(19)
(11)EP 2 028 240 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
25.02.2009 Bulletin 2009/09

(21)Application number: 08162043.7

(22)Date of filing:  07.08.2008
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C09D 11/00  (2006.01)
C09D 11/10  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
DE FR GB

(30)Priority: 07.08.2007 US 890719

(71)Applicant: Xerox Corporation
Rochester, New York 14644 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Odell, Peter G.
    Mississauga Ontario L5J 1L3 (CA)
  • Belelie, Jennifer L.
    Oakville Ontario L6M 4A5 (CA)
  • Mahabadi, Hadi K.
    Mississauga Ontario L5K 2L1 (CA)
  • Wagner, Christopher A.
    Etobicoke Ontario M9A 1L3 (CA)
  • Allen, C Geoffrey
    Waterdown Ontario L0R 2H5 (CA)

(74)Representative: Jones, Helen M.M. 
Gill Jennings & Every LLP Broadgate House 7 Eldon Street
London EC2M 7LH
London EC2M 7LH (GB)

  


(54)Phase Change Ink Compositions


(57) A radiation curable phase change ink comprising a white colorant; a colorant dispersant; and an ink vehicle comprising at least one curable monomer; at least one rheology control agent; optionally at least one photoinitiator; optionally at least one stabilizer; and optionally at least one wax.


Description


[0001] U.S. 2007-0120910 A1, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, discloses a phase change ink comprising a colorant, an initiator, and an ink vehicle, said ink vehicle comprising (a) at least one radically curable monomer compound, and (b) a compound of the formula

wherein R1 is an alkylene, arylene, arylalkylene, or alkylarylene group, R2 and R2 each, independently of the other, are alkylene, arylene, arylalkylene, or alkylarylene groups, R3 a nd R3' each, independently of the other, are either (a) photoinitiating groups, or (b) groups which are alkyl, aryl, arylalkyl, or alkylaryl groups, provided that at least one of R3 and R3' is a photoinitiating group, and X and X' each, independently of the other, is an oxygen atom or a group of the formula -NR4-, wherein R4 is a hydrogen atom, an alkyl group, an aryl group, an arylalkyl group, or an alkylaryl group.

[0002] US7279587, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, discloses is a compound of the formula

wherein R1 is an alkylene, arylene, arylalkylene, or alkylarylene group, R2 and R2' each, independently of the other, are alkylene, arylene, arylalkylene, or alkylarylene groups, R3 and R3' each, independently of the other, are either (a) photoinitiating groups, or (b) groups which are alkyl, aryl, arylalkyl, or alkylaryl groups, provided that at least one of R3 and R3' is a photoinitiating group, and X and X' each, independently of the other, is an oxygen atom or a group of the formula -NR4-, wherein R4 is a hydrogen atom, an alkyl group, an aryl group, an arylalkyl group, or an alkylaryl group.

[0003] US7259275 the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, discloses a process for preparing a compound of the formula

wherein R1 is an alkyl group having at least one ethylenic unsaturation, an arylalkyl group having at least one ethylenic unsaturation, or an alkylaryl group having at least one ethylenic unsaturation, R2 and R3 each, independently of the others, are alkylene groups, arylene groups, arylalkylene groups, or alkylarylene groups, and n is an integer representing the number of repeat amide units and is at least 1, said process comprising: (a) reacting a diacid of the formula

         HOOC-R2-COOH

with a diamine of the formula



[0004] in the absence of a solvent while removing water from the reaction mixture to form an acid-terminated oligoamide intermediate; and (b) reacting the acid-terminated oligoamide intermediate with a monoalcohol of the formula

         R1-OH

in the presence of a coupling agent and a catalyst to form the product.

[0005] US2007-0123606 A1, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, discloses a phase change ink comprising a colorant, an initiator, and a phase change ink carrier, said carrier comprising at least one radically curable monomer compound and a compound of the formula

wherein R1 and T1' each, independently of the other, is an alkyl group having at least one ethylenic unsaturation, an arylalkyl group having at least one ethylenic unsaturation, or an alkylaryl group having at least one ethylenic unsaturation, R2, R2', and R3 each, independently of the others, are alkylene groups, arylene groups, arylalkylene groups, or alkylarylene groups, and n is an integer representing the number of repeat amide units and is at least 1. Also disclosed herein is a method of printing with the phase change ink.

[0006] US2008-0000384 A1, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, discloses radiation curable phase change ink comprising an ink vehicle that includes at least one curable carrier, at least one gellant, at least one curable wax and at least one photoinitiator. In a method of forming an image with the ink, the radiation curable phase change ink is melted, then jetted onto an image receiving substrate, wherein the radiation curable phase change ink forms a gel state, and exposed to ultraviolet light to cure the curable components of the radiation curable phase change ink. The wax cures into the structure of the ink, thereby generating a robust image of excellent gloss.

[0007] Copending Application U.S. Serial No. 11/289,615, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, discloses a radiation curable ink comprising a curable monomer that is liquid at 25°C, curable wax and colorant that together form a radiation curable ink. This ink may be used to form images by providing the radiation curable ink at a first temperature; applying the radiation curable ink to the substrate to form an image, the substrate being at a second temperature, which is below the first temperature; and exposing the radiation curable ink to radiation to cure the ink.

