Inkjet ink

Abstract

According to one embodiment, an inkjet ink includes a pigment, an aqueous liquid, an oil liquid, and a dihydric alcohol soluble in the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid. The aqueous liquid accounts for 10 to 70% by weight of the inkjet ink, and the oil liquid accounts for 70 to 10% by weight of the inkjet ink. At least a part of the oil liquid is an aromatic alcohol represented by general formula AA, where R a represents an aliphatic hydrocarbon group having 1 to 5 carbon atoms, R b represents —O— or —CH 2 O—, and k represents 0 or 1. The dihydric alcohol is selected from compounds represented by general formulae DA, BO, and PO below, R c —(OH) 2   DA OH—(CH 2 CH 2 O) n —H   EO OH—(CH(CH 3 )CH 2 O) m —H   PO where R c represents an alkylene group having 3 to 6 carbon atoms, n represents 1 to 10, and m represents 2 to 5.

Claims

What is claimed is: 1 . An inkjet ink comprising: a pigment; an aqueous liquid that accounts for 10 to 70% by weight of the inkjet ink; an oil liquid that accounts for 70 to 10% by weight of the inkjet ink, and that is at least partly an aromatic alcohol represented by general formula AA, where R a represents an aliphatic hydrocarbon group having 1 to 5 carbon atoms, R b represents —O— or —CH 2 O—, and k represents 0 or 1; and a dihydric alcohol soluble in the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid, and that is selected from the group consisting of a compound represented by general formula DA, a compound represented by general formula EO, and a compound represented by general formula PO below, R c —(OH) 2   DA OH—(CH 2 CH 2 O) n —H   EO OH—(CH(CH 3 )CH 2 O) m —H   PO where R c represents an alkylene group having 3 to 6 carbon atoms, n represents 1 to 10, and m represents 2 to 5. 2 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein the aqueous liquid accounts for 20 to 40% by weight of the inkjet ink. 3 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein at least 40% by weight of the aqueous liquid is water. 4 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein the aqueous liquid comprises at least one selected from glycerin, diglycerin, polyglycerin, 1,2,6-hexanetriol, 1,2,4-butanetriol, 1,2,3-butanetriol, 3-methyl-1,3,5-pentanetriol, sorbitol, mannitol, and maltitol. 5 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein the oil liquid accounts for 60 to 20% by weight of the inkjet ink. 6 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein at least 70% by weight of the oil liquid is the aromatic alcohol. 7 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein in the general formula AA, the aliphatic hydrocarbon group R a is selected from the group consisting of —CH 2 —, —CH 2 CH 2 —, —CH 2 CH(CH 3 )—, and —CH(CH 3 )CH 2 —. 8 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein the dihydric alcohol accounts for 10 to 50% by weight of the inkjet ink. 9 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein at least 10% by weight of the dihydric alcohol is a compound represented by the general formula EO, or a compound represented by the general formula PO. 10 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein the pigment accounts for 2 to 20% by weight of the inkjet ink. 11 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein the pigment has an average particle diameter of 10 to 300 nm. 12 . The ink according to claim 1 , further comprising a dispersant that disperses the pigment. 13 . The ink according to claim 12 , wherein the dispersant is selected from the group consisting of a surfactant, a water-soluble resin, and a water-insoluble resin. 14 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein the pigment comprises a functional group or a salt thereof on its surface. 15 . The ink according to claim 14 , wherein the functional group is selected from the group consisting of a carbonyl group, a carboxyl group, a hydroxyl group, and a sulfone group. 16 . The ink according to claim 1 , further comprising a monohydric aliphatic alcohol having 3 carbon atoms or fewer. 17 . The ink according to claim 1 , wherein a viscosity of the ink at 25° C. is 3 to 50 mPa·s. 18 . A method for inkjet printing comprising: ejecting at least one type of ink composition from an inkjet head onto a paper medium to form an image, the ink composition being the ink according to claim 1 . 19 . The method according to claim 18 , wherein the formation of an image is performed using one type of ink composition. 20 . The method according to claim 18 , wherein the formation of an image is performed using 2 or more types of ink compositions of different colors.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION [0001] This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/237,818 filed on Aug. 28, 2009, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. FIELD [0002] Embodiments described herein relate generally to inkjet ink. BACKGROUND [0003] Ink produced by dispersing a pigment in an aqueous medium is proposed. Ink using pigments has superior waterfastness and lightfastness compared with ink of the related art that uses water-soluble dyes. [0004] However, pigmented inkjet recording ink that excels in fast dryness and is suited for recording in paper medium, and that can produce high-quality image on paper medium without causing distortion in paper medium is not available. