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The wiki for our industry.
An abrasive filler is an additive that increases the abrasion resistance of a surface.
The ash content is the amount of non-organic fillers in the paper bulk. These fillers do not burn and become ash. A main filler is titanium dioxide.
Décor paper has a high ash content. The ash content can be 40 % and more. The amount of Titanium dioxide determines the opacity of the décor paper. Therefore, décor paper with a high ash content is desirable for opacity. On the other hand, décor papers with a high ash content tend to break. Further, the quantity of titanium dioxide affects the price of the paper. In reality, there is always a compromise between price and ash content.
The "Advanced Color Measurement System" (ACMS) is a tool for ensuring and measuring quality. The technology can create a quality certificate used for all subsequent production runs.
In ACMS, samples are scanned and compared with a master. The similarity with the master is given quantitatively in a SIM-Index.
It is possible to define a threshold of the expected quality for each décor. So can be ensured that the expected quality level is matched. The transmission of the SIM-indexes makes the sending of paper judgement samples unnecessary.
A base paper is in the décor printing process a wet-strength, resin-laminable and printable paper of a high opacity. Thereafter the printed paper is used for the lamination of wood based materials.
The engraved layer of a rotogravure printing cylinder must be removed if the cylinder is to be used for a different décor. It can be peeled off or milled. A layer that can be peeled off the cylinder is called Ballard shell. Such Ballard shell is recycled in a molten metal oven.
The polymerization of a resin in a décor paper during the pressing results in a tension. This tension may deform a board. The problem is solved by a treated paper, which is laid under the board, the balance paper. The tensions are balanced and the board stays even.
Binders shall fix the pigments on the paper. They surround the pigments and prevent them from agglomeration.
Organic as well as inorganic binders are known. The most important organic binder in décor printing is casein. It is made of milk and is used in the cheese production. The most important inorganic binder is acrylic.
Corundum is also called aluminium oxide. It is an additive, which is given to the paper either during the production process or afterwards in the impregnation process to increase the abrasion resistance.
A cylinder set is the combination of printing cylinders necessary to the printing of a decor.
A chemical pore is a surface texture for finish foils in the form of a matt/gloss look. This effect is created by contrasting matt areas of the pore grain with glossily varnished areas.
The Interprint finish foil with chemical pore is marketed under the 'XELIO Effect' brand name.
The ink wiping from the cylinder surface with a doctor blade ends in a surface wear. The cylinder surface is coated with a chrome layer to prevent wear out. It is only a few microns thick. Chromium is used due to its hardness but also due to its excellent lubrication for doctor blades and its resistance against environmental impact.
An electro-plated layer has always many tips and is quiet rough. Therefore every layer must be polished after plating. This is called cylinder finishing.
A colour space, also called gamut, shows all colorations that can be printed in a print technology with the inks. The cleaner the colour of the prints inks are the bigger is the colour space. Therefor a CMYK colour space of digital printing contains colorations that cannot be printed in décor gravure printing. For (digital) proofing, a colour space is therefore limited to the final colour space of the print.
Décor paper is a wet-strength, resin-laminable and printable paper of a high opacity for the lamination of wood based materials.
Printing of décor paper with wood, stone or creative decors in a gravure or digital printing process. Applications: wood based materials, furniture, flooring, interior design.
A décor cooperation is a similar decor for different surface materials, if necessary by a cooperation of various manufacturers.
Digital printing was first used in the decor printing sector in the sampling process.
In May 2015 Interprint started as the first décor printer worldwide industrial digital printing on decorative paper.
A process, in which the base paper is printed and the colours are matched. This process is based on a conventional or digital method:
The colours are matched on a laboratory machine after the engraving of the printing cylinders.
Interprint has developed a digital printing process that allows a seamless transition to the gravure printing of décors.
A blade strips the ink from the surface of a print cylinder. So after stripping there is only ink left in the cells. The paper sucks the ink out of the cells.
The ink is stripped more or less from the cells depending of the balde angle. Therefor it is possible to control the ink transfer by the blade angle. The lower the blade angle is, the flatter becomes the print.
