Ibi, Espana (PressExposure) January 17, 2012 -- This technique will allow the decoration of a large amount of products with different geometric shapes in an efficient and versatile way. Moreover, after several baths, a 360º surface covering of the piece to be decorated can be achieved, with a good finish and that includes any small grooves the product could have. Besides, the decoration is homogeneous throughout the entire surface.
AIJU has developed this research Project on personalized techniques for the decoration of toys, in which several technologies of the state-of-the-art have been assessed. Throughout its development, the applicability of Water Printing Technology in the decoration of scale cars has been observed, with several colors and designs, although other products could also be considered within this and/or other future activities.
"Water printing" is a decoration process for 3D pieces and can be used on diversified substrates i.e. metal, plastic, glass and hard wood. The process consists of printing the image to be used to decorate the piece on a water soluble Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) film. This film is placed in an immersion tank, filled with water, in such a way that the PVA film makes direct contact with water and is dissolved while the ink stays floating on the water.
Next, the ink is sprayed with a chemical activator and the sample is introduced into the water, so that the ink covers the sample and adheres to the surface. Finally, once the surfaces of the decorated piece are clean and dry, a transparent coating is applied to increase the durability of the piece and its resistance to weathering.
Miguel A. León, the project technician within AIJU states that "of all the technologies thoroughly researched for the decoration of 3D toy pieces, this is one of the most optimistic for the homogeneous decoration of geometrically complex pieces. We think that it will notably make easy the 3D decoration of a series of pieces with these characteristics and reduce the associated costs."
These conclusions have been obtained during the development of the project titled: "Personalized Decoration of Toys - DECORATOY" (Expedient: IMDEEA/2011/23), funded by IMPIVA within the R&D program and co-funded by FEDER funds. It arose due to the concern within the sector of the current industry tendencies, characterized by an increasing demand for personalized products, with short delivery times and short production runs.