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING [0005] The single figure shows an example of an inkjet recording apparatus to which an embodiment is applied. DETAILED DESCRIPTION [0006] In general, according to one embodiment, an inkjet ink includes a pigment, an aqueous liquid, an oil liquid, and a dihydric alcohol soluble in the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid. The aqueous liquid accounts for 10 to 70% by weight of the inkjet ink, and the oil liquid accounts for 70 to 10% by weight of the inkjet ink. At least a part of the oil liquid is an aromatic alcohol represented by general formula AA, [0000] [0000] where R a represents an aliphatic hydrocarbon group having 1 to 5 carbon atoms, R b represents —O— or —CH 2 O—, and k represents 0 or 1. [0007] The dihydric alcohol is selected from the group consisting of a compound represented by general formula DA, a compound represented by general formula EO, and a compound represented by general formula PO below, [0000] R c —(OH) 2   DA [0000] OH—(CH 2 CH 2 O) n —H   EO [0000] OH—(—CH(CH 3 )CH 2 O) m —H   PO [0000] where R c represents an alkylene group having 3 to 6 carbon atoms, n represents 1 to 10, and m represents 2 to 5. [0008] The following specifically describes embodiments. [0009] In the inkjet recording apparatus in the figure, paper cassettes 100 and 101 each of which holds paper P of different size. A paper feed roller 102 or 103 takes out the paper P in response to the selected paper size from the paper cassette 100 or 101 and conveys it to conveyance roller pairs 104 and 105 and a resist roller pair 106 . [0010] A tension is given to a conveyance belt 107 by a drive roller 108 and two driven rollers 109 . Holes are provided at predetermined intervals on the surface of the conveyance belt 107 , and for the purpose of adsorbing the paper P onto the conveyance belt 107 , a negative-pressure chamber 111 connected to a fan 110 is installed in the inside of the conveyance belt 107 . Conveyance roller pairs 112 , 113 , and 114 are installed in the downstream of the paper conveyance direction of the conveyance belt 107 . [0011] Four rows of inkjet heads that eject inks on a paper according to image data are disposed above the conveyance belt 107 . An inkjet head 115 C which ejects a cyan (C) ink, an inkjet head 115 M which ejects a magenta (M) ink, an inkjet head 115 Y which ejects a yellow (Y) ink, and an inkjet head 115 Bk which ejects a black (Bk) ink are arranged in this order from the upstream. Further, these inkjet heads 115 C, 115 M, 115 Y, and 115 Bk are provided with a cyan (C) ink cartridge 116 C, a magenta (M) ink cartridge 116 M, a yellow (Y) ink cartridge 116 Y, and a black (Bk) ink cartridge 116 Bk, respectively, each of which contains an ink of each color. These cartridges are connected to the inkjet heads via tubes 117 C, 117 M, 117 Y, and 117 Bk, respectively. [0012] An image forming operation of the apparatus for inkjet printing having a configuration as described above is described below. [0013] First, image processing for printing by an image processor (not shown) is initiated, and image data for printing are transferred to the respective inkjet heads 115 C, 115 M, 115 Y, and 115 Bk. Also, a sheet of the paper P of a selected paper size is taken out one by one from the paper cassette 100 or 101 by the paper feed roller 102 or 103 and conveyed to the conveyance roller pairs 104 and 105 and the resist roller pair 106 . The resist roller pair 106 corrects a skew of the paper P and conveys the paper at a predetermined timing. [0014] The negative-pressure chamber 111 draws air through the holes of the conveyance belt 107 , and therefore, the paper P is conveyed in a state that it is adsorbed onto the conveyance belt 107 in a lower side of the inkjet heads 115 C, 115 M, 115 Y, and 115 Bk. Thus, the respective inkjet heads 115 C, 115 M, 115 Y, and 115 Bk and the paper P can keep a fixed space from each other. The ink of each color is ejected from each of the inkjet heads 115 C, 115 M, 115 Y, and 115 Bk in synchronism with the timing for conveying the paper P from the resist roller pair 106 . Thus, a color image is formed at a desired position on the paper P. The paper P having an image formed thereon is discharged into a paper discharge tray 118 by the conveyance roller pairs 112 , 113 , and 114 . [0015] Each ink cartridge stores an inkjet ink of an embodiment. [0016] The inkjet ink according to one embodiment contains an aqueous liquid, an oil liquid, and a specific dihydric alcohol soluble in both the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid, and a pigment. The pigment is dispersed in a mixture of aqueous liquid and oil liquid solubilized by a specific dihydric alcohol. [0017] Because the mixture is used as the dispersion medium, the inkjet ink according to one embodiment has the characteristics of both an aqueous ink and an oil ink. That is, the ink of one embodiment excels in fast dryness, and can form a high-quality image on paper medium while suppressing distortion in paper medium. Further, because of the excellent pigment dispersion stability, the ink can be stably ejected through the printer head nozzles. [0018] As used herein, the “paper medium” generally refers to various kinds of paper medium intended for printing. The paper medium can be broadly classified into coated paper and non-coated paper, the former including art paper and coat paper to which materials for improving print characteristics are applied, and the latter representing a class of papers that exploits the characteristics of the paper itself. The paper medium has a variety of applications, such as in books, documents, newspapers, wrapping, and printer papers. The paper medium also includes thick