The air is an essential control for the drying of printed inks. Hot air is blown onto the paper web through small slits in the ovens. The air absorbs the evaporating humidity.
The humid air must be exchanged with dry air. But only a small amount is exchanged in order not to heat up too much dry and cold air. Therefor the air is guides in a circle and only a small part is replaced by fresh air.
The cold air is pre-heated with a heat exchanger. It is heated to the final temperature with a burner, most times a gas burner. Typical oven temperatures are between 100°C (200°F) and 150°C (300°F).
Basically, digital printing inks are very similar to conventional rotogravure inks. The major difference is that the pigments must be milled much finer. Otherwise, they could not be jetted through the print head nozzles. Sedimentation must be avoided, because the inks may stay for a long time without any movement in the print head.
The viscosity must be adjusted to the print head type. The ink manufacturer analyzes the jetting behavior with a drop-watcher. Pictures of drops leaving the nozzles are evaluated using the drop-watcher. Basic investigations are the separation of inks from the nozzles, the formation of drops and the generation of satellites.
Metal inks, as the pearl inks for rotogravure printing, cannot be used for digital printing due to the pigment size.
The drops of inkjet inks hit the paper with a high velocity. This is no issue for a low ink coverage; part of the ink is deep in the paper core but still visible. Starting at a certain amount of ink coverage a major part of the ink penetrates through the paper. A barrier on the paper may prevent this.
If the barrier is transparent, it does not change the color appearance of the paper. Sometimes special papers with a high smoothness are used. The barrier can be applied to the paper using different technologies. There are machine-coated papers from the paper mills as well as printed barriers in use.
Edgebanding paper is a special paper used as base material for edgebandings, usually one-side glazed with a grammage of 120 up to 300 g/m2 .
An embossed-in-register pore or texture is a pore / texture produced by a synchronous press plate on melamine-coated surfaces. The haptics (i.e. the texture) of the surface is identical to the pattern (look) of the décor ("what you see is what you feel"). The pattern (look) and the surface texture are exactly matched, i.e. "synchronised".
"EBH" stands for "electron beam hardening". It means the hardening of lacquers via electron beams.
In electromechanical engraving, a diamond stylus cuts recesses (so-called cells) into the copper surface of the printing cylinder. The stylus moves up and down whilst the cylinder is rotating under the stylus. The resulting burr is broken up by a scraper and then sucked off.
The abbreviation ESA stands for Electro-Static Assist. The generation of an electric field between the impression roller, the paper and the printing cylinder improves the transfer of the ink onto the paper because the ink is polarized. Simply put, the ink rises a bit from the cell. Besides a better ink transfer, there are less non-printed dots (so-called missing dots) if the ESA method is used.
The engraving gradation describes the relationship between the data information of an engraving file and the cell size.
A well-balanced gradation must fulfill different requirements. The start may not be too steep in high light tones, because the first printing dots depends on different criteria like paper, print viscosity and others. A too steep raising may end up in bad shades.
An ink without pigments is called "extender". Sometimes it is called "varnish" as well.
The extender load determines the color strength. The more extender the lighter is the color, because the pigment load in the ink decreases.
A rotogravure cylinder is engraved with a stylus. The stylus is a diamond with well defined opening angle. Most times the stylus angle is 120° or 130°. The narrower the stylus angle is the deeper it can move into the copper surface. But then the risk of a stylus break increases.
EIR means "embossed in register". The trend to print textures and structures in synchronization started with flooring, and more recently, has spread to furniture. Paper growth after impregnation must be controlled to ensure that texture and structure are in registration. Press plate and décor must be perfectly aligned to each other.
Two different types of finish foil can be distinguished:
a) finish foils which are lacquered after the production inline or offline on the base of pre-impregnated papers (pre-impregnation)
b) finsh foils which are impregnated and lacquered after the printing process in an impregnation channel on the base of satinated or one-side glazed papers (postimpregnation).
Brand name of the Interprint finish foil: XELIO
FSC® stands for Forest Stewardship Council®. This is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that promotes environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management.
