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Evaluation of inkjet technology in aircraft configuration: effect of printing inks and surface treatment on the print quality

Abstract

The development of new painting processes, less aggressive to the environment and more customized, has received great attention in recent years, with emphasis on automated painting systems and digital printing process. In the aerospace industry, the paint process of the aircraft is limited to conventional paint process using color by color, coat by coat, pre-treatment of substrate, adhesive films and the release of high amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the environment. In this context, recent studies show the evaluation of the digital printing technique by the main industries of this segment aiming the reduction of the paint used, the production costs and to improve the quality of images, letters and logos printing in the aircraft fuselage. However, the implementation of digital inkjet printing technology still needs studies related to the type of the ink (rheological behavior, drying and adhesion), treatment of the surface which will receive the printing, printing velocity, as well as to attend the sector's regulatory requirements. Therefore, the goal of this project is to establish a correlation between digital quality printing/paint with different surface treatments for the aerospace surfaces, with the rheological behavior of the printing inks aiming to find the best surfaces in order to reduce the number of layers and the amount of paint used in the aircraft configuration. Inks will be evaluated by physicochemical, such as surface tension, contact angle and rheological behavior. The printed substrates will be evaluated by the adhesion, quality of images, brightness, abrasion resistance, salt spray resistance and stability to ultraviolet radiation. This work will be developed in the Polymer Synthesis and Processes Laboratory of ICT-UNIFESP and will have technical support from Embraer SA. aiming at the development and validation of printing inks and the implementation of the digital printing process on surfaces in the aeronautical segment. (AU)

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