TF Technology, Technology
17 November 2020
Since the launch of the Xaar 1001 printhead in 2007 featuring TF Technology, it has been possible to reliably jet highly-pigmented, viscous inks, opening up exciting new applications – ceramic tile printing, for example – to digital inkjet print.
Since then, printhead ink recirculation has become an essential feature in keeping nozzles working to their full potential for single-pass industrial printing. Prospective purchasers are faced with a variety of different approaches to recirculation as each design has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
And with the launch of our ImagineX platform, TF Technology is only set to continue transforming inkjet industries, enhancing the capabilities of inkjet printing and opening additional opportunities for our OEM partners and end-users alike.
So why does Xaar’s TF Technology ink recirculation not only significantly outperform other manufacturers ink “recirculation” methods, but also provides the lowest cost of ownership – we’ve listed out four reasons below.
- Unrivalled reliability – even in dusty environments
- TF Technology together with the unique Hybrid Side Shooter architecture enables ink or other fluids in the printhead to flow directly past the back of the nozzle during drop ejection, at very high flow rates
- The highest flow rate is necessary to ensure the nozzles are continuously primed, keeping the printhead operational and the nozzles firing
- The ink or fluid is in constant motion, preventing sedimentation and nozzle blocking, particularly in heavily pigmented inks
- Air bubbles and unwanted particles in the ink are carried away, radically improving reliability, even in the harshest industrial environment.
- Outstanding print quality & colour uniformity
- Temperature variation is minimised across the printhead as heat is removed directly from within the actuator channels virtually eliminating print density variations
- Ability to print opaque white inks due to the very high flow rates, preventing the titanium dioxide pigments from blocking the nozzles
- Ink viscosity is also controlled like the temperature, delivering uniform printing across the swathe and throughout the print job.
- Increased production uptime
- Combined with Hybrid Side Shooter architecture, printheads require no or minimal maintenance and low running costs as downtime and ink wastage are reduced.
- Instant start up in the mornings and at the start of shifts due to nozzles being constantly primed
- Quick recovery of the printhead (for example following mechanical shock from media crash) means only one print would be lost and there is no need to stop the production line.
- TF Technology in Pulsed mode
- In some printheads, TF Technology can also be set to operate in Pulsed mode – ink is recirculated when the printhead is not jetting
- This allows ink recirculation to be implemented with the minimum of complexity and cost but still improves reliability, enabling nozzle self-recovery, extending maintenance cycles and eliminating air bubbles.
The results of a series of lab experiments, which can be found in our new white paper, ‘What goes around, comes around’ demonstrate why Xaar’s TF Technology ink recirculation, invented some years ago, still sets the benchmark for industrial inkjet recirculation techniques today.
Within the white paper, we explain that not all ink recirculation technologies are the same, comparing it with alternative ink recirculation techniques used by most other printhead manufacturers. As well as evidence from a series of controlled experiments to establish what factors improved printhead performance.
Download your version of the white paper here.