The FSC Label on a wood or paper product is a clear indication that the product comes from responsible forest management. Products with the FSC label ensure that the forests are managed in accordance with the social, economic and ecological requirements of current and future generations.
HPL stands for High Pressure Laminate. It is a thin laminte, consisting of several layers paper, impregnated with melamine resin, and a decorative top layer (= decor paper ), which are pressed under high pressure and high temperature.
HPL is processed in many products of daily life due to its scratch resistance and the wide range of possible uses. Tabletops, door panels , furniture and kitchen worktops are just a few of the common applications.
HDF stands for "High Density Fibreboard". HDF is fibreboard consisting of wood fibres saturated with glue and compressed under high heat and pressure in a dry process. HDF is used, for example, as a laminate flooring substrate because it is suitable for great loads and has only a small thickness.
Hidden register marks are designed into the décor if it is not possible to print register marks on both sides of the paper web. They can be for example dots that must be printed exactly on top of each other or lines that must touch each other. These dots or lines are not visible in the décor because they are part of the décor.
Impregnation means the soaking of papers with duromer resins in special machinery. Depending on the procedure and the recipes, the result can either be melamine films for direct coating or finish foils for the lamination of wood based materials.
IP TECH is a practical workshop by Interprint for customers and interested partners from the industry. The workshop offers an exciting insight into the 'World of Décor Printing' in small participant groups. The topics range from design and trends, printing and processes, to quality and environment.
The participants get an overview of the entire manufacturing process – from repro, colour lab and printing to quality assurance. They not only learn the theory but can also get hands-on experience and thus produce their own realistic image for the further processing stage. The workshop also provides ideal opportunities for exchanging experience – in a casual work atmosphere away from the daily business activities.
You will find more information here.
An impression roller presses the paper onto the cylinder in the gravure printing press. Impression rollers are made of rubber mixtures or elastic polyurethanes.
Fresh ink is pumped into the ink pan under the print cylinder in rotogravure printing. Residual ink runs back into a storage tank. The ink stays permanently in motion; a settlement of ink pigments is prevented. The ink circuit is not necessary for small lot sizes in the lab.
Inks can be classified in ink systems. There are water-based inks with (predominantly) water as solvent. In contrary are solvent-based inks. Organic inks contain organic pigments; contrary to metal oxide inks.
The number of classifications growth permanently. UV-inks polymerize with UV radiation, dye-inks get the colour by dyes solved in the ink etc.
Décor printing uses most times organic water-based inks. So the phrases describe the pigments and the solven.
Judgement samples show the quality of a production batch. The samples are taken from the end of the reel during the running job. These samples are judged and send to the customer by request.
The judgement samples are often used for customer's quality control before release order. "ACMS" (see there) generates digital judgements by representing the quality in a value called SIM-Index.
Laminate is a compostion of different impregnated papers, which are connected by pressure and heat.
Lamination is the applying of a thermoplastic or finish foil on a woodbased material.
A lacquering line is a machinery for the application of lacquer on the printed and/or impregnated paper.
"LPL" stands for Low Pressure Laminate. LPL is a wood based material directly coated with melamine films by short cycle or continuous presses.
Laminate is a material or product consisting of two or more layers flatly bonded to each other. Classic laminate flooring has a three-layer structure: a melamine resin overlay with the decorative surface layer, a substrate and a backing.
The melamine resin overlay is the actual walking layer of the flooring. Melamine resin is a very robust material. It makes laminate flooring extremely hard-wearing.
The substrate forms the laminate flooring core. As the name suggests, it carries the decorative paper and the overlay and, of course, the people, who later walk on the flooring. The substrate consists of highly compressed wood fibres that are classified as HDF (High Density Fibreboard) or MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) depending on the density level. Various papers such as a sound-reducing laminate can be integrated between the substrate and the decorative paper.
The backing, a very strong, flexible paper, represents the bottom layer of the laminate flooring and gives the flooring its final stability.
Light fastness describes the resistance to fading on exposure to light. UV light breaks the chemical bonds of the pigments that react with the residual moisture in a paper web. The pigments then lose their colouring.
