Brief introduction of “green plate making technology”
Nano Green Plate (NGP) technology abandons the current technical idea of precoating photosensitive materials and photosensitive chemical imaging, and adopts the principle of direct printing and imaging on nanostructured plates, just like digital photography instead of film photography, which completely solves the problems of pollution and waste of resources in plate-making process. NGP plate-making machine adopts high-integration micro-piezoelectric ink-jet unit as the physical imaging basis, which can ensure no dot loss, and has the advantages of good dot reducibility and little influence by printing process changes The whole plate-making process only needs two steps, without any pollution and waste of resources 1. Nano-plate Nano-plate is the core technology to solve the wettability of super-hydrophilic plate and nano-ink. The surface of nano-plate is composed of nano-micron structure with specific size. This oxide film is characterized by good water retention and can perfectly undertake the change of wettability of micro-area by nano-transfer materials, thus realizing information transmission from non-graphic area to graphic area, and finally transferring dot information to paper.
2. Nano-ink nano-transfer material is a high-tech product based on nanotechnology: after nano-particles are dispersed in ink, the performance of ink can be regulated and the printing resistance of plate can be improved.
Traditional printing plate making is based on the principle of photosensitive imaging, which requires different photosensitive materials. In the process of developing, fixing and developing photosensitive materials, many chemical materials and reagents are used, which will produce a large amount of waste liquid pollution. However, the nano-material green plate-making technology abandons the traditional idea of photosensitive imaging, and realizes the real digitalization of printing plate-making by developing new nano-transfer materials and printing plate-making directly. Nano-materials green plate-making technology no longer uses photosensitive materials, which not only simplifies the printing process, reduces the printing cost, but also fundamentally changes the status quo of printing industry’s dependence on photosensitive materials. This green and energy-saving technology has become a cutting-edge printing plate-making technology that replaces laser phototypesetting and computer-to-plate technology.
Through the application of nano-particle composite transfer printing material and nano-micron structure plate, the graphic information is printed directly on the printing plate, forming ink-friendly graphic area and hydrophilic blank area, which can be printed directly.
What is the nano green plate making technology? To put it bluntly, it is an improved inkjet CTP technology. Speaking of inkjet CTP technology, people in the industry should be familiar with it. Its technical principle is very simple, that is, using a printer to spray special ink on the specially treated printing plate base according to regulations, using the principle of ink balance, the blank part is hydrophilic, and the graphic part is ink-friendly, so as to finally realize the transfer process of ink from the printing plate to the substrate on the printing machine.
Why is inkjet CTP technology called nano-material green printing plate-making technology? This is because the ink used by it contains nano pigment particles with good adaptability and particle size between 30 nm and 200 nm, and the plate-making technology of green printing of nano materials has comprehensive advantages such as non-sensitivity, no pollution, low cost, etc. It is also because of its excellent environmental protection advantages that it stands out among various inkjet CTP technologies and becomes the focus of the printing industry.
Although it started earlier, the development of inkjet CTP technology has been rather bumpy and has a long way to go. There are many companies that have started to develop this technology, but few of them are really brilliant. At present, the leading companies in inkjet CTP are JetPlateSystems of the United States and Glunz&Jensen of Denmark, both of which claim that their CTP systems have reached the imaging quality of 175lpi. In China, some companies such as Prius have developed a complete set of solutions, but there are few reports of sales achievements. Because mainstream CTP equipment suppliers focus on thermal and photosensitive CTP equipment and plates, the performance of inkjet CTP in the market is not satisfactory.
Because inkjet CTP uses a printer to spray ink droplets on the surface of the printing plate, thus forming a graphic part, therefore, the stability of the printer is very important; In addition, many factors produced in the spraying process of ink droplets also make the printing resistance of this printing plate not high. Although the accuracy of 175lpi can be achieved in the laboratory, it is difficult to ensure the stable output of printing plates in actual production, which makes this technology difficult to be applied to high-precision and large-scale printing orders at present, and can only survive in small-scale orders with low requirements for printing accuracy, which is regarded as a chicken rib by countless product developers, and also makes the development of inkjet CTP technology fall into a semi-stagnant state.
