Wednesday, 20 December 2017

How to Select the Suitable Thickeners for Textile Printing

Printing thickener is a viscous paste made by combining one or more thickening agents. These thickeners are colorless and are also called paint paste which is the scientific name of thickener. Let’s have a sneak peek at some important factors and attributes of textile printing thickener that you must consider if you are in the textile industry.

Important Characteristics of Printing Thickener from Guar Gum:

1. It flow property, viscosity and excellent ability to wet and adjust with the inner surface of etchings of the roller should be good.

2. It should synchronize well with the other elements of the printing paste.

3. It must dry easily and properly on the fabric so that the color should not spread due to the capillary action.

4. During steaming it should safely extract water from steam so that free space is available for the dye molecules to cover the fabric.

5. The thickener must not pick free water intensely and must not take the dye beyond the impression edges.

6. It should be affordable and available in abundance.

7. The usable medium like screen, block and rollers should be cleaned easily.

8. After the transferring of thickener for textile printing from the thickener film the exhausted thickener film, should be easily removed without adding any water-soluble dye.

4 Ways to Produce Thickeners

1. A low concentration polymer with  high relative molecular mass can be used (r.m.m.)

2. A high density of material of lower r.m.m. or of highly segmented chain structure can be used.

3. An emulsion of two fluids, as emulsions are applied in the form of liquid or air, or as in cosmetic creams is also a good fit. 

4. A distribution of an equally divided solid like bentonite can also be used.

Although all four approaches have been used, often in combination, the first approach is the most popular. 

Printers have already found natural polymers with right attributes and through trial and error have also understood the usages. But recently with the advancement of chemistry and physics of polymers, we are able to understand polymers better today. Now we have a wide choice of thickening agents, including synthetic polymers, which has improved our understanding and knowledge. Although it is not enough, we are constantly increasing the knowledge of these complex materials and their behavior.

Take a note that when selecting the printing thickeners from starch, consider the requirements also in addition to the viscosity. Just ensure that thickening agents have print paste stability, minimum impact on colorfastness, good adhesion of the dried thickener film, ease of removal and affordable cost.

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