Light fastness is usually rated according to the Blue Wool Scale, which was originally developed by the textiles industry. Decorative papers have a lightfastness rating of at least 6 on the Blue Wool Scale. The pigments typically have a higher lightfastness.
Melamine is a synthetic material of the group of duromeres for glues, lacquers, glue-on edges and HPL boards. It is hard and heat resistant. It is supplied as powder, which is dissolved in water before use
A melamine film is made by the soaking of papers with duromer resins in a special machinery. These films are used for the direct coating of wood materials.
Melamine resin is used in our industry for pressing decorative paper onto substrates (such as chipboards). The decorative paper is saturated with melamine resin, dried and later bonded to the substrate under pressure and high temperature. The resulting surface has a good durability and scratch resistance.
MDF stands for "Medium Density Fibreboard". MDF is used, for example, as a laminate flooring substrate. It consists of derived timber products, melamine resin, water and additives used in small quantities. The wood fibres are saturated with melamine resins and pressed into boards. The boards are classified as Medium Density Fibreboards because their density lies between that of timber and wet-process fibreboards.
Mutek describes a measurement that shall determine the paper growth. A stripe is taken from well defend areas of the paper web. These paper stripes are clamped in the Mutek apparatus and wetted with water. The growth of the stripes is measured. The Mutek-value is the average of these measurements.
Metamerism describes the colour change of two samples after illumination with different light sources. The samples are called metameric if the color changes with change of the light source. One sample may be more greenish and the other more reddish after illumination with light source one; but sample one may appear more reddish as sample two with an illumination of the other light source.
Two samples are metameric when two different pigments with their different absorption spectra are used. Nothing is visible if one pigment absorbs no intensity at a certain wavelength and the illumination does not contain this wavelength. But the colour appearance of two sample change differently if another illumination contains a high amount of this wavelength and one sample can absorb this wavelength and the other cannot.
The print heads are moving crossways to the paper running direction in a multi pass inkjet printer. One pass is printed and afterwards the paper web moves forward. The printer may print either only during the forward direction (uni-directional) or in both moving directions (bi-directional).
The number of passes define in general the print quality, but limits the print speed.
A master sample describes the customer agreed quality of a décor print. Master samples are taken in adequate quantity and presented to the customer with the first print of a décor. After approval, it is taken for comparison for any further production batch.
In rotogravure printing, an ink transfer is only possible where the paper sucks the ink out of a cell of the print cylinder. The bigger the cell volume and the more time the paper has for sucking the more ink is transferred to the paper. It may happen with very rough paper surfaces that no single cell is touched. Ink transfer is then not possible; the print dot is missing. These are the missing dots.
An optical pore is a surface texture for finish foils in the form of a visually and haptically perceivable pore grain (3-D effect). This interplay of visual and haptic effects makes the surface of wood décors look amazingly 'real'.
The Interprint finish foil with optical pore is marketed under the 'XELIO Feel' brand name.
An overlay sheet is a treated paper that gives a board a superior resistance. Corundum is used for floorings and table tops. Overlays can be used as resin carrier if the décor paper shall not be treated itself.
The grammage of an overlay is significant lower than a décor paper and it has a lower ash content. It shall became transparent after pressing in order not to shift a color of the décor into gray.
The opacity is a measure of the optical covering of a surface. It is the opposite of transparency. The higher the opacity, the less visible the base. Décor papers have a high opacity.
The opacity can be measured by the reflectance of a paper once over a white base and once over a black base.
A postimpregnate is a finish foil, for which the decor paper is impregnated and lacquered after the printing process.
A pre-impregnate is a decor paper, which is impregnated inline during the production process of the paper. Generally it is printed and lacquered afterwards.
A primer is the first coating or layer in the printing or lacquering process. It is also called priming or base coat .
Pressing is the process of the application of a surface on a substrate material by pressure and heat.
Print base paper is a base paper for decor printing, generally with a basic colour supporting the décor.
