fair in Düsseldorf on September 20–23, 2016, in Hall 12 at Booth A37.
Until now, the industrial precious metals decoration of glass and ceramic could be done only with direct screen printing, by direct thermoplastic printing, or with decals. Now, the liquid precious metal preparation can be applied to smooth surfaces, such as tiles or perfume bottles, in a digital printing process as well. Heraeus Inkjet Gold can be used with conventional print heads. The printing temperatures, between 25 and 50°C, are comparable to those in other methods. After printing, the products are fired at approximately 800°C – producing a lustrous gold film about 150 nanometers thin.
Digital printing in glass decoration is gaining ground
With Inkjet Gold digital printing, high-quality and sharply contoured finishes can be produced readily and with almost no odor. Digital printing also allows for flexible and customizable reproduction. Designs can be changed more easily and flexibly than with conventional printing methods – allowing for economical production of very small print runs and even individual items. People who appreciate specialty items can now also add real gold.
Furthermore, Inkjet Gold can also be combined with ceramic colors. If the finished product is to be used as exterior decoration, it is advisable to coat the gold with a protective lacquer to increase its resistance to corrosion and abrasion.