papers such as cardboards, paper containers, and boxboards. For example, so-called plain paper such as copy paper to be used in a copier or a printer for office or home use is a typical paper medium. [0019] As described above, in one embodiment, the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid mix together by being solubilized by a specific dihydric alcohol, and a pigment is dispersed in the mixture. [0020] The pigment is not particularly limited, and any of an inorganic pigment and an organic pigment may be used. Examples of the inorganic pigment include titanium oxide and iron oxide. Further, a carbon black produced by a known method such as a contact method, a furnace method, or a thermal method can be used. [0021] As the organic pigment, for example, an azo pigment (such as an azo lake pigment, an insoluble azo pigment, a condensed azo pigment, or a chelate azo pigment), a polycyclic pigment (such as a phthalocyanine pigment, a perylene pigment, a perinone pigment, an anthraquinone pigment, a quinacridone pigment, a dioxazine pigment, a thioindigo pigment, an isoindolinone pigment, or a quinophthalone pigment), a dye chelate (such as a basic dye type chelate, or an acid dye type chelate), a nitro pigment, a nitroso pigment, Aniline Black or the like can be used. [0022] Specific examples of the carbon black which is used as the black ink include No. 2300, No. 900, MCF88, No. 33, No. 40, No. 45, No. 52, MA7, MA8, MA100, and No. 2200B (all of which are manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation), Raven 5750, Raven 5250, Raven 5000, Raven 3500, Raven 1255, and Raven 700 (all of which are manufactured by Columbian Chemicals Company), Regal 400R, Regal 330R, Regal 660R, Mogul L, Monarch 700, Monarch 800, Monarch 880, Monarch 900, Monarch 1000, Monarch 1100, Monarch 1300, and Monarch 1400 (all of which are manufactured by Cabot Corporation), and Color Black FW1, Color Black FW2, Color Black FW2V, Color Black FW18, Color Black FW200, Color Black S150, Color Black S160, Color Black S170, Printex 35, Printex U, Printex V, Printex 140U, Special Black 6, Special Black 5, Special Black 4A, and Special Black 4 (all of which are manufactured by Degussa AG). [0023] Specific examples of the pigment which is used in the yellow ink include C.I. Pigment Yellow 1, C.I. Pigment Yellow 2, C.I. Pigment Yellow 3, C.I. Pigment Yellow 12, C.I. Pigment Yellow 13, C.I. Pigment Yellow 14C, C.I. Pigment Yellow 16, C.I. Pigment Yellow 17, C.I. Pigment Yellow 73, C.I. Pigment Yellow 74, C.I. Pigment Yellow 75, C.I. Pigment Yellow 83, C.I. Pigment Yellow 93, C.I. Pigment Yellow 95, C.I. Pigment Yellow 97, C.I. Pigment Yellow 98, C.I. Pigment Yellow 109, C.I. Pigment Yellow 110, C.I. Pigment Yellow 114, C.I. Pigment Yellow 128, C.I. Pigment Yellow 129, C.I. Pigment Yellow 138, C.I. Pigment Yellow 150, C.I. Pigment Yellow 151, C.I. Pigment Yellow 154, C.I. Pigment Yellow 155, C.I. Pigment Yellow 180, and C.I. Pigment Yellow 185. [0024] Specific examples of the pigment which is used in the magenta ink include C.I. Pigment Red 5, C.I. Pigment Red 7, C.I. Pigment Red 12, C.I. Pigment Red 48(Ca), C.I. Pigment Red 48(Mn), C.I. Pigment Red 57(Ca), C.I. Pigment Red 57:1, C.I. Pigment Red 112, C.I. Pigment Red 122, C.I. Pigment Red 123, C.I. Pigment Red 168, C.I. Pigment Red 184, C.I. Pigment Red 202, and C.I. Pigment Violet 19. [0025] Specific examples of the pigment which is used in the cyan ink include C.I. Pigment Blue 1, C.I. Pigment Blue 2, C.I. Pigment Blue 3, C.I. Pigment Blue 15:3, C.I. Pigment Blue 15:4, C.I. Pigment Blue 15:34, C.I. Pigment Blue 16, C.I. Pigment Blue 22, C.I. Pigment Blue 60, C.I. Vat Blue 4, and C.I. Vat Blue 60. [0026] Since the ink is an inkjet ink, it is preferred that the pigment has an average particle diameter of from about 10 to 300 nm. It is more preferred that the pigment has an average particle diameter of from about 10 to 200 nm. [0027] The average particle diameter of the pigment can be measured using a particle diameter analyzer according to a dynamic light scattering method. An example of a particle diameter analyzer is HPPS (Malvern). [0028] The pigment can be used in the state of a pigment dispersion. The pigment dispersion can be prepared by, for example, dispersing the pigment in water or in an alcohol with a dispersant. Examples of dispersant include a surfactant, a water-soluble resin, and a water-insoluble resin. Alternatively, the pigment can be used in the form of a self-dispersing pigment dispersible in, for example, water, without using a dispersant. The self-dispersing pigment is of a form dispersible in water or the like without a dispersant, and to which at least one functional group selected from a carbonyl group, a carboxyl group, a hydroxyl group, and a sulfone group, or a salt thereof is attached by a surface treatment. The surface treatment may be, for example, a vacuum plasma process, a diazo coupling process, or an oxidation treatment. The self-dispersing pigment can be obtained by grafting the functional group or a functional group-containing molecule to the pigment surface using such surface treatments. [0029] Monohydric aliphatic alcohols having 3 carbon atoms or fewer such as ethanol and propanol are soluble in both the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid, and suppresses the phase separation of the dispersion medium. Thus, by dispersing the pigment in the monohydric aliphatic alcohol, the storage stability of the ink can be improved. [0030] The pigment content in the ink is preferably 2 to 20% by weight of the