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Revolutionising reliability in textile printing

For over 30 years, Xaar has led the way in inkjet innovation and has made a major contribution to the transition from analogue to digital printing in a number of industries such as ceramics, labelling and graphics. Now Xaar is looking to revolutionise the transition to digital printing in the textiles sector with the Xaar Aquinox.

Whether you're looking to print direct-to-garment or direct-to-fabric, Xaar can offer enhanced reliability and print quality when printing with water-based fluids, thanks to our innovative and market-leading technologies. 

The changing landscape of the textile market makes the Xaar Aquinox printhead perfect for many applications. Simplified processes, exceptional print speeds and a wide array of customisation options, places the Xaar Aquinox at the very forefront of efficiency and versatility.

Whereas the inkjet printing of white inks has traditionally caused blockages and nozzle outs, our TF Technology and Ultra High Viscosity Technology has delivered proven improvement in dealing with whites and heavily pigmented inks, reducing maintenance, improving up-time and reliability, to produce the vibrancy and results needed in textile printing, particularly on dark substrates.

Key amongst the new Xaar Aquinox printhead’s advantages is the contribution it can provide for businesses in the delivery of more environmentally-friendly print and production. With reduced energy consumption and water usage (both in production and drying times), and especially in textile printing, this can equate to as much as a 60% saving in energy and water over similar analogue printing processes.

The Xaar Aquinox is supported by the reliable and proven Hydra ink supply system and drive electronics, with its ‘plug and print’ capability maximising printer uptime and print uniformity. An easy to use, intuitive user interface facilitates integration of each printhead and ensures the seamless combination of all Xaar’s proven technologies and innovations into the truly transformational Xaar Aquinox, providing progress in both technology, quality, and sustainability for printing textiles.

aQ Power Technology

Xaar’s aQ Power is a combination of ground-breaking technologies:

  • A redesigned internal architecture which is optimised for aqueous fluids
  • New materials compatible with aqueous fluids and working range of acceptable pH levels extended
  • Revolutionary new drive system enabling optimum drop ejection for aqueous fluids, significantly extending nozzle open time, increasing lifespan and durability

Ultra High Viscosity Technology

Typically, inkjet is well known for being limited to jetting fluids of around 10 to 12cP. Xaar technology, however, is capable of jetting much higher viscosities up to 100cP.

Ultra High Viscosity jetting opens up a range of new inkjet possibilities:

  • Higher particle loading and particle sizes for increased colour gamut, opacity and special effects (for graphics, ceramic tile and glass printing)
  • Ability to print higher molecular weight photopolymers leading to increased toughness and flexibility for printed materials
  • Reduced spreading for better edge definition on non-porous substrates
  • Printing a wider range of functional fluids (such as paint, adhesives and solder masks).

TF Technology for unrivalled reliability 

Xaar’s TF Technology together with the unique Hybrid Side Shooter printhead architecture enables fluids to flow directly past the back of the nozzle during drop ejection at very high flow rates.

  • Nozzles are continuously primed, the printhead stays operational and the nozzles keep firing
  • Sedimentation and nozzle blocking are prevented, particularly in heavily pigmented inks
  • Any air bubbles and unwanted particles in the ink are carried away
  • Reliability is improved, even in the harshest industrial environment
  • Jetting is significantly more reliable compared to alternative printhead designs (where convoluted ink flow paths means recirculation is close to, but not at, the back of the nozzle)
  • Start-up after periods of idle time is trouble free.

High Laydown Technology

Xaar’s High Laydown Technology enables a range of new applications, thanks to its ability to deposit large quantities of fluid in a single-pass.

For ceramics, it is capable of printing very high levels of water-based inks in one pass for high build effects and tactile embellishments as well as aqueous glazes.

In textile applications, High Laydown Technology can be used for very absorbent substrates such as carpets and home furnishings for increased coverage and colour saturation.

Having worked with leading developers and manufacturers of aqueous inkjet inks to rigorously assess and improve performance, the Xaar Aquinox is capable of handling both dye based and pigmented fluids for use in a wide range of textile applications.

By using pigmented inks enables print processes to become simpler, with immediate final colour control, just-in-time print quality and the best lightfastness combining with the sustainability benefits from fewer work stages being required, saving both water and energy.

Xaar’s technology is creating the opportunity for ink manufacturers to reformulate their inks and fluids to deliver richer, more vibrant colours as well as deliver greater functionality. Having the ability to jet fluids with much higher viscosity – up to 100cP – will ensure digital and inkjet printing delivers the reliability, performance, creative and sustainable print that textile businesses and consumers now demand and deliver the water-based inkjet textile print revolution.

And with our new Xaar Aquinox printhead featuring aQ Power Technology and new materials compatible with aqueous fluids, increases the working range of acceptable pH levels, giving you even more opportunity to use the fluid you want. 

There are a number of benefits of digital textile printing versus older techniques such as analogue including:

  • Cost-effective method of producing short-run items with minimal set-up costs, no requirement to produce new screens
  • If using pigment-based inks, you can reduce and even completely remove certain production processes such as vaporizing and washing after printing
  • Print on demand with much quicker introduction of new designs
  • Increased personalisation and customisation
  • Applicable to all types of fabric
  • A more sustainable solution and kinder to the environment - lower energy, water and materials consumption

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