Search
Patexia Research
Patent No. US 11059987
Issue Date Jul 13, 2021
Claim this patent
PDF Unavailable

Patent 11059987 - Security printing inks for inkjet printers and method of manufacture > Description

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is application is a divisional of application Serial Number U.S. Ser. No. 15/791,135 filed Oct. 23, 2017 for “Security Printing Inks for Inkjet Printers and Method of Manufacture”, which claims the benefit and priority of provisional application Ser. No. 62/412,063, filed Oct. 24, 2016 for “Multi-Functional Security Ink” and is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to improvements in security inks and more particular pertains to new and improved security inks for use in inkjet printers.

2. Description of Related Art

Security inks that provide a security feature to printed documents have used ultraviolet (UV) fluorescent materials in the ink. Secure markings printed on a document by the UV fluorescent inks can then be detected using a black light with peak wavelengths at about 365 nm or 398 nm. As a result of many years of use, UV fluorescent inks are relatively easy to make and UV flashlights are readily obtainable and quite popular. As a result, the security provided by the use of UV fluorescent inks on printed documents has been considerably decreased. To help increase security, UVA fluorescent materials are beginning to be used. A security ink containing UVA fluorescent pigment powders are virtually invisible on paper. However, when exposed to a 365 nm black light, a unique fluorescent color becomes visible. UVB fluorescent material, which fluoresce in the 280 to 350 nm range using a 300 nm black light, will cause printed markings to appear in a distinctive color. UVC materials will fluoresce in the 100 to 280 nm range when illuminated by a 254 nm black light. These materials fluoresce at different distinctive colors. The colors may range from a blue to a very deep red. Other materials, such as IR-Anti Stokes upconverting material, have fluorescent capabilities as the result of a Stokes shift. This is the difference in wavelength between the band maximum of the absorption spectra and emission spectra. These materials generally fluoresce by emitting a longer wavelength photon in response to absorbing a shorter wavelength photon.

These fluorescent materials are available in the marketplace. Some have been used in security inks. In spite of this, the level of security required for sensitive documents has simply not been achieved. The present invention provides the required increased level of security by combining fluorescent materials to provide multiple different color emissions that can only be detected under different wavelength light sources.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The increased security provided by the present invention is the result of using fluorescent materials that emit multiple and different color emissions in a single inkjet ink composition. The process of making the ink of the present invention produces an inkjet ink that is stable and durable on the shelf and on the printed page. The inkjet ink contains a pigment dispersion of multiple fluorescent dyes or pigments, such as UVC dyes, UVA pigments, bi-fluorescent pigments and IR upconverting pigments, for example. The pigment dispersion is made by milling a mixture of the chosen multiple fluorescent material with a polymer dispersant, organic solvent, deformer and water in a wet media mill until average particle size is below 300 nm. This multiple fluorescent pigment dispersion is then added to a preferred inkjet ink formulation to produce the high security inkjet ink. A preferred inkjet ink formulation may contain humectants, surfactants, polymer resin, biocides and deionized water, for example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The objects and features of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as reference is made to the following description of preferred embodiments when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an example of an excitation and emission spectra of a UV dual-fluorescent pigment that may be used in the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an example of an excitation and emission spectra for UVC fluorescent material that may be used in the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an example of an excitation and emission spectra of UVA fluorescent material that may be used in the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating a method of manufacturing the high security ink of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The high security ink of the present invention utilizes two or more fluorescent materials chosen from a group of fluorescent materials, such as, invisible ultraviolet fluorescent dyes/pigments, infrared Anti Stokes upconverting pigments, infrared absorption and fluorescent dyes/pigments and iron oxide magnetic pigments, for example. The problem of combining two or more of these fluorescent materials into an ink solution to obtain an ink that is stable on the shelf and on the printed page, is overcome by the present invention.

The main components of an inkjet ink familiar to those skilled in the art, is utilized as a foundation. The aqueous based inkjet ink foundation consists of deionized (DI) water, humectants, surfactants, polymer dispersants/binders, biocide and other additives, as needed to improve the ink printing quality and the interaction between the ink and the substrate printed upon.

The present invention contemplates combining multiple different fluorescent materials which are carefully selected. FIG. 1 illustrates a UV visible biofluorescent yellow-green and red organic pigment that luminesces in two distinctly different wavelengths. FIG. 1 illustrates excitation and emission spectra in terms of intensity level 15 against wavelength 13 in nanometers. Excitation band 16 has a maximum at 288 nm and an emission band 20 with a maximum emission wavelength of 547 nm. At 547 nm, the material fluoresces in the yellow light range, when excited.

The same material has an excitation band 18 with a maximum at 387 nm and an emission band 22 with a maximum at 618 nm. At 618 nm, the material fluoresces in the red-orange light range when excited.

FIG. 2 illustrates the excitation and emission spectra for a UVC fluorescent material having an excitation band 29 with a peak 31 at 288 nm and an emission band 33 with a peak 35 at 545 nm. This material fluoresces in the yellow light range when excited.