total ink. Within this range, prints having required image densities can be produced without causing inconvenience in ink storage stability and ejection performance. The pigment content in the ink is more preferably 3 to 10% by weight. [0031] The inkjet ink of one embodiment can be obtained by blending the pigment dispersion with a dispersion medium formed of a predetermined mixture. The dispersion medium contains the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid blended in predetermined amounts, and a specific dihydric alcohol soluble in both the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid. The dispersion medium can be regarded as a solubilized liquid of the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid. The ink of one embodiment using such a dispersion medium thus has the advantages of both the aqueous ink and the oil ink. That is, the ink can permeate the paper medium faster than the aqueous ink at the level close to that of the oil ink. Further, the ink can dry out from the paper medium faster than the aqueous ink at the level close to that of the oil ink. The adverse effects on paper medium, such as curling and cockling, are smaller than that seen with the use of the aqueous ink. Further, the resulting image has the quality comparable to that produced by the aqueous ink. [0032] In the ink of one embodiment, the aqueous liquid content is specified as 10 to 70% by weight of the total ink. At an aqueous liquid content less than 10% by weight, the effect of the oil liquid becomes too large, and it becomes difficult to suppress the permeation of the ink in the paper medium. An aqueous liquid content above 70% by weight produces images of improved image quality, but is not sufficient to provide a desired level of permeation. Further, drying of ink, which depends on the permeation of the ink, becomes slow. [0033] Desirably, water accounts for at least 40% by weight of the aqueous liquid. If the aqueous liquid were entirely water, the negative effect on pigment dispersion stability becomes even smaller, and the storage stability of the ink is improved. [0034] The aqueous liquid content is closely associated with the extent of paper medium distortion, and water itself causes distortion in paper medium. The paper medium is distorted more as the amount of aqueous liquid that permeates the paper increases. Thus, the content of aqueous liquid in the ink is specified as 70% by weight or less. Preferably, the aqueous liquid is 20 to 40% by weight of the total ink. [0035] The aqueous liquid may contain a water-soluble compound. Containing a water-soluble compound has the advantage of adjusting ink viscosity, and improving storage stability and moisture retention. Further, the ejection stability of the ink can be further improved. [0036] Examples of water-soluble compound include glycerin, diglycerin, polyglycerin, 1,2,6-hexanetriol, 1,2,4-butanetriol, 1,2,3-butanetriol, 3-methylpentane-1,3,5-triol, sorbitol, mannitol, and maltitol. [0037] In the ink of one embodiment, the oil liquid content is specified as 70 to 10% by weight of the total ink. An oil liquid content above 70% by weight causes image quality deterioration. On the other hand, less than 10% by weight, the effect of the aqueous liquid increases, and the fast-drying property suffers. Further, distortion of paper medium becomes more likely to occur. Thus, the oil liquid content is preferably 60 to 20% by weight of the total ink. [0038] At least a part of the oil liquid is an aromatic alcohol represented by the following general formula AA. [0000] [0000] where R a represents an aliphatic hydrocarbon group having 1 to 5 carbon atoms, R b represents —O— or —CH 2 —, and k represents 0 or 1. [0039] As the hydrocarbon group R a , for example, —CH 2 —, —(CH 2 ) 2 —, —(CH 2 ) 3 —, —(CH 2 ) 4 —, —CH(CH 3 )CH 2 —, and —CH 2 CH(CH 3 )— can be used. [0040] Examples of the compound represented by general formula AA include benzyl alcohol (Cas. 100-51-6), 2-phenylethyl alcohol (Cas. 60-12-8), 3-phenyl-1-propanol (Cas. 122-97-4), 4-phenyl-1-butanol (Cas. 3360-41-6), 2-phenyl-1-propanol (Cas. 1123-85-9), 1-phenyl-2-propanol (Cas. 14898-87-4), phenoxyethanol (Cas. 122-99-6), phenoxypropanol (Cas. 770-35-4, Cas. 4169-04-4), phenyl diglycol (Cas. 104-68-7), and benzyl glycol (Cas. 622-08-2). [0041] Considering storage stability and ejection performance of the ink, benzyl alcohol (R a : —CH 2 —, k=0), phenyl glycol (R a : —(CH 2 ) 2 —, R b : —O—), phenoxypropanol (R a : —CH(CH 3 )CH 2 —, R b : —O—), phenyl propylene glycol (R a : —CH 2 CH(CH 3 )—, R b : —O—), and benzyl glycol (R a : —(CH 2 ) 2 —, R b : —CH 2 O—) are particularly preferable. [0042] The aromatic alcohol preferably accounts for at least 70% by weight of the oil liquid. The remaining oil liquid in the paper causes bleed or produces gloss, and the print quality deteriorates. Because the aromatic alcohol does not usually remain in the paper, print quality can be improved if the oil liquid were entirely the aromatic alcohol. [0043] The oil liquid may contain a water-insoluble organic solvent, examples of which include hexyl glycol, 2-ethylhexyl glycol, 2-ethylhexyl diglycol, dibutyl diglycol, n-nonanol, n-hexanol, n-heptanol, diethyl adipate, ethylhexyl palmitate, isocetyl myristate, and benzyl propionate. Other examples include mineral oil such as paraffinic oil, naphthenic oil, spindle oil, and machine oil; vegetable oil such as linseed oil, castor oil, soy oil, and tung oil; and hydrocarbons having 30 carbon atoms or fewer. [0044] The characteristics of the