[0008] The present disclosure is generally related to curable inks, particularly curable phase change white inks, and their use in methods for forming images, particularly their use in ink jet printing. One embodiment disclosed herein comprises a radiation curable phase change ink comprising a white colorant; a colorant dispersant; and an ink vehicle comprising at least one curable monomer; at least one rheology control agent; at least one photoinitiator; optionally at least one stabilizer; and optionally at least one wax.

[0009] Phase change inks for color printing typically comprise a phase change ink carrier composition which is combined with a phase change ink compatible colorant. In a specific embodiment, a series of colored phase change inks can be formed by combining ink carrier compositions with compatible subtractive primary colorants. The subtractive primary colored phase change inks can comprise four component dyes, namely, cyan, magenta, yellow and black, although the inks are not limited to these four colors. These subtractive primary colored inks can be formed by using a single dye or a mixture of dyes. For example, magenta can be obtained by using a mixture of Solvent Red Dyes or a composite black can be obtained by mixing several dyes. U.S. Patent 4,889,560, U.S. Patent 4,889,761, and U.S. Patent 5,372,852, the disclosures of each of which are totally incorporated herein by reference, teach that the subtractive primary colorants employed can comprise dyes from the classes of Color Index (C.I.) Solvent Dyes, Disperse Dyes, modified Acid and Direct Dyes, and Basic Dyes. The colorants can also include pigments, as disclosed in, for example, U.S. Patent 5,221,335, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference. U.S. Patent 5,621,022, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, discloses the use of a specific class of polymeric dyes in phase change ink compositions.

[0010] Phase change inks have also been used for applications such as postal marking, industrial marking, and labeling.

[0011] Phase change inks are desirable for ink jet printers because they remain in a solid phase at room temperature during shipping, long term storage, and the like. In addition, the problems associated with nozzle clogging as a result of ink evaporation with liquid ink jet inks are largely eliminated, thereby improving the reliability of the ink jet printing. Further, in phase change ink jet printers wherein the ink droplets are applied directly onto the final recording substrate (for example, paper, transparency material, and the like), the droplets solidify immediately upon contact with the substrate, so that migration of ink along the printing medium is prevented and dot quality is improved.

[0012] Compositions suitable for use as phase change ink carrier compositions are known. Some representative examples of references disclosing such materials include U.S. Patent 3,653,932, U.S. Patent 4,390,369, U.S. Patent 4,484,948, U.S. Patent 4,684,956, U.S. Patent 4,851,045, U.S. Patent 4,889,560, U.S. Patent 5,006,170, U.S. Patent 5,151,120, U.S. Patent 5,372,852, U.S. Patent 5,496,879, European Patent Publication 0187352, European Patent Publication 0206286, German Patent Publication DE 4205636AL, German Patent Publication DE 4205713AL, and PCT Patent Application WO 94/04619, the disclosures of each of which are totally incorporated herein by reference. Suitable carrier materials can include paraffins, microcrystalline waxes, polyethylene waxes, ester waxes, fatty acids and other waxy materials, fatty amide containing materials, sulfonamide materials, resinous materials made from different natural sources (tall oil rosins and rosin esters, for example), and many synthetic resins, oligomers, polymers, and copolymers.

[0013] Ink jetting devices are known in the art, and thus extensive description of such devices is not required herein. As described in U.S. Patent No. 6,547,380, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, ink jet printing systems generally are of two types: continuous stream and drop-on-demand. In continuous stream ink jet systems, ink is emitted in a continuous stream under pressure through at least one orifice or nozzle. The stream is perturbed, causing it to break up into droplets at a fixed distance from the orifice. At the break-up point, the droplets are charged in accordance with digital data signals and passed through an electrostatic field that adjusts the trajectory of each droplet in order to direct it to a gutter for recirculation or a specific location on a recording medium. In drop-on-demand systems, a droplet is expelled from an orifice directly to a position on a recording medium in accordance with digital data signals. A droplet is not formed or expelled unless it is to be placed on the recording medium.

[0014] There are at least three types of drop-on-demand ink jet systems. One type of drop-on-demand system is a piezoelectric device that has as its major components an ink filled channel or passageway having a nozzle on one end and a piezoelectric transducer near the other end to produce pressure pulses. Another type of drop-on-demand system is known as acoustic ink printing. As is known, an acoustic beam exerts a radiation pressure against objects upon which it impinges. Thus, when an acoustic beam impinges on a free surface (i.e., liquid/air interface) of a pool of liquid from beneath, the radiation pressure which it exerts against the surface of the pool may reach a sufficiently high level to release individual droplets of liquid from the pool, despite the restraining force of surface tension. Focusing the beam on or near the surface of the pool intensifies the radiation pressure it exerts for a given amount of input power. Still another type of drop-on-demand system is known as thermal ink jet, or bubble jet, and produces high velocity droplets. The major components of this type of drop-on-demand system are an ink filled channel having a nozzle on one end and a heat generating resistor near the nozzle. Printing signals representing digital information originate an electric current pulse in a resistive layer within each ink passageway near the orifice or nozzle, causing the ink vehicle (usually water) in the immediate vicinity to vaporize almost instantaneously and create a bubble. The ink at the orifice is forced out as a propelled droplet as the bubble expands.

[0015] In a typical design of a piezoelectric ink jet device utilizing phase change inks printing directly on a substrate or on an intermediate transfer member, such as the one described in U.S. Patent No. 5,372,852, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, the image is applied by jetting appropriately colored inks during four to eighteen rotations (incremental movements) of a substrate (an image receiving member or intermediate transfer member) with respect to the ink jetting head, i.e., there is a small translation of the printhead with respect to the substrate in between each rotation. This approach simplifies the printhead design, and the small movements ensure good droplet registration. At the jet operating temperature, droplets of liquid ink are ejected from the printing device and, when the ink droplets contact the surface of the recording substrate, either directly or via an intermediate heated transfer belt or drum, they quickly solidify to form a predetermined pattern of solidified ink drops.