According to Dr. Song Yanlin, the researcher of nano-green plate-making technology, because the nano-material green plate-making technology is not a partial replacement of the existing technology, but a complete set of systematic solutions, it is necessary to solve many engineering links such as technology integration, production process and quality control, and establish a systematic and complete quality standard to form a reproducible industrialization promotion technology. This is not done overnight, but must have a gradual process, which also explains why its publicity in the industry is extremely low-key.
Ink-jet CTP technology has been in the world for decades, even before the thermal and photosensitive CTP technology which is popular in printing enterprises. The principle of inkjet CTP technology is very simple, that is, using a printer, special ink is sprayed on the specially treated printing plate base according to regulations, and using the principle of ink balance, the blank part is hydrophilic, and the graphic part is ink-friendly, so as to finally realize the process of ink transfer from printing plate to substrate on the printing machine.
Why is inkjet CTP technology called nano-material green printing plate-making technology? This is because the ink used by it contains nano pigment particles with good adaptability and particle size of 30nm-200nm, and the plate-making technology of green printing of nano materials has the comprehensive advantages of non-sensitivity, no pollution and low cost, and it is precisely because of its excellent green advantage that it quickly stands out and becomes the focus of the printing industry.
However, the appearance of green printing technology of nano-materials will reverse this unfavorable situation. First, this plate-making technology belongs to national independent intellectual property rights. As one of the few international leading independent innovation brands in China, in order to encourage the development of this technology, the state will have corresponding policy support in popularizing this plate-making technology; Secondly, this plate-making technology has the characteristics of no pollution and no chemical washing. Because of the way of spraying ink to form pictures and texts, the use of sensitizers can be reduced in the process of plate making, and the washing link of plates can be omitted, thus saving a lot of water for the country; Third, this plate-making technology is lower than CTP plates and most PS plates commonly used in the market, both in terms of equipment investment and plate cost. Under the condition of reducing costs, it can help enterprises to quickly enter the digital age, and it can be said that it has multiple purposes.
Song Yanlin introduced that, in principle, all information storage can be converted into binary “0” and “1” languages. In the newly developed plate-making technology, “1” stands for oleophilic printing area, which is composed of hydrophilic nano-structures, and “0” stands for hydrophilic non-printing area, which is composed of hydrophilic nano-structures. Then, special nano-composite transfer printing materials are printed directly on super-hydrophilic plates with nano-micron structures by computer direct plate-making printing.
In this way, the distinction between graphic and non-graphic areas becomes a chemical and material problem, and finally the successful combination of nano-material characteristics and printing technology principles is realized.
Song Yanlin told reporters that although the technology is simple and easy in principle, if the technology is applied to printing production practice, it is necessary to solve the problem of how to realize the coexistence of two opposite areas of printing area (hydrophilic, non-hydrophilic) and non-printing area (hydrophilic, non-ink-friendly) on the same plate. At the same time, it is necessary to consider the requirements of printing process on the plate, such as printing accuracy and printing resistance, in which nano-materials play a key role On the one hand, there should be enough contrast between lipophilic and hydrophilic interfaces, that is, the graphic area is super lipophilic and the non-graphic area is super hydrophilic, so as to form a clear interface between graphic area and non-graphic area.
By nano-structure treatment on the surface of printing plate material, researchers can control the wettability of graphic area and realize its transition from super hydrophilic to super lipophilic, thus avoiding the dirty plate phenomenon caused by insufficient contrast between graphic area and non-graphic area, effectively controlling the spreading and wetting behavior of droplets on solid surface and improving printing and printing resolution.
On the other hand, the researchers compounded nanoparticles in the transfer materials, which improved the friction and printing resistance of the printing plate through the composite reinforcement of the transfer materials, but also avoided the problems such as printing blockage caused by particle agglomeration.
Song Yanlin said that these two key problems are realized by nano-structure and nano-materials, so this plate-making technology is called nano-material green plate-making technology.