resulting ink remain the same even in the presence of such a water-insoluble organic solvent, provided that its content is at most 30% weight of the oil liquid. For example, if naphthenic oil accounts for about 20% by weight of the oil liquid, the permeation and drying properties can be further improved. [0045] The ink of one embodiment contains a specific dihydric alcohol soluble in both the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid. The dihydric alcohol can thus be regarded as a solubilizer that solubilizes the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid that are basically immiscible to each other. [0046] The dihydric alcohol is selected from compounds represented by the following general formulae DA, EO, and PO. [0000] R c —(OH) 2   DA [0000] OH—(CH 2 CH 2 O) n —H   EO [0000] OH—(CH(CH 3 )CH 2 O) m —H   PO [0000] where R c represents an alkylene group (-CjH 2j —) having 3 to 6 carbon atoms, examples of which include —(CH 2 ) 3 —, —CH 2 CH(CH 3 )—, —(CH 2 ) 4 —, —CH 2 CH(CH 3 )CH 2 —, —(CH 2 ) 5 —, —(CH 2 ) 2 CH(CH 3 )CH 2 —, —CH 2 CH(C 2 H 5 )CH 2 —, —CH 2 C(CH 3 ) 2 CH 2 —, —(CH 2 ) 6 —, —(CH 2 ) 3 CH(CH 3 )CH 2 —, —(CH 2 ) 2 CH(CH 3 )(CH 2 ) 2 —, —(CH 2 ) 2 CH(C 2 H 5 )CH 2 —, —(CH 2 ) 2 C(CH 3 ) 2 CH 2 —, and —CH 2 (CH 3 )C(C 2 H 5 )CH 2 —. In the formulae, n represents 1 to 10, and m represents 2 to 5. [0047] Examples of the compound represented by general formula DA include 1,3-propanediol, propylene glycol, 1,2-butanediol, 1,3-butanediol, 2,3-butanediol, 1,4-butanediol, 1,2-pentanediol, 1,5-pentanediol, 1,4-pentanediol, 2,4-pentanediol, 1,6-hexanediol, 1,2-hexanediol, 2,5-hexanediol, 2-methylpentane-2,4-diol, 2-methyl-2-propyl-1,3-propanediol, 2-ethyl-2-methyl-1,3-propanediol, 3-methyl-1,5-pentanediol, neopentyl glycol, and isoprene glycol. [0048] Examples of the compound represented by general formula EO include ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol, tetraethylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol. [0049] Examples of the compound represented by general formula PO include dipropylene glycol, tripropylene glycol, and polypropylene glycol. [0050] The dihydric alcohol can exhibit effects without any inconvenience, provided that its content is 10 to 50% by weight of the total inkjet ink. More preferably, the amount of dihydric alcohol is 20 to 50% by weight of the total ink. [0051] The vapor pressure of the dihydric alcohol is less than 20 mmHg at 20° C. Thus, the ink can be ejected through the inkjet head with good reproducibility. In other words, ejection performance remains stable even when left unattended for a certain time period. [0052] In the ink of one embodiment, the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid are contained in the dispersion medium. The aqueous liquid and the oil liquid have different permeation rates for paper. That is, the aqueous liquid has a slower permeation rate, and the oil liquid permeates faster than the aqueous liquid. Accordingly, the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid start separating from each other as soon as they permeate in the paper. The pigment is stably dispersed in the dispersion medium dissolving the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid; however, the dispersion stability of the pigment in the ink decreases as the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid separate from each other. Because the compatibility between the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid is disrupted, the pigment particles start to agglomerate. As a result, the permeation of the pigment in the paper is suppressed. [0053] Because the pigment remains near the paper surface, the resulting image density is higher than that produced by the oil ink. Because the oil liquid is a part of the dispersion medium, the aqueous liquid content in the ink is smaller than that in a common aqueous ink. It is therefore possible to suppress the adverse effects on paper medium, such as curling and cockling. [0054] The oil liquid itself has a low surface tension, and accordingly the surface tension of the ink is small. An aqueous ink that contains no oil liquid requires the addition of a surfactant to suppress the surface tension. By the inclusion of the oil liquid with the aqueous liquid, a surfactant is not necessarily required, and the formulation can be simplified. [0055] The inkjet ink according to one embodiment can be prepared by mixing predetermined amounts of aqueous liquid and oil liquid with a solubilizer and a pigment dispersion. The intended inkjet ink can then be obtained upon adding an optional additive to the mixture as required. [0056] Because the ink is for inkjet recording, the inkjet ink according to one embodiment needs to have a viscosity appropriate for ejection through the head nozzles of an inkjet printer. That is, a viscosity of the ink at 25° C. is preferably from 3 to 50 mPa·s. With a viscosity of 30 mPa·s or less, a relatively low head control temperature can be set for the ejection operation. [0057] In order to set optimum conditions for inkjet ink properties such as ejection performance, moisture retention, storage stability, and proper property values, components such as a surfactant, a moisturizer, and a resin may be additionally blended to the extent that the effects are not lost. [0058] Examples of surfactant include polyoxyethylenealkyl ether, polyoxyalkylenealkyl ether, polyoxyethylene polycyclic phenylether, polyoxyalkylene polycyclic phenylether, and glycerin fatty acid ester. [0059] Acetyleneglycol surfactants