FIG. 3 illustrates the excitation and emission spectra for a UVA fluorescent material having an excitation band 43 with a peak 45 at 350 nm and an emission band 47 with a peak 47 at 500 nm. This material fluoresces in the green light range when excited.

The UVA and UVC materials shown in FIGS. 3 and 2, for example, can be combined with each other to produce the high security inkjet ink of the present invention. The fluorescent materials shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 could be combined with each other, or all together for example. The selection of these materials, however, must create a combination that becomes visible in different distinct colors when exposed to respective different wavelengths of light.

Once the appropriate fluorescent materials have been selected, a major issue is how to combine them into a water-based inkjet ink foundation of humectants, surfactants, polymer resins, biocides and deionized water.

In order to produce a stable inkjet ink with the required multi-colored fluorescent capabilities of the present invention, it is critical that the multi-fluorescent pigments and dyes are processed as a dispersion. The dispersion is then added to the inkjet ink foundation solution.

Referring now to FIG. 4, which illustrates the method 51 of manufacturing the inkjet ink of the present invention, two or more of the selected fluorescent dyes and pigments are pre-mixed 53 with a polymer dispersant, organic solvent, deformer and deionized (D1) water. The mixture is then processed 55, by a wet media mill, such as a Netzsch MiniCer Mill made by NETZCH Premier Technologies of Exton, Pa., for example. The mixture is milled for one to eight hours, until the average particle size is below 300 nm, creating a desired stable, uniform pigment dispersion.

The polymeric dispersants that may be used in the pigment dispersion are acrylic copolymers, polystyrene acrylic polymers, alkali salts of sulphonated naphthalene formaldehyde condensates, lignin or lignin derivatives, such as lignosulphonate, the reaction products with alkali sulfite and formaldehyde and other block copolymer with pigment affinic groups. The pigment to dispersant ratio found most beneficial for the present invention is 1 to 10.

The particle size of the dispersion being milled by the Netzch MiniCer Mill is preferably measured every hour, using a Malvern Nano-Z90 Zetasizer.

Specific formations for five different multiple fluorescent pigment dispersions produced by the inventors are illustrated in the table below.

Dispersion-1Dispersion-2Dispersion-3Dispersion-4Dispersion-5BifluorescentUVC fluorescentUVC fluorescentUVA fluoresentBifluorescentpigment, 25%dye, 13%dye, 15%pigment, 15%pigment, 15%BYKJET 9170, 8%UVA fluorescentIR UpconvertingIR UpconvertingIR Upconvertingpigment, 12%pigment, 20%pigment, 15%pigment, 15%Deformer, 1%Joncryl HPD 296, 4%Joncryl HPD 296, 7%Joncryl HPD 296, 10%BYKJET 9170, 10%D.I. Water, balancedDeformer, 0.5%Deformer, 0.5%Deformer, 0.5%Deformer, 1%Final particle size (ave.):D.I. Water, balancedD.I. Water, balancedD.I. Water, balancedD.I. Water, balanced185 nmFinal particle size (ave.): <150 nm

Dispersion 1 illustrated in the table uses a bi-fluorescent pigment in combination with a dispersant, BYKJET-9170 which is the product of BYK-CHEMIE GMBH of Wesel, Germany, in addition to a deformer and deionized water. This combination is mixed and then milled in a wet media mill until the final average particle size is 185 nm.

Dispersion 2 illustrated in the table utilizes a combination of a UVC fluorescent dye and a UVA fluorescent pigment in addition to a dispersant, Joncryl HPD 296 which is made by BASF Corporation of Florham Park, N.J., in addition to a deformer and deionized water. This combination is then milled in a wet media mill until an average final particle size less than 150 nm.

Dispersion 3 utilizes a combination of UVC fluorescent dye and an IR upconverting pigment in addition to the Joncryl HPD 296 dispersant, along with a deformer and deionized water.

Dispersion 4 utilizes a combination of UVA fluorescent pigment and an IR upconverting pigment in addition to the Joncryl HPD 296 dispersant, along with a deformer and deionized water.

Dispersion 5 utilizes a bi-fluorescent pigment in combination with an IR upconverting pigment in addition to the BYKJET-9170 dispersant, along with a deformer and deionized water.

Dispersions 2, 3, 4 and 5 illustrated in the table are all milled in the wet media mill until a final average particle size of less than 150 nm.

Once the pigment dispersion has been properly processed in the wet media mill, it must be added 59 to a chosen inkjet ink foundation which generally consists of humectants, surfactants, polymer resin, biocide and deionized water, to produce the inkjet ink of the present invention.

An example of a dual-fluorescent inkjet ink made by mixing Dispersion 1 with a preferred inkjet ink foundation contains:

Dispersion 1: 0.5% to 5% by weight

Humectants: 20% by weight

Surfactant: 0.5% by weight

Polymer resin: 1% by weight

Biocide: 0.15% by weight

Balance D. I. water

By adding Dispersion 1 into the inkjet ink formulation listed above, a dual-fluorescing UV fluorescent inkjet ink is produced. The bi-fluorescent pigment used in the above example of the dual-fluorescent inkjet ink is LUBIC1 bi-fluorescent pigment from Luminochem Kft. Of Budapest, Hungary.

