14 January 2020
Xaar has launched a five-step service for the evaluation of fluids for use in new product development and advanced manufacturing applications.
The service aims to help companies establish the suitability of inkjet technology and fluids in new applications without incurring large upfront costs. To support the new service, Xaar has invested in a dedicated laboratory. This is equipped with a number of custom test rigs for sample production and fluid testing, such as a Notion Systems n.jet 3D printer.
Each new project starts with the initial fluid evaluation where guidance is provided on issues such as ink development and material compatibility as well as options for complex rheology testing and fluid physicals measurement. Stage two covers jetting optimisation encompassing printhead waveform configuration, alongside application and fluid optimisation. Stage three involves actual sample production utilising one of the custom test rigs. Once samples have been produced, the process moves on to upscaling the development application, focusing on the provision of the relevant Xaar inkjet system. The fifth and final then completes each project through providing continued support and delivering application improvements, testing and advice.
The five-step service is currently enabling companies to evaluate the jetting of fluids with high viscosities. Most inkjet printheads are capable of jetting materials with viscosities with a range of 10-25 mPa.s (10-25 cP). Now, thanks to improvements in Xaar’s TF technology, fluids that have significantly higher viscosities can be successfully jetted through its printheads.
Mike Seal, Xaar business development manager, advanced manufacturing and 3D printheads, commented, ‘Inkjet technology is now highly relevant across a multitude of new product development applications, and we wanted to enable companies to be able to review the suitability of inkjet printing in their product development programmes without the need for significant capital investment or upfront costs.’
Mr Seal continued, ‘Providing access to our inkjet development expertise through our five-step service helps clients get to market quicker by reducing their own development timelines and costs. From 3D printing through to functional fluid applications such as optics and flat panel displays, the possibilities and applications for inkjet printing are extremely diverse, and our dedicated team and five-step service is here to support throughout each development project.’