and fluorosurfactants also can be used. Examples of acetyleneglycol surfactant include 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyne-4,7-diol, 3,6-dimethyl-4-octine-3,6-diol, and 3,5-dimethyl-1-hexin-3-ol. Specifically, Surfynol 104, 61, 465, 485, and TG (Air Products) can be used, for example. [0060] Examples of fluorosurfactant include a perfluoroalkylethylene oxide adduct, perfluoroalkylamine oxide, perfluoroalkyl carboxylate, and perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acid. Specifically, Megafac F-443, F-444, F-470, F-494 (DIC Corporation), Novec FC-430, FC-4430 (3M), and Surflon S-141, S-145, S-111N, S-113 (AGC Seimi Chemical Co., Ltd.) can be used. [0061] It is desirable that the surfactant be added in amounts that are not detrimental to the dispersion stability or other properties of the ink. The surfactant can exhibit its effect without causing any inconvenience, as long as it is about 1.0% by weight or less of the total ink. [0062] Additives such as a pH adjuster, a preservative, and/or an anti-fungal agent may be blended, as required. Examples of pH adjuster include potassium dihydrogen phosphate, disodium hydrogen phosphate, and sodium hydroxide. [0063] Examples of preservative and anti-fungal agent include sodium benzoate, pentachlorophenol sodium, 2-pyridinethiol-1-oxide sodium, sodium sorbate, sodium dehydroacetate, and 1,2-dibenzisothiazolin-3-one (Proxel CRL, Proxel BDN, Proxel GXL, Proxel XL-2, Proxel TN; available from ICI). [0064] Print image quality and storage stability can be further improved by blending these additives. [0065] Examples of the ink are described below. [0066] Aqueous liquids presented in Table 1, and oil liquids presented in Table 2 were prepared. [0000] TABLE 1 Abbreviation Compound name W1 Water W2 Glycerin [0000] TABLE 2 Abbreviation Compound name OL1 Benzyl glycol OL2 Phenyl propylene glycol OL3 Phenyl glycol OL4 Benzyl alcohol OL5 Mineral oil OL6 Soy oil [0067] The compounds OL1, OL2, OL3, and OL4 in Table 2 are aromatic alcohols represented by general formula AA. [0068] The compounds presented in Table 3 below were prepared as the dihydric alcohols (solubilizers) soluble in the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid. [0000] TABLE 3 Abbreviation Compound name SA1 1,6-Hexanediol SA2 1,2-Hexanediol SA3 1,5-Pentanediol SA4 TPG SA5 PEG [0069] In Table 3, SA1, SA2, and SA3 are all compounds represented by general formula DA. TPG stands for tripropylene glycol, a compound represented by general formula PO with m=3. PEG stands for polyethylene glycol, for which a compound (PEG 200) represented by general formula EO with n=about 5 was used. [0070] These components were blended in the formulations shown in Tables 4 and 5 to prepare ink samples. [0071] In the tables, the amounts of aqueous liquid, oil liquid, and solubilizer are % by weight of the total ink. [0072] Two types of pigment dispersion, a resin dispersed-type (DD1) and a self-dispersing-type (DD2), were prepared as pigments. [0073] DD1: Carbon black dispersion Micropigmo AMBK-8 (Orient Chemical Industries Co., Ltd.) [0074] DD2: Carbon black dispersion CAB-JET-400 (Cabot Corporation) [0075] In DD1, a predetermined pigment is dispersed in ethanol with a predetermined amount of dispersant and other components. In DD2, a predetermined pigment is dispersed in water. DD1 was prepared into a DD1 processed liquid by replacing the ethanol with benzyl alcohol or 1,2-hexanediol, as follows. For the preparation of the DD1 processed liquid, a mixture was obtained by adding benzyl alcohol in an amount equal to the amount of ethanol. The ethanol was then distilled away with an evaporator to obtain a DD1 processed liquid (1) that contained the benzyl alcohol as a dispersion medium. A DD1 processed liquid (2) was obtained in the same manner using 1,2-hexanediol, by distilling away ethanol. [0076] The amount of benzyl alcohol contained in DD1 processed liquid (1) is included in the amount of oil liquid (OL4) in the tables below. The amount of 1,2-hexanediol contained in DD1 processed liquid (2) is included in the amount of solubilizer (SA2) in the tables below. The amount of water contained in DD2 is included in the amount of aqueous liquid (W1) in the tables below. [0077] DD2 was used in sample Nos. 7 to 10, 13, 14, 18, and 24 to 29. DD1 processed liquid (1) was used in sample Nos. 21 to 23, 30, and 31. DD1 processed liquid (2) was used in the other samples. As can be seen in the tables below, in all samples, the pigment dispersion was blended with a pigment amount of 5% by weight of the total ink. [0078] All samples contained Proxel XL-2 (S) added as a preservative in 0.2% by weight of the total ink, though not shown in the tables. [0079] For the preparation of the ink samples, the components were mixed in each formulation, and the mixture was stirred for 1 hour with a stirrer. The mixture was then filtered through a 3-μm membrane filter to give the sample. [0000] TABLE 4 Disper- Aqueous Oil sant liquid liquid Solubilizer Pig- and No. W1 W2 OL4 SA1 SA2 SA4 SA5 ment others 1 10 50 31 5 4 2 15 40 36 5 4 3 18 24 35 14 5 4 4 15 20 30 26 5 4 5 22 24 25 20 5 4 6 20 40 31 5 4 7 40 20 15 20 5 8 40 30 25 5 9 60 20 15 5 10 60 20 15 5 11 14 28 37 12 5 4 12 23 23 34 11 5 4 13 70 10 15 5 14 75 10 10 5 15 5 70 16 5 4 16 10 59 22 5 4 17 7 79 5 5 4 18 70 5 20 5 19 14 28 37 12 5 4 20 23 23 34 11 5 4 [0080] In Table 4, sample No. 14 has a large aqueous liquid content, and sample No. 15 has a small aqueous liquid content. Sample No. 17 has a small aqueous liquid content and a