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Working Machanism & Evolution of Thickener for Textile Printing

Working Machanism & Evolution of Thickener for Textile Printing


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Thickener for pigment printing

Working Mechanism & Evolution of Thickener for Textile Printing

Thickener is commonly used in the printing industry. Under the high shear force, the consistency of printing paste will be reduced, so thickener are considered in maintaining the consistency of the printing paste.

Main function of printing thickener is to provide good rheological properties. Transfer color paste on the screen and printing roller to the fabric, so that the color elements and fiber will be combined together to ensure that the print pattern is clear. The design is clear and the color is bright and uniform; when the color elements is fixed,the residue are easily removed from the downstream process, making the fabric feel soft. This is how printing thickener works in printing process.

Printing thickener has a long history of development. The oldest kind of thickener are starch or modified starch, which are called as natural thickener. But this kind of thickeners has many shortcomings like high cost, low color depth, poor color brightness and fastness. At present, some natural thickeners have been phased out.

In 1950s, people introduced an A-ready-pulp, which are widely used in textile printing to maintaining the consistency of color paste. A-ready-pulp is formed by high speed emulsification of kerosene and water under the action of emulsifier. Because this printing pulp contains more than 50% of kerosene, and the dosage is large, it has caused serious pollution to the atmosphere, and the danger offire. In addition, the consistency of the printing color pulp is not easy to adjust, and the smell of kerosene will remain on the fabric after printing. So people are still not satisfied with this A-ready-pulp.

In 1970s, people began to develop and produce synthetic thickeners. With the advent of synthetic thickener, it greatly promoted the development of printing production and improved the printing technology to a new level. It solves the problem of environmental pollution and safety. Moreover, High-performance synthetic thickeners has the advantages of good thickening effect, convenient transportation and storage, simple preparation, clear outline, bright color and so on.

There are many kinds of synthetic thickeners, which are divided into two major categories: non-ions and anions. Most of the non-ionic thickeners are polyethylene glycol ether derivatives. This kind of synthetic thickener should be widely used, but its thickening effect is poor, application dosage is large, and a certain amount of kerosene is needed, hence limits its further development.

Anionic thickener is a polymer electrolyte compound. It is a co-polymer with mild cross-linking. Its characteristics are low viscosity, good thickening effect, good stability, less addition, good rheology and good printing effect. Polyacrylic acid compounds are the most common. At present, the most common polyacrylic acid compound, which is anionic polymer electrolyte, using the emulsion polymerization method, polymerized with water soluble monomers. This kind of synthetic thickeners is convenient in long-term storage with excellent chemical stability. Among those, PTF thickener produced by Allied Colloids had been the most famous for 20 years from 1990s. Similar to PTF, now we we have a counter product, EM-PTE pigment thickener.

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