Its green nature and advantages are manifested in that this technology overcomes three major problems that are difficult to be solved by laser phototypesetting and ctp, which are the mainstream photosensitive imaging plate-making technologies: first, the plate-making process is simplified, and complex processes such as photosensitive, developing, fixing and washing are omitted, as well as imposition and light-shielding operations; Secondly, there is no need for photosensitive precoating and chemical washing, which fundamentally solves the problems of environmental pollution and resource waste caused by photosensitive imaging process, and greatly reduces the cost of plate making and labor; Thirdly, printing pictures and texts directly on the printing plate reduces the times of picture and text transfer, which is conducive to improving the quality of pictures and texts.
Cutting-edge green plate-making technology implies a big market. Zhongke Naxin Printing Technology Co., Ltd., founded by Institute of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences and several investment enterprises around nano-printing plate-making technology, will settle in Huairou, Beijing. In the pilot stage, we will focus on solving the problem of stable batch production of technology application, so as to promote the industrialization and application of new technology research results.
Song Yanlin said that it will take several years for this new technology to form market influence.
He also revealed that application demonstration sites will be established in Beijing this year. It is noteworthy that the technical project team has further studied the structure of printing plate materials from the research of printing transformation materials, and developed matching plate-making equipment and software to completely get rid of the constraints of the existing technical framework system. With the market application of this technology, a complete set of system solutions including materials, plate-making equipment and software will affect the current industrial chain pattern. “Since the improvement of the new technology itself and the acceptance of the market require a process, we will first enter the market in an easy-to-promote way.” Song Yanlin said. According to reports, the project team will cooperate with the superior enterprises in the upstream and downstream of the national printing industry to integrate technologies and promote the popularization and application of new technologies.
In addition, in order to make printing enterprises accept this technology more easily, the relevant printing process parameters including the application of this technology have not changed at present. Song Yanlin said that after the technology has formed a certain market influence, the technical standard system suitable for its mode will be implemented.
New technologies may lead to industrial integration, with the replacement of old and new industrial chains, and industrial integration and mergers and acquisitions at certain levels will inevitably occur.
How should printing enterprises and plate-making enterprises adapt to the development trend of new technologies and occupy a favorable position in the process of market integration?
Song Yanlin said that unlike the promotion environment of laser phototypesetting, nano-material plate-making technology is facing more market-oriented challenges.
Since most industries in China have not experienced the process from independent technology research and development to promotion and production practice before, the habit of technology introduction and imitation leads to insufficient psychological preparation for enterprises to accept new technology independently researched and developed.
Printing enterprises may have higher expectations when using new technology, hoping that it can solve many problems as soon as some mature technologies.
In fact, the new technology will have a development process from immaturity to maturity. At the beginning, printing enterprises need to tolerate its imperfections, communicate actively and coordinate with the development of new technology with a good attitude.
For plate-making enterprises, the new technology can be well integrated with the slightly adjusted prepress typesetting system, but it will threaten the living space of some film-making companies, and plate-making equipment will also be replaced.
Song Yanlin said that if far-sighted film-making companies can popularize this new technology, they will also usher in new development space. Meanwhile, plate manufacturers can use their production lines to make some parameter adjustments and produce plates with nano-microstructure that can meet the new plate-making methods.
The special nano-composite transfer printing material is directly printed on the superhydrophilic plate with nano-microstructure, and the superhydrophilic picture and text area and superhydrophilic non-picture and text area are formed on the surface of the plate through nano-scale interface regulation.
By solving the problems of preparation and stable dispersion of nano-particle composite materials as printing media, special transfer materials for plate making were successfully developed; Superhydrophilic plates were developed by constructing nano-micron structures on the surface of materials. Through cooperation with other superior units, the first direct plate-making equipment was developed; The relevant research results have obtained a number of invention patents; At present, a pilot demonstration line including plate making workshop, ultra-clean coating workshop, ink cartridge production workshop and printing workshop has been built, which has greatly promoted the industrialization process of nano-material green plate making technology.