large oil liquid content. Sample No. 18 has a small oil liquid content. [0000] TABLE 5 Oil liquid Solubilizer Dispersant No. W1 OL1 OL2 OL3 OL4 OL5 OL6 SA1 SA2 SA3 Pigment and others 21 15 40 24 12 5 4 22 15 40 24 12 5 4 23 15 40 24 12 5 4 24 40 30 25 5 25 40 30 25 5 26 40 30 25 5 27 50 20 25 5 28 50 20 25 5 29 50 20 25 5 30 10 30 51 5 4 31 10 30 51 5 4 32 14 30 10 35 5 4 33 14 30 10 35 5 4 [0081] In Table 5, the oil liquids in sample Nos. 30 and 31 did not contain aromatic alcohols represented by general formula AA. [0082] Samples Nos. 34 and 35 were prepared in the formulations of Table 6 below, using DD2 as a pigment dispersion. [0000] TABLE 6 Aqueous Oil liquid liquid Alcohol No. W1 OL4 AA1 AA2 Pigment 34 40 20 35 5 35 40 20 35 5 [0083] The alcohols used are presented in Table 7 below along with the structural formulae. [0000] TABLE 7 Abbreviation Compound name Structural formula AA1 Resorcinol AA2 Pyrogallol [0084] As can be seen in Table 7, neither compound is represented by any of general formulae DA, EO, and PO. [0085] The ink samples were used for printing on plain paper, and evaluations were made with regard to the fast dryness of ink, paper distortion suppressing ability, and print quality. Toshiba copy paper was used as the plain paper. An inkjet recording apparatus equipped with a Toshiba Tec piezoelectric head CB1 was used as the recording apparatus. [0086] Evaluations were made as follows. Fast Dryness of the Ink [0087] First, solid printing at 100% duty was performed on an area of 10 mm×10 mm of the plain paper. After leaving the resulting plain paper as such for a predetermined time, new plain paper of the same type was laminated on the printed portion, and a weight of 300 g was placed thereon. After 10 seconds, the laminated plain paper was separated, and it was confirmed whether or not the ink was adhered. [0088] The time until the new plain paper was laminated after the solid printing was set to 5 seconds, 10 seconds, and 30 seconds. In each of the cases, adhesion of the ink was visually examined and evaluation was performed according to the following criteria. [0089] A (Excellent): No adhesion was observed when the set time was 5 seconds. [0090] B (Good): Adhesion was observed when the set time was 5 seconds and no attachment was observed when the set time was 10 seconds. [0091] C (Not acceptable): Adhesion was observed when the set time was 10 seconds and no adhesion was observed when the set time was 30 seconds. Paper Distortion Suppressing Ability [0092] As in the fast-dryness test, solid printing was made at a 100% duty in a 10 mm×100 mm region of a plain paper to obtain print samples. The extent of paper distortion (the magnitude of paper warping: cockle size) was determined using a laser displacement gauge, and evaluated based on the concave-convex amount (length), as follows. [0093] A (Excellent): less than 0.5 mm [0094] B (Good): Less than 1.0 mm [0095] C (Not acceptable): Less than 2.0 mm [0096] D (Poor): 2.0 mm or more Print Quality [0097] Texts and a solid image were printed on a plain paper, and print quality was evaluated. The printed texts were visually inspected to determine the presence or absence of bleed or feathering. The image density of the printed solid image was measured using an X-Rite densitometer on the both sides of the paper. The results were evaluated according to the following criteria. [0098] A (Excellent): Image density, 1.25 or more; image density on the back, 0.2 or less; desirable text image [0099] B (Good): Image density, 1.2 or more; image density on the back, 0.3 or less; almost no bleed in text image [0100] C (Not acceptable): Image density, 1.1 or less; image density on the back, 0.4 or less; bleed present in text image [0101] Further, anti-clogging property was evaluated, as follows. Prints were made with each ink sample using the inkjet recording apparatus. After the printing, the nozzle holes were capped, and left to stand for 1 week in a 25° C. environment. After this time period, a print test was performed again, and anti-clogging property was evaluated based on ejection stability. Determination was made according to the following criteria based on the number of cleaning operations required to restore the ejection capability. [0102] A (Excellent): 0 [0103] B (Good) : 1 or 2 [0104] C (Not acceptable): 3 to 5 [0105] Anti-clogging property can be used as a measure of dispersion stability of the pigment in the dispersion medium. Anti-clogging property is desirable if the pigment stably dispersed in the dispersion medium in which the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid are desirably solubilized. [0106] The samples pass the tests when the evaluation results concerning the four criteria—the fast dryness of ink, paper distortion suppressing ability, print quality, and anti-clogging property—are either “B” or “A”. In other words, samples fail when the result for any of the criteria is “C”. The results are summarized in Tables 8 and 9 below. [0000] TABLE 8 Distortion Anti- Fast suppressing Print clogging No. dryness ability quality property 1 B A B B 2 B A B B 3 A B B A 4 A B B A 5 A A B B 6 B B B A 7 B B A A 8 B B A B 9 B B A B 10 B B A B 11 A A B A 12 A A B A 13 B B A B 14 B D A B 15 B B C B 16 B B B A 17 B B C B 18 C B B B 19 A A B A 20 A A B A [0107] As can be seen in Table 8, sample Nos. 1 to 13, 16, 19, and 20 all had desirable results in the fast dryness of ink, paper distortion suppressing ability, print quality, and anti-clogging property. Each of these samples contained 70 to 10% by weight of