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KYOCERA Launches Highly Robust Printhead for Digital Textile Printing

Offers excellent durability against harsh environments associated with the printing of garments and other applications

November 5, 2015
Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi) today announced that it will launch an inkjet printhead featuring a new, highly robust design for textile printing. For use as a key component in inkjet printers, the company will start mass production this month.

Photo: Inkjet printhead
Model Inkjet printhead
KJ4B-0300-G06DS
Dimensions 200×45×66.8mm (W×D×H)
Max. drive frequency 30kHz
Resolution 300dpi
Effective print width 112mm (approx. 4 inches)
Ink compatibility Water-based
Development facility Kagoshima Kokubu Plant, Japan

The textile industry is experiencing unprecedented demand for digital technologies, which eliminates the printing plate and allows for the immediate printing of only the required amount of ink, contributing not only to increased productivity and cost reduction, but also a reduction in environmental burden, as plate-washing waste is not generated in the production process. At the same time, there is a growing need for inkjet printheads which can withstand severe conditions associated with textile printing, such as fabric being caught or device errors occurring from shocks when feeding the fabric. Furthermore, the scattering of ink mist or fabric dust can result in malfunctions when entering the printhead.

In order to meet this need, Kyocera developed a new, highly robust design which enhances printheads for use under the harsh conditions of textile printing. Furthermore, the product offers the advantage of simultaneous two-color printing with one printhead, contributing to equipment downsizing. It also features the world’s widest*1 effective print width of 112mm (approx. 4 inches), which simplifies equipment design and maintenance by further reducing the number of printheads.

Kyocera already mass-produces inkjet printheads for textile printing which offer world-class levels of high print speeds with high resolution. By launching a robustly designed printhead, Kyocera addresses a multitude of market demands, thus expanding the possibilities of the digital printing industry.

Details of the Robust Design*2

1. Basic structure
Features a highly rigid metal nozzle plate, side guards with enhanced shock resistance and a protected structure to prevent invasion of ink mists.
Photo: Details of the Robust Design

Highly rigid metal nozzle plate Side guards with enhanced shock resistance Protected structure to prevent ink mist invasion
Features excellent rigidity confirmed by shock tests in which an impact force of 200N was applied, which is approximately five times stronger compared to the impact caused when fabric strikes the nozzle plate during typical textile printing (Image 1). Offers high shock resistance confirmed by drop tests in which a 1kg-weight was dropped from a height of 1m, which has an impact force approximately ten times stronger compared to the impact caused when fabric strikes the printhead during typical textile printing (Image 2). Prevents ink mist generated during the printing process from entering the printhead by applying sealing material around the connection parts utilized for making interface connections (Image 3).

Photo: Image 1: Shock test for metal nozzle plate utilizing a printhead wiper
Image 1: Shock test for metal nozzle plate utilizing a printhead wiper

Photo: Image 2: Weight drop test for side guards
Image 2: Weight drop test for side guards

Photo: Image 3: Protected structure around the connection parts (indicated in red)
Image 3: Protected structure around the connection parts (indicated in red)

2. High temperature durability
Withstands temperatures between -20 to 80°C confirmed by Kyocera’s temperature durability tests.

3. High driving durability
Durable and can operate even when dipped in high-temperature reactive ink, confirmed by continuous acceleration tests (1,500 continuous hours of actuator operation dipped in ink with a temperature of 70°C equivalent to typical usage of more than two years).

*1 World’s widest effective print width for inkjet printheads for textile printing. Based on research by Kyocera (as of October 1, 2015).
*2 Assuming the severe operation environments in textile printing, Kyocera conducted nine reliability tests including drops, vibrations, shocks, thermal loads, electronic loads, dipping in ink and driving durability. Product features were confirmed under test conditions; full operation cannot be guaranteed under all actual conditions. Furthermore, the test results do not fully guarantee damage-free or trouble-free operations.