Pulp is a fibre material produced chemically from phytogenic raw materials as the basic product for the production of paper, out of which most of the non-fibre parts are leached out.
Premeer is the brand name of a water-repellent polypropylene overlay produced by Interprint USA. The American Interprint colleagues in Pittsfield are the experts in this field. Premeer is an environmentally friendly alternative to PVC films because it is manufactured without formaldehyde. It is also extremely water-repellent and can therefore, unlike décor paper or finish foils, also be used in damp rooms. Possible usage: as a profile wrapping overlay, for ceiling or wall panels and for bathroom furniture.
Further information: here
Pearl Perfect is a mother-of-pearl and metallic effect developed by Interprint. This effect significantly simplifies the further processing of the decorative paper with mother-of-pearl and metallic colours. Pearl Perfect optimises the flow behaviour of the resin during the pressing operation. Typical blemishes like cloudy, spotty surfaces, pressing or condensation stripes are thus avoided or clearly minimised in comparison with conventional production methods.
Press plates produce the texture of a melamine-coated décor surface of laminated boards. These textures can, for example, be matt or high-gloss or reproduce wood pores and many other textures.
The press plates are engraved with the desired texture. The heated pressing surfaces make the melamine resin melt and the press plate mounted underneath the punch can press the surface texture into the material. The surface texture is retained and has a very high strength after the resin has hardened.
Pigments are the ink components that determine the colouring. They absorb a part of the light spectrum. The remitted portion of light gives the pigment its colour.
Coloured pigments are mostly organic compounds. Besides the coloured pigments, titanium dioxide is also used as pigment. The colour of titanium dioxide is white. Thin layers of titanium dioxide are applied to mica platelets to obtain pigments with mother-of-pearl effect. Carbon pigments are used to obtain a black colour.
Decor paper is a special paper with about 90% quiet short paper fibers. The short fibers are mainly eucalyptus. Long fibers from softwood like spruce and pine are the other 10%. They give the paper stability
Decor papers are treated with melamine resins or urea-melamine resins. Pre-impregnated papers are treated before printing during the fabrication in the paper mill.
The paper runs through a nip, which is filled with resin and absorbs the fluid. There is about 30% resin compared to the raw paper grammage.
The big benefit of pre-impregnated papers is that there is significantly less resin absorbed by the paper compared to décor paper. The paper can be coated with a lacquer. The lacquer provides impact resistance. The lacquerd, pre-impragnated paper, also called finish foil, (Interprint brand name: XELIO) can be glued to a wooden board.
Paper fibers start swelling when they take humidity. This paper growth happens during printing. The paper is dried back to its original size in the oven of a printing press before it runs into the next print unit. This makes printing registration possible.
The paper absorbs resin during treating in the impregnation channel. It is here where the paper fibers start swelling and the paper grows. However, during drying, the resin fixes the paper and the growth is stopped.
Big print forms as used in décor printing have usually repeats. Often the repeats are put several times along the cross direction of the paper web. Allover-designs usually show no repeat.
Starting with patterns that are smaller than the final print form the whole print must be filled. Therefore, the pattern is repeated several times on the print form. These repeats are hardly visible in the end product, because the full print is cut into planks in the subsequent treatment. Exceptions are very long elements for example, doors covered by using the paper along the printing direction. A typically print length is 130 cm. In this case, the repeat is visible on a 200 cm long door.
The edges of the repeats are hidden by repro artwork. These patterns are called seamless or endless.
A proof is a colour mandatory sample for a print. Usually proofs are printed with a traversing inkjet printer. They are often metameric to décor prints due to the differences in paper and inks used for proofing.
A profile describes the print result of a printing press. Profiles are necessary for the color space transfers between different print technologies.
Well-defined color patterns are printed for the calculation of the profile. One color pattern may be composed from 20% yellow, 18% red and 3% black. Altogether several hundreds up to some thousand patterns can be generated in a profile. They are measured with a photo spectrometer. The printed color combinations can be calculated for each color composition and the size of the color space can be estimated from these data.