aromatic alcohol (benzyl alcohol) represented by general formula AA as the oil liquid, and used a specific dihydric alcohol as the solubilizer. The results were desirable in all four criteria, because the aqueous liquid content fell within the range of 10 to 70% by weight. [0108] The results for sample Nos. 3 and 4 show that the fast dryness and anti-clogging property are further improved when the aqueous liquid contains a water-soluble compound. The results for sample No. 5 show that the fast dryness of ink and paper distortion suppressing ability are further improved when two kinds of specific solubilizers are contained. [0109] The results for sample Nos. 11 and 12 show that the fast dryness of ink, paper distortion suppressing ability, and anti-clogging property are further improved when diol and TPG are contained as solubilizers. The same results were obtained when diol and PEG were contained as solubilizers, as demonstrated in sample Nos. 19 and 20. [0110] It was confirmed that the ink characteristics can be further improved when at least 10% by weight of the solubilizer is TPG or PEG. [0111] Sample No. 14 had poor paper distortion suppressing ability, because it contained the aqueous liquid in an amount as large as 75% by weight. Print quality was undesirable in sample No. 15 that contained the aqueous liquid in an amount as small as 5% by weight, and the ink failed to produce a desirable image density. Further, because a large proportion of the ink penetrated to the back of the plain paper, the back side of the paper had an increased image density. This is considered to be due to the excessively small amount of aqueous liquid, insufficient to suppress the permeation of the ink. [0112] Print quality was also inferior in sample No. 17 that contained the aqueous liquid in an amount as small as 7% by weight, and the oil liquid in an amount as large as 79% by weight. Fast dryness was low in sample No. 18, in which the amount of oil liquid was as small as 5% by weight and the effect of the aqueous liquid predominated. [0000] TABLE 9 Distortion Anti- Fast suppressing Print clogging No. dryness ability quality property 21 B B B A 22 B B B A 23 B B B A 24 B B B B 25 B B B B 26 B B B B 27 B B A B 28 B B A B 29 B B A B 30 B A D B 31 B A D B 32 B B B A 33 B B B A 34 B B B C 35 B B B C [0113] As can be seen in Table 9, sample Nos. 21 to 29, 32, and 33 all had desirable results in the fast dryness of ink, paper distortion suppressing ability, print quality, and anti-clogging property. Each of these samples contained 10 to 70% by weight of an aromatic alcohol (benzyl glycol, phenyl propylene glycol, phenyl glycol, benzyl alcohol) represented by general formula AA as the oil liquid, and used a specific dihydric alcohol as the solubilizer. Further, the aqueous liquid content fell within the range of 10 to 70% by weight. Therefore, the results were desirable in all four criteria. [0114] Sample Nos. 30 and 31 did not contain an aromatic alcohol represented by general formula AA as the oil liquid. Because the oil liquid was a low-volatile component such as mineral oil or soy oil, print quality was poor. [0115] Ink characteristics are not lost as long as the aromatic alcohol represented by general formula AA is contained, even when a component such as a mineral oil accounts for 30% by weight or less of the oil liquid. Sample Nos. 32 and 33 had desirable results in all of the fast dryness of ink, paper distortion suppressing ability, print quality, and anti-clogging property. [0116] Sample Nos. 34 and 35 used the aromatic alcohol represented by general formula AA as the oil liquid, but did not contain a specific dihydric alcohol as the solubilizer. The fact that the samples did not pass the test for anti-clogging property demonstrates a decrease in pigment dispersion characteristics. The results confirmed that the aqueous liquid and the oil liquid cannot be solubilized desirably in the absence of a specific dihydric alcohol. [0117] A specific dihydric alcohol is required to solubilize the aromatic alcohol represented by general formula AA and the aqueous liquid. The inkjet ink of one embodiment containing these components has an excellent anti-clogging property. Further, the inkjet ink of one embodiment excels in fast dryness and paper distortion suppressing ability, and can produce prints of a desirable print quality. [0118] The inkjet ink of one embodiment includes a stably dispersed pigment and excels in fast dryness, and can produce a high-quality image on paper medium without causing distortion in paper medium. [0119] Further, by using the inkjet ink that excels in pigment dispersion stability and fast dryness, an inkjet recording method of one embodiment can produce a high-quality image without causing distortion in paper medium. [0120] While certain embodiments have been described, these embodiments have been presented by way of example only, and are not intended to limit the scope of the inventions. Indeed, the novel embodiments described herein may be embodied in a variety of other forms; furthermore, various omissions, substitutions and changes in the form of the embodiments described herein may be made without departing from the spirit of the inventions. The accompanying claims and their equivalents are intended to cover such forms or modifications as would fall within the scope and spirit of the inventions.

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    US-9120939-B2September 01, 2015Xerox CorporationEmulsified aqueous ink comprising reactive alkoxysilane for indirect printing