The produced ink was printed using an HP Officejet Pro 8210 inkjet printer on UV dull paper for the document. The printed document was invisible under visible light. When exposed to 254 nm UV light, yellow-green color characters became visible. When exposed to 365 nm UV light, red color characters became visible.

A high security inkjet ink utilizing Dispersion 2 was made using the process of FIG. 4, creating a dual-function UV fluorescent inkjet ink.

Dispersion 2: 0.5% to 5% by weight

Humectants: 20% by weight

Surfactant: 0.5% by weight

Polymer resin: 1% by weight

Biocide: 0.15% by weight

Balance D. I. water

The UVA fluorescent pigment utilized in Dispersion 2 was a LUPTIL2 invisible red fluorescent pigment made by Luminochem Kft. of Budapest, Hungary. The UVC fluorescent dye used in Dispersion 2 was a LUWS6 invisible green fluorescent dye from Luminochem Kft. of Budapest, Hungary.

The resulting ink was printed by an HP Officejet Pro 8210 inkjet printer on UV dull paper. The printing on the document was not visible under visible light. When exposed to 254 nm ultraviolet light, yellow-green color characters became visible. When exposed to 365 nm ultraviolet light, red color characters became visible.

The present invention contemplates the use of UVA or UVC fluorescent dyes or pigments in combination with 980 nm infrared Anti Stokes upconverting pigment. This combination of fluorescent materials when printed produces covert characters that can be identified by UVC/UVA light. The Anti Stokes upconverting pigment can be detected by an IR taggant detecting device, such as an 980 nm infrared (IR) laser pointer.

The Anti Stokes upconverting pigments contemplated for use in the present invention can be, for example, β-NaYF4 crystal, such as a mixture of Er and Yb-based crystals which provide a green light. It could be a mixture of Tm and Yb-based crystals which emit a blue light. It could be mixture of Tm and Er-based crystals which emit a red light. These materials are commercially available, such as ADA-3251, ADA-3252, ADA-3253 from H.W. Sands Corp. of Jupiter, Fla. and LUUPC1, LUUPC2, and LUUPC3 from Luminochem Kft. of Budapest, Hungary. The 980 nm upconversion phosphors can be obtained from Fine Chemical Co., Ltd. of Weifang, China as well as from other different manufacturers.

A high security ink made by the inventors using Dispersion 3 contains:

Dispersion 3: 0.5% to 5% by weight

Humectants: 20% by weight

Surfactant: 0.5% by weight

Polymer resin: 1% by weight

Biocide: 0.15% by weight

Balance D. I. water

The IR upconverting pigment used in Dispersion 3 was an ADA3252 IR Anti Stokes upconverting pigment made by H. W. Sands Corp. of Jupiter, Fla. The UVC fluorescent dye used in Dispersion 3 was a LUWSS invisible red fluorescent dye from Luminochem Kft. of Budapest, Hungary.

The resulting inkjet ink was printed by an HP Officejet Pro 8210 inkjet printer on a UV dull paper. The printing on the printed document was invisible under visible light. When exposed to 254 nm UV light, red color characters became visible. When exposed to a 980 nm infrared laser pointer, green characters became visible.

A high security ink made by the inventors using Dispersion 4 contains:

Dispersion 4: 0.5% to 5% by weight

Humectants: 20% by weight

Surfactant: 0.5% by weight

Polymer resin: 1% by weight

Biocide: 0.15% by weight

Balance D.I. water

The resulting ink was printed by an HP Officejet Pro 8210 inkjet printer on UV dull paper. The printing on the document was invisible under visible light. When exposed to 316 nm ultraviolet light, red color characters became visible. When exposed to a 980 nm infrared laser pointer, green color characters became visible.

A high security ink made by the inventors using Dispersion 5 contains:

Dispersion 5: 0.5% to 5% by weight

Surfactant: 0.5% by weight

Polymer resin: 1% by weight

Biocide: 0.15% by weight

Balance D. I. water

The resulting ink was printed by an HP Officejet Pro 8210 inkjet printer on UV dull paper. The printing on the document was invisible under visible light. When exposed to 365 nm ultraviolet light, red color characters became visible. When exposed to 254 nm ultraviolet light, green color characters became visible. The green color could also have been detected by using a 980 nm infrared laser pointer.

In summary, the security printing ink for inkjet printers of the present invention may include materials that fluoresce at two to five different colors. These materials are preferably selected from UVC fluorescent material, UVA fluorescent material, 980 nm IR Anti Stokes upconverting material, infrared fluorescent materials and infrared absorption materials. The fluorescent functions of these materials can be detected using corresponding wavelengths of UV lights. The IR fluorescent function can be detected using correspondent wavelengths of UV or visible light and can be observed using an IR camera. IR absorption can be detected using an IR camera with a corresponding wavelength. The IR Anti Stokes upconverting function can be detected using an 980 nm IR laser pen.

Menu