[0016] Hot melt inks typically used with ink jet printers have a wax based ink vehicle, e.g., a crystalline wax. Such solid ink jet inks provide vivid color images. In typical systems, crystalline wax inks partially cool on an intermediate transfer member and are then pressed into the image receiving medium such as paper. Transfuse spreads the image droplet, providing a richer color and lower pile height. The low flow of the solid ink also prevents showthrough on the paper.

[0017] In these systems, the crystalline wax inks are jetted onto a transfer member, for example, an aluminum drum, at temperatures of approximately 130°C to about 140°C. The wax based inks are heated to such high temperatures to decrease their viscosity for efficient and proper jetting onto the transfer member. The transfer member is at approximately 60°C, so that the wax will cool sufficiently to solidify or crystallize. As the transfer member rolls over the recording medium, e.g., paper, the image comprised of wax based ink is pressed into the paper.

[0018] Radiation curable inks generally comprise a curable monomer, a curable wax, a colorant, and a radiation activated initiator, specifically a photoinitiator, that initiates polymerization of curable components of the ink, specifically of the curable monomer and the curable wax. White radiation curable inks are considered a high value added material for printers. White inks are required for certain graphic and labeling applications. They are most typically used on transparent and dark substrates to compliment or provide a background to text or graphics. White text on smoke colored plastic is particularly striking. White colorants are pigments, which can comprise a variety of materials, most typically titanium dioxide. Because white is produced by light scattering, a pigment having a volume average particle size of from about 200 to about 300 nanometers is generally selected to provide a good white. As the particle size in a dispersion decreases below this range, the dispersion selectively scatters blue light and appears bluish white. As the particle size decreases further, it will not scatter visible light and will become transparent. For example, smaller nanometer sized titanium dioxide pigments are known, but they are colorless. In embodiments, an effective white, light scattering is achieved by selecting optimally sized titanium dioxide particles and increased pigment loadings of approximately about 5 to about 30 volume percent based upon the total volume of the cured ink layer. Further, an effective white, light scattering is achieved by selecting optimally sized titanium dioxide particles and increased pigment loadings of approximately about 10 volume percent based upon the total volume of the cured ink layer. The weight percent of a 10 volume percent loading is effectively about 40 percent due to the high density of the titanium dioxide particles relative to the curable vehicle. The combination of dense dispersions, for example, from about 2 to about 4 grams of pigment per milliliter of pigment and dispersion, relatively large size, and high loadings of pigment make it particularly challenging to design a storage stable and jettable white curable ink. Curing is often difficult to accomplish due to high pigment loading and high scattering light required for initiation.

[0019] A need remains for phase change inks that are suitable for ink jet printing processes, such as piezoelectric ink jet processes. A need remains for phase change inks that are suitable for acoustic ink jet printing processes. Further, a need remains for improved curable phase change inks, for example for radiation curable phase change white inks with improved storage stability, low Newtonian viscosity, and that cure well.

[0020] The appropriate components and process aspects of the each of the foregoing may be selected for the present disclosure in embodiments thereof.

[0021] The present disclosure is directed to a radiation curable phase change ink comprising a white colorant; a colorant dispersant; and an ink vehicle comprising at least one curable monomer; at least one rheology control agent; optionally at least one photoinitiator; optionally at least one stabilizer; and optionally at least one wax.

[0022] A process which comprises (I) incorporating into an ink jet printing apparatus radiation curable phase change ink comprising a white colorant; a colorant dispersant; and an ink vehicle comprising at least one curable monomer; at least one rheology control agent; optionally at least one photoinitiator; optionally at least one stabilizer; and optionally at least one wax; (II) melting the ink; (III) causing droplets of the melted ink to be ejected in an imagewise pattern onto a substrate; and (IV) exposing the imagewise pattern to ultraviolet radiation.

[0023] The present disclosure is directed to a radiation curable phase change ink comprising a white colorant; a colorant dispersant; and an ink vehicle comprising at least one curable monomer; at least one rheology control agent; at least one photoinitiator; optionally at least one stabilizer; and optionally at least one wax.

[0024] Any desired or effective white colorant can be employed in the phase change white ink compositions herein, including dyes, pigments, mixtures thereof, provided that the colorant can be dissolved or dispersed in the ink vehicle.

[0025] In embodiments, the white colorant is a white pigment selected from titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, zinc sulfide, calcium carbonate, clay, lithopone (a mixture of barium sulphate and zinc sulfide), or mixtures or combinations thereof. In embodiments, the white colorant is a titanium dioxide pigment. Commercial grades of TiO2 are designed with additional artifacts to enhance optical properties such as tint strength and undertone and to promote dispersion stability. The pigment features include size, degree of coating with silica and or alumina, as well as optional organic materials. Illustrative examples of suitable titanium oxide pigments include pigments selected from Ti-Pure® R-108, Ti-Pure® R-104, Ti-Pure® R-103, Ti-Pure® R-102, Ti-Pure® R-700, Ti-Pure® R-706, Ti-Pure® R-760, Ti-Pure® R-900, Ti-Pure® R-960, available from DuPont Titanium Technologies, Wilmington, DE, 2020®, 2063®, 2090®, 2310®, 2450® available from Kronos Inc., Cranbury, NJ, and Tiona® 595, Tiona® 568, Tiona® RCL-6, Tiona® RCL-9, and Tiona® 696 available from Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, Hunt Valley, MD.

