LASER TRANSFER PRINTING
Laser transfer print technology in action

Technology

Laser Transfer Printing –
Unique, Flexible, Productive

Digital Laser Tranfer Print Technology & Process

Laser Transfer Printing is a new digital printing technology developed by LPKF to print on large-format glass.

In the LTP process, an endless web is used as a carrier for the ink. The laser beam transfers a defined amount of the ink to a flat substrate. The ink carrier web is transparent for the laser wavelength used. The laser beam is focused onto the ink and evaporates a portion of the ink solvent. This causes a vapor bubble to expand and push an ink droplet towards the substrate. The ink droplet is released and deposited onto the substrate.

What is Laser Tranfer Printing?

LTP stands for Laser Transfer Printing.

A laser is used to transfer ink to a substrate. The dimensions of the particles and pigments contained in the ink do not matter because it is coated on an endless ribbon and no nozzles are needed to print the ink.

The laser is focused through the ribbon onto the ink and evaporates defined parts of the ink solvent. This releases an ink droplet which is then deposited onto the substrate.

The rapid movement of the laser in one direction generates a printed line and the continuous motion of the entire printhead relative to the substrate generates a complete printed image.

Any binary image can be printed using this method. Black means laser on and ink droplets will be released. White means laser off and no ink will be deposited onto the flat substrate.

The deposition of the ink is almost independent from the ink, as long as the ink reacts with the laser and as long as the viscosity of the ink is in the range of 300 to 1200 mPas for the LPKF NovaPrint inking system.

Using original and certified screen-printing pastes with large particles and pigments is no problem for LTP. Only the organic medium is adapted to obtain the required viscosity, while the inorganic part of the ink remains unchanged.

After firing, the resulting print on the glass substrate is therefore identical in terms of quality and physical/chemical properties to that obtained through screen printing.

This enables LTP to be used in applications such as automotive glass, where other digital processes are still subject to certain limitations.

 

 Outstanding Characteristics of Laser Transfer Print Technology


LTP technology exhibits exceptional properties, rendering it a real breakthrough in the printing industry.
Large particles

LTP enables the digital printing of ceramic particles in original screen-printing size

Ink

Almost all pastes and inks can be adapted to the LTP process by changing the paste medium

Viscosity

The viscosity is higher than with inkjet printing and lower than with screen printing

Screen printing properties

The final product has the same properties as when screen-printed

Contactless

Printing is contactless with an operating distance of 150 µm

Wet-on-wet printing

Contactless printing enables wet-on-wet printing (same ink)

Endless ribbon

The endless ribbon in the system is continously coated with fresh ink. The ink is provided by an external ink supply system. Since it circulates in the system there is no loss of ink.

Working distance

Owing to the very small working distance of 200 µm, almost no ink splatter occurs

Laser

Highly precise and accurate printing with laser

Why Use Laser Transfer Print Technology?

  • Original screen-printing pastes can be used. These pastes are only adjusted in viscosity, and after firing, the product has the same properties as screen-printed products. Time-consuming and expensive ink qualification is therefore not necessary.
  • The process is ink-independent. Nearly all screen-printing pastes and other inks can be adapted to the LTP process. Extensive tests are carried out in the Application Center and the ink is developed accordingly.
  • The level of laser power determines the amount of ink transferred. Thus, the conductivity (silver) and optical density (black) can easily be adjusted.
  • The ink thickness on the ribbon also influences the amount of transferred ink and can be changed quickly.
  • The contactless process enables wet-on-wet printing, which can also influence optical density and conductivity and result in extremely thick layers.

 


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