Each ink needs its own print head in inkjet printing. Today the print width of a print head is about 10 cm. The print heads travers over the paper web or several print heads are mounted side by side for larger print widths.
The number of nozzles gives the lateral resolution. A typical resolution is 600 dots per inch. The resolution can be raised optically by usage of several drop volumes.
The R4 standard is a standard stipulated by IKEA for the water resistance of a foil, which is generally achieved by a double lacquer coat.
The real pore is also called chemical pore. It is a surface texture for finish foils in the form of a matt/gloss look. This effect is created by contrasting matt areas of the pore grain with glossily varnished areas.
The Interprint finish foil with real (chemical) pore is marketed under the 'XELIO Effect' brand name.
A print cylinder must be printed exactly in register for sharp pictures. This is called angular synchronic printing. A register control enables printing in register. It detects register marks and adjusts the print cylinders both in web as well as in cross direction.
The paper path can be elongated or shortened in web direction by moving rollers. Print presses with direct drive accelerate or decelerate the print cylinders. The cross registration is done by moving the print cylinders in cross direction.
The "raster image process" (RIP) transfers an incoming file into a machine-readable file. Ripped files are used for cylinder engraving or digital printing. The computer with the rip software is also often called "the rip".
A ripped file contains the information for each pixel. The input file may either already contain pixel information or the information are given as vector data. A vector image can be enlarged nearly arbitrarily contrary to ripped data.
The "Radio Frequence Identification" (RFID) allows a wireless information exchange. For example, paper reels can be identified. The cores of the reels are equipped with readable and writable transponders (sometimes called "tags"). The transponders are written during reel packaging. They can be re-written several times. So also the transponder equipped cores can be used a number of times.
SWAP is the brand name for Interprint's décor collection for the HPL sector. Selected by an international design team, it is aimed at interior architects and designers working in the fields of high-quality furniture manufacturing and interior finishing.
System technology for pressing melamine resin impregnated decorative papers onto derived timber boards (such as chipboards or fibreboards) by applying pressure and heat.
The change of a paper reel in a printing press must be performed at production speed to ensure an economical production. The new reel in the unwinder, the new core in the rewinder must be prepared with a gluing tape. The reel is then accelerated to the same surface speed as the running reel. A splicing roller presses the running web onto the new reel while a knife cuts the web. A small double layer web glued with the tape runs through the press. An equivalent procedure is done at the rewinder. The double layer is wound on the old reel. It is also called "flag".
The repeats of patterns on a print form shall be masked. Therefore, the patterns are arranged in staggered positions. The second pattern is moved half a length downwards and put beside the first pattern. The edges of the patterns are hidden by repro artwork.
The print pattern is separated into several individual units. Coloration is done with these individual separated print units.
Many print technologies use the four basic colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key) for separation. Then there are always four units necessary. In contrary, décor printing uses special colors, mostly different shades of brown. Décors may be separated from one unit up to five units with each individual coloration (spot colours).
The print heads of inkjet printing must be adjusted to each other for large-scale single pass printing. Transitions from one print head to the neighboring print head must be invisible. This adjustment is called "stitching".
The adjustment to each other must be precise in four space directions: distance to the paper, rotation to each other, tilt to the paper along running direction, and horizontal tilt. A misalignment of a few microns of the printed dots on the paper may already result in visible print defects like stripes.
Visual Perfect is a process developed by Interprint for single-coloured décors in premium quality. The result: fascinating colours, homogeneous surfaces and a perfect look – as if varnished.
The viscosity determines flow behavior of the ink. It depends on the solvent ratio (water in case of décor printing) in the ink. The higher the print speed the lower is the viscosity.
A too low viscosity results in a less sharp print. A too high viscosity hinders the ink drainage from the cells, especially from small cells (high light areas).
XELIO is the brand name of the Interprint finish foil range. Our XELIO finish foil is the proof for how creative the technical realisation of décors can be. The use of different intelligent surface effects gives the décors a deliberately natural effect – from a visual and haptic point of view. XELIO is produced at our Ozorków location in Poland. The central location ensures a quick supply of customers throughout Europe and the whole world.