[0026] Pigments selected herein can have a volume average particle size (diameter) of from about 150 to about 450 nanometers, or from about 200 to about 300 nanometers. In one embodiment, the white colorant is a titanium dioxide pigment having a particle size of from about 200 to about 300 nanometers.

[0027] The white colorant is present in the ink in any desired or effective amount, in embodiments the white colorant is present in an amount of from about 1 to about 60 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink, or from about 20 to about 40 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink. In one embodiment, the white colorant is a white pigment present in the ink an amount of about 1 to about 60 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink, or from about 20 to about 40 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink, or about 10 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink.

[0028] The white colorant can be dispersed in a dispersant comprising any desirable or effective dispersant. Suitable dispersants include copolymers and block copolymers, copolymers and block copolymers containing pigment affinic groups, such as amines, esters, alcohols and carboxylic acids. Illustrative examples of suitable dispersants include dispersants selected from Efka® 4008, Efka® 4009, Efka® 4047, Efka® 4520, Efka® 4010, Efka® 4015, Efka® 4020, Efka® 4050, Efka® 4055, Efka® 4080, Efka® 4300, Efka® 4330, Efka® 4400, Efka® 4401, Efka® 4403, Efka® 4406, Efka® 4800, all available from Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Tarrytown, NY, Disperbyk® 101, Disperbyk® 102, Disperbyk® 107, Disperbyk® 108, Disperbyk® 109, Disperbyk® 110, Disperbyk® 111, Disperbyk® 112, Disperbyk® 115, Disperbyk® 162, Disperbyk® 163, Disperbyk® 164, Disperbyk® 2001, all available from BYK Additives & Instruments, Wesel Germany, Solsperse® 24000 SC/GR, Solsperse® 26000, Solsperse® 32000, Solsperse® 36000, Solsperse® 39000, Solsperse® 41000, Solsperse® 71000 all available from Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. Cleveland, Ohio or mixtures or combinations thereof. In embodiments, the dispersant comprises Disperbyk® 2001, a brand of industrial copolymer comprising a modified acrylate block copolymer. For example, in embodiments, typical properties for Disperbyk® 2001 include an amine value of about 29 milligrams KOH/gram, an acid value of about 19 milligrams KOH per gram, a density at 20 °C of about 1.03 grams per milliliter, about 46.0 percent non-volatile matter, a flash point of about 35 °C, and solvent system comprising methoxypropylacetate/butylglycol/methoxypropanol in a 2/2/1 ratio. See Disperbyk® 2001 Data Sheet W224, 4 pages, available at http://www.byk-chemie.com.

[0029] Synergists may be used in conjunction with the dispersant. Illustrative examples of suitable synergists include, but are not limited to, Solsperse® 22000 and Solsperse® 5000.

[0030] The dispersant is provided in any effective amount. In embodiments, the dispersant is provided in an amount of from about 0.5 to about 50, about 0.5 to about 12, or from about 0.8 to about 8 weight percent relative to the weight of the pigment.

[0031] The ink vehicles disclosed herein can comprise any suitable curable monomer. Examples of suitable materials include radically curable monomer compounds, such as acrylate and methacrylate monomer compounds, which are suitable for use as phase change ink carriers. Examples of acrylate and methacrylate monomers include isobornyl acrylate, isobornyl methacrylate, lauryl acrylate, lauryl methacrylate, isodecylacrylate, isodecylmethacrylate, caprolactone acrylate, 2-phenoxyethyl acrylate, isooctylacrylate, isooctylmethacrylate, butyl acrylate, alkoxylated lauryl acrylate, ethoxylated nonyl phenol acrylate, ethoxylated nonyl phenol methacrylate, ethoxylated hydroxyethyl methacrylate, methoxy polyethylene glycol monoacrylate, methoxy polyethylene glycol monomethacrylate, tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate, tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate, as well as mixtures or combinations thereof. In addition, multifunctional acrylate and methacrylate monomers and oligomers can be included in the phase change ink carrier as reactive diluents and as materials that can increase the crosslink density of the cured image, thereby enhancing the toughness of the cured images. Examples of suitable multifunctional acrylate and methacrylate monomers and oligomers include pentaerythritol tetraacrylate, pentaerythritol tetramethacrylate, 1,2-ethylene glycol diacrylate, 1,2-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate, 1,6-hexanediol dimethacrylate, 1,12-dodecanol diacrylate, 1,12-dodecanol dimethacrylate, tris(2-hydroxy ethyl) isocyanurate triacrylate, propoxylated neopentyl glycol diacrylate, hexanediol diacrylate, tripropylene glycol diacrylate, dipropylene glycol diacrylate, ethoxylated bisphenol A diacrylate, ethoxylated bisphenol A dimethacrylate, alkoxylated hexanediol diacrylate, alkoxylated cyclohexane dimethanol diacrylate, polyethylene glycol diacrylate, polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate, tris (2-hydroxy ethyl) isocyanurate triacrylate, SR9012® a brand of trifunctional acrylate ester available from Sartomer Co. Inc, amine modified polyether acrylates (available as PO 83 F®, LR 8869®, and/or LR 8889® (all available from BASF Corporation), trimethylolpropane triacrylate, glycerol propoxylate triacrylate, dipentaerythritol pentaacrylate, dipentaerythritol hexaacrylate, ethoxylated pentaerythritol tetraacrylate (available from Sartomer Co. Inc. as SR 494®), as well as mixtures and combinations thereof. When a reactive diluent is added to the ink carrier material, the reactive diluent is added in any desired or effective amount, in one embodiment at least about 1 percent by weight of the carrier, at least about 35 percent by weight of the carrier, no more than about 98 percent by weight of the carrier, no more than about 75 percent by weight of the carrier, although the amount of diluent can be outside of these ranges.

[0032] The ink vehicles contain at least one compound that can exhibit gel-like behavior in that they undergo a relatively sharp increase in viscosity over a relatively narrow temperature range when dissolved in a liquid such as those compounds that behave as curable monomers when exposed to radiation such as ultraviolet light. One example of such a curable liquid monomer is a propoxylated neopentyl glycol diacrylate. Some vehicles as disclosed herein undergo a change in viscosity (complex viscosity as measured in the Examples) of at least about 103 centipoise, at least about 105 centipoise, or at least about 106 centipoise over a temperature range of at least about 30°C, at least about 10°C, or at least about 5°C, although the viscosity change and temperature range can be outside of these ranges, and vehicles that do not undergo changes within these ranges are also included herein.

[0033] Any suitable rheology control agent can be used for the ink vehicles disclosed herein, preferably the rheology control agent includes a photoinitiator with phase change properties. The rheology control agent contributes to the gelling of the phase change ink, when it cools from the application temperature to the substrate temperature, ie the relatively sharp increase in viscosity mentioned above. In embodiments, the rheology control agent is a free radical curable gellant.

[0034] The rheology control agent can be selected from materials of the invention of US7279587, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference, such as a compound of the formula

wherein:

R1 is:

  1. (i) an alkylene group (wherein an alkylene group is defined as a divalent aliphatic group or alkyl group, including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in the alkylene group), with at least 1 carbon atom, no more than about 12 carbon atoms, no more than about 4 carbon atoms, or no more than about 2 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges,
  2. (ii) an arylene group (wherein an arylene group is defined as a divalent aromatic group or aryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in the arylene group), with at least about 5 carbon atoms, at least about 6 carbon atoms, no more than about 14 carbon atoms, in another embodiment with no more than about 10 carbon atoms, or no more than about 6 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges,
  3. (iii) an arylalkylene group (wherein an arylalkylene group is defined as a divalent arylalkyl group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group), with at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 32 carbon atoms, no more than about 22 carbon atoms, or no more than about 7 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, or
  4. (iv) an alkylarylene group (wherein an alkylarylene group is defined as a divalent alkylaryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted alkylarylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group), at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 32 carbon atoms, no more than about 22 carbon atoms or no more than about 7 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, wherein the substituents on the substituted alkylene, arylene, arylalkylene, and alkylarylene groups can be halogen atoms, cyano groups, pyridine groups, pyridinium groups, ether groups, aldehyde groups, ketone groups, ester groups, amide groups, carbonyl groups, thiocarbonyl groups, sulfide groups, nitro groups, nitroso groups, acyl groups, azo groups, urethane groups, urea groups, mixtures thereof, and the like, wherein two or more substituents can be joined together to form a ring;

R2 and R2' each, independently of the other, are:

  1. (i) alkylene groups (wherein an alkylene group is defined as a divalent aliphatic group or alkyl group, including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in the alkylene group), in one embodiment with at least 1 carbon atom, no more than about 54 carbon atoms, or no more than about 36 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges,
  2. (ii) arylene groups (wherein an arylene group is defined as a divalent aromatic group or aryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in the arylene group), in one embodiment with at least about 5 carbon atoms, at least about 6 carbon atoms, no more than about 14 carbon atoms, no more than about 10 carbon atoms, or no more than about 7 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges,
  3. (iii) arylalkylene groups (wherein an arylalkylene group is defined as a divalent arylalkyl group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group), in one embodiment with at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 32 carbon atoms, no more than about 22 carbon atoms, or no more than about 8 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, or
  4. (iv) alkylarylene groups (wherein an alkylarylene group is defined as a divalent alkylaryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted alkylarylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group), in one embodiment with at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 32 carbon atoms, no more than about 22 carbon atoms, or no more than about 7 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, wherein the substituents on the substituted alkylene, arylene, arylalkylene, and alkylarylene groups can be halogen atoms, cyano groups, ether groups, aldehyde groups, ketone groups, ester groups, amide groups, carbonyl groups, thiocarbonyl groups, phosphine groups, phosphonium groups, phosphate groups, nitrile groups, mercapto groups, nitro groups, nitroso groups, acyl groups, acid anhydride groups, azide groups, azo groups, cyanato groups, urethane groups, urea groups, mixtures thereof, wherein two or more substituents can be joined together to form a ring;
  5. (v) in one specific embodiment, R2 and R2' are each groups of the formula -C34H56+a- and are branched alkylene groups which may include unsaturations and cyclic groups, wherein a is an integer of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 as disclosed in US7279587, column 18 lines 33 to 65, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference;

R3 and R3' each, independently of the other, are either:

  1. (a) photoinitiating groups, such as groups derived from 1-(4-(2-hydroxyethoxy)phenyl)-2-hydroxy-2-methylpropan-1-one, of the formula

    groups derived from 1-hydroxycyclohexylphenylketone, of the formula

    groups derived from 2-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-phenylpropan-1-one, of the formula

    groups derived from N,N-dimethylethanolamine or N,N-dimethylethylenediamine, of the formula

    or:
  2. (b) a group which is:

    (i) an alkyl group (including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkyl groups, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in the alkyl group), in one embodiment with at least about 2 carbon atoms, at least about 3 carbon atoms, at least about 4 carbon atoms, with no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or with no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges,

    (ii) an aryl group (including substituted and unsubstituted aryl groups, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in the aryl group), in one embodiment with at least about 5 carbon atoms, at least about 6 carbon atoms, no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, such as phenyl,

    (iii) an arylalkyl group (including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkyl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group), in one embodiment with at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, such as benzyl, or

    (iv) an alkylaryl group (including substituted and unsubstituted alkylaryl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus, boron, may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group), in one embodiment with at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, such as tolyl or the like, wherein the substituents on the substituted alkyl, arylalkyl, and alkylaryl groups can be halogen atoms, ether groups, aldehyde groups, ketone groups, ester groups, amide groups, carbonyl groups, thiocarbonyl groups, sulfate groups, sulfonate groups, sulfonic acid groups, sulfide groups, sulfoxide groups, phosphine groups, phosphonium groups, phosphate groups, nitrile groups, mercapto groups, nitro groups, nitroso groups, sulfone groups, acyl groups, acid anhydride groups, azide groups, azo groups, cyanato groups, isocyanato groups, thiocyanato groups, isothiocyanato groups, carboxylate groups, carboxylic acid groups, urethane groups, urea groups, mixtures thereof, wherein two or more substituents can be joined together to form a ring;

    provided that at least one of R3 and R3' is a photoinitiating group; preferably wherein one of R3 and R3' is a photoinitiating group and the other is a free radical terminal group.
    and X and X' each, independently of the other, is an oxygen atom or a group of the formula -NR4-, wherein R4 is:
    1. (i) a hydrogen atom;
    2. (ii) an alkyl group, including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkyl groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the alkyl group, in one embodiment with at least 1 carbon atom, no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges,
    3. (iii) an aryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted aryl groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the aryl group, in one embodiment with at least about 5 carbon atoms, at least about 6 carbon atoms, no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges,
    4. (iv) an arylalkyl group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkyl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group, in one embodiment with at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, or
    5. (v) an alkylaryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted alkylaryl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group, in one embodiment with at least about 6 carbon atoms, at least about 7 carbon atoms, no more than about 100 carbon atoms, no more than about 60 carbon atoms, or no more than about 30 carbon atoms, although the number of carbon atoms can be outside of these ranges, wherein the substituents on the substituted alkyl, aryl, arylalkyl, and alkylaryl groups can be halogen atoms, ether groups, aldehyde groups, ketone groups, ester groups, amide groups, carbonyl groups, thiocarbonyl groups, sulfate groups, sulfonate groups, sulfonic acid groups, sulfide groups, sulfoxide groups, phosphine groups, phosphonium groups, phosphate groups, nitrile groups, mercapto groups, nitro groups, nitroso groups, sulfone groups, acyl groups, acid anhydride groups, azide groups, azo groups, cyanato groups, isocyanato groups, thiocyanato groups, isothiocyanato groups, carboxylate groups, carboxylic acid groups, urethane groups, urea groups, mixtures thereof, wherein two or more substituents can be joined together to form a ring.



[0035] The radiation curable phase change ink herein optionally comprises a radiation curable wax as well as a rheology control agent as described above. Optionally the wax is curable so as to participate in the curing of the ink. Suitable examples of UV curable waxes include those that are functionalized with curable groups. The curable groups may include, for example, acrylate, methacrylate, alkene, allylic ether, epoxide and/or oxetane groups. These waxes can be synthesized by the reaction of a wax equipped with a transformable functional group, such as carboxylic acid, hydroxyl and the like. The functionalized wax is also able to participate in the ultraviolet light initiated cure and thus does not lower the final robustness of the image. Additionally, the wax acts as a binder, preventing syneresis, and in printing, acts as a barrier or coating on paper/image receiving substrate, preventing the principle carrier from wicking or showing through the paper. The curable wax also reduces haloing tendency.

[0036] Suitable examples of hydroxyl-terminated polyethylene waxes that may be functionalized with a curable group include, for example, mixtures of carbon chains with the structure CH3-(CH2)n-CH2OH, where there is a mixture of chain lengths, n, where the average chain length is for example in the range of about 16 to about 50, and linear low molecular weight polyethylene, of similar average chain length. Suitable examples of such waxes include, for example, UNILIN® 350, UNILIN® 425, UNILIN® 550 and UNILIN® 700 with Mn approximately equal to 375, 460, 550 and 700 g/mol, respectively. All of these waxes are commercially available from Baker-Petrolite. Other suitable examples include alcohols of the formula CH3(CH2)nCH2OH, where n = 20 - 50. Guerbet alcohols, characterized as 2,2-dialkyl-1-ethanols, are also suitable compounds. For example, Guerbet alcohols include those containing 16 to 36 carbons, many of which are commercially available from Jarchem Industries Inc., Newark, NJ. PRIPOL® 2033 (C-36 dimer diol mixture including isomers of the formula

as well as other branched isomers which may include unsaturations and cyclic groups, available from Uniqema, New Castle, DE; further information on C36 dimer diols of this type is disclosed in, for example, "Dimer Acids," Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, Vol. 8, 4th Ed. (1992), pp. 223 to 237, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference) can also be used. These alcohols can be reacted with carboxylic acids equipped with UV curable moieties to form reactive esters. Examples of these acids include, for example, acrylic and methacrylic acids, available from Sigma-Aldrich Co. Particularly suitable curable moieties include acrylates of UNILIN® 350, UNILIN® 425, UNILIN® 550 and UNILIN® 700.

[0037] Suitable examples of carboxylic acid-terminated polyethylene waxes that may be functionalized with a curable group include, for example, mixtures of carbon chains with the structure CH3-(CH2)n-COOH, where there is a mixture of chain lengths, n, where the average chain length is, for example, from about 16 to about 50, and linear low molecular weight polyethylene, of similar average chain length. Suitable examples of such waxes include, for example, UNICID® 350, UNICID® 425, UNICID® 550 and UNICID® 700 with Mn equal to approximately 390, 475, 565 and 720 g/mol, respectively. Other suitable examples have a structure CH3-(CH2)n-COOH, such as hexadecanoic or palmitic acid with n=14, heptadecanoic or margaric or daturic acid with n=15, octadecanoic or stearic acid with n=16, eicosanoic or arachidic acid with n=18, docosanoic or behenic acid with n=20, tetracosanoic or lignoceric acid with n=22, hexacosanoic or cerotic acid with n= 24, heptacosanoic or carboceric acid with n=25, octacosanoic or montanic acid with n=26, triacontanoic or melissic acid with n=28, dotriacontanoic or lacceroic acid with n=30, tritriacontanoic or ceromelissic or psyllic acid, with n=31, tetratriacontanoic or geddic acid with n=32, pentatriacontanoic or ceroplastic acid with n=33. Guerbet acids, characterized as 2,2-dialkyl ethanoic acids, are also suitable compounds. For example, Guerbet acids include those containing 16 to 36 carbons, many of which are commercially available from Jarchem Industries Inc., Newark, NJ. PRIPOL® 1009 (C-36 dimer acid mixture including isomers of the formula

as well as other branched isomers which may include unsaturations and cyclic groups, available from Uniqema, New Castle, DE; further information on C36 dimer acids of this type is disclosed in, for example, "Dimer Acids," Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, Vol. 8, 4th Ed. (1992), pp. 223 to 237, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference) can also be used. These carboxylic acids can be reacted with alcohols equipped with UV curable moieties to form reactive esters. Examples of these alcohols include, for example, 2-allyloxyethanol and 1,4-butanediol vinyl ether, both available from Sigma-Aldrich Co.; alcohols of

available as TONE M-101 (R = H, navg = 1), TONE M-100 (R = H, navg = 2) and TONE M-201 (R = Me, navg = 1) from The Dow Chemical Company; and

CD572 (R = H, n = 10) and SR604 (R = Me, n = 4) from Sartomer Company, Inc.

[0038] Other suitable examples of curable waxes include, for example, AB2 diacrylate hydrocarbon compounds that may be prepared by reacting AB2 molecules with acryloyl halides, and then further reacting with aliphatic long-chain, monofunctional aliphatic compounds. Suitable functional groups useful as A groups in embodiments include carboxylic acid groups and the like. Suitable functional groups useful as B groups in embodiments may be hydroxyl groups, thiol groups, amine groups, amide groups, imide groups, phenol groups, and mixtures thereof. Exemplary AB2 molecules include, for example, bishydroxy alkyl carboxylic acids (AB2 molecules in which A is carboxylic acid and B is hydroxyl), 2,2-bis(hydroxymethyl) butyric acid, N,N-bis(hydroxyethyl) glycine, 2,5-dihydroxybenzyl alcohol, 3,5-bis(4-aminophenoxy)benzoic acid, and the like. Exemplary AB2 molecules also include those disclosed in Jikei et al. (Macromolecules, 33, 6228-6234 (2000)).

[0039] In embodiments of the curable wax, the acryloyl halide may be chosen from acryloyl fluoride, acryloyl chloride, acryloyl bromide, and acryloyl iodide, and mixtures thereof. In particular embodiments, the acryloyl halide is acryloyl chloride.

[0040] Exemplary methods for making AB2 molecules for curable waxes may include optionally protecting the B groups first. Methods for protecting groups such as hydroxyls will be known to those of skill in the art. An exemplary method for making AB2 molecules such as 2,2-bis(hydroxylmethyl)proprionic acid is the use of benzaldehyde dimethyl acetal catalyzed by a sulfonic acid such as p-toluene sulfonic acid in acetone at room temperature to form benzylidene-2,2-bis(oxymethyl)proprionic acid. This protected AB2 molecule may be subsequently coupled with an aliphatic alcohol. Suitable aliphatic alcohols include stearyl alcohol; 1-docosanol; hydroxyl-terminated polyethylene waxes, such as mixtures of carbon chains with the structure CH3-(CH2)n-CH2OH, where there is a mixture of chain lengths, n, having an average chain length, in some embodiments, in the range of about 12 to about 100; and linear low molecular weight polyethylenes that have an average chain length similar to that of the described hydroxyl-terminated polyethylene waxes. Suitable examples of such waxes include, but are not limited to, UNILIN 350, UNILIN 425, UNILIN 550 and UNILIN 700 with Mn approximately equal to 375, 460, 550 and 700 g/mol, respectively. All of these waxes are commercially available from Baker-Petrolite. Guerbet alcohols, characterized as 2,2-dialkyl-1-ethanols, are also suitable compounds. In particular embodiments, the Guerbet alcohols may be chosen from Guerbet alcohols containing 16 to 36 carbon atoms; many such Guerbet alcohols are commercially available from Jarchem Industries Inc., Newark, NJ.

[0041] The acid group of the AB2 monomer for making the curable wax may be esterified by the aliphatic alcohol using p-toluenesulfonic acid in refluxing toluene. Following the reaction of the aliphatic alcohol with the protected AB2 monomer, the protecting groups may be removed in methylene chloride using a palladium carbon catalyst under hydrogen gas. Once deprotected, the final product diacrylate aliphatic ester may be made using acryloyl chloride in methylene chloride with pyridine or triethylamine.

[0042] The curable wax is preferably included in the ink in an amount of from, for example, in one embodiment about 0.1% to about 50% by weight of the ink, in another embodiment from about 0.5% to about 40%, and in a further embodiment from about 1% to 30%.

[0043] Examples of photoinitiators used herein include benzophenone derivatives, benzyl ketones, monomeric hydroxyl ketones, polymeric hydroxyl ketones, α-amino ketones, acyl phosphine oxides, metallocenes, benzoin ethers, benzil ketals, α-hydroxyalkylphenones, α-aminoalkylphenones, acylphosphine photoinitiators sold under the trade designations of IRGACURE® and DAROCUR® from Ciba, isopropyl thioxanthenones, arylsulphonium salts and aryl iodonium salts, and mixtures and combinations thereof. Specific examples include 1-hydroxy-cyclohexylphenylketone, benzophenone, 2-benzyl-2-(dimethylamino)-1-(4-(4-morphorlinyl)phenyl)-1-butanone, 2-methyl-1-(4-methylthio)phenyl-2-(4-morphorlinyl)-1-propanone, diphenyl-(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide, phenyl bis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide, benzyl-dimethylketal, isopropylthioxanthone, 2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyldiphenylphosphine oxide (available as BASF LUCIRIN TPO®), 2,4,6-trimethylbenzoylethoxyphenylphosphine oxide (available as BASF LUCIRIN TPO-L®), bis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)-phenylphosphine oxide (available as Ciba IRGACURE® 819) and other acyl phosphines, 2-methyl-1-(4-methylthio)phenyl-2-(4-morphorlinyl)-1-propanone (available as Ciba IRGACURE® 907) and 1-(4-(2-hydroxyethoxy)phenyl)-2-hydroxy-2-methylpropan-1-one (available as Ciba IRGACURE® 2959), 2-benzyl 2-dimethylamino 1-(4-morpholinophenyl) butanone-1 (available as Ciba IRGACURE® 369), 2-hydroxy-1-(4-(4-(2-hydroxy-2-methylpropionyl)-benzyl)-phenyl)-2-methylpropan-1-one (available as Ciba IRGACURE® 127), 2-dimethylamino-2-(4-methylbenzyl)-1-(4-morpholin-4-ylphenyl)-butanone (available as Ciba IRGACURE® 379), titanocenes, isopropylthioxanthone, 1-hydroxy-cyclohexylphenylketone, benzophenone, 2,4,6-trimethylbenzophenone, 4-methylbenzophenone, diphenyl-(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide, 2,4,6-trimethylbenzoylphenylphosphinic acid ethyl ester, oligo(2-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-(4-(1-methylvinyl)phenyl) propanone), 2-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-phenyl-1-propanone, benzyl-dimethylketal, as well as mixtures thereof.

[0044] Optionally, the phase change inks can also contain an amine synergist, which are co-initiators which can donate a hydrogen atom to a photoinitiator and thereby form a radical species that initiates polymerization, and can also consume dissolved oxygen, which inhibits free-radical polymerization, thereby increasing the speed of polymerization. Examples of suitable amine synergists include ethyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoate, 2-ethylhexyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoate, as well as mixtures thereof.

[0045] Initiators for inks disclosed herein can absorb radiation at any desired or effective wavelength, in one embodiment at least about 200 nanometers, no more than about 560 nanometers, or no more than about 420 nanometers, although the wavelength can be outside of these ranges.

[0046] The initiator can be present in the ink in any desired or effective amount, in one embodiment at least about 0.5 percent by weight of the ink, at least about 1 percent by weight of the ink, no more than about 15 percent by weight of the ink, and no more than about 10 percent by weight of the ink, although the amount can be outside of these ranges.

[0047] The radiation curable phase change white inks herein can optionally contain an antioxidant or stabilizer. The optional antioxidants can protect the images from oxidation and can also protect the ink components from oxidation during the heating portion of the ink preparation process. Specific examples of suitable antioxidant stabilizers include NAUGARD@ 524, NAUGARD@ 635, NAUGARD@ A, NAUGARD@ I-403, and NAUGARD@ 959, commercially available from Crompton Corporation, Middlebury, CT; IRGANOX® 1010 and IRGASTAB® UV 10, commercially available from Ciba Specialty Chemicals; GENORAD 16 and GENORAD 40 commercially available from Rahn AG, Zurich, Switzerland, and the like, as well as mixtures thereof. When present, the optional antioxidant is present in the ink in any desired or effective amount, in one embodiment at least about 0.01 percent by weight of the ink carrier, at least about 0.1 percent by weight of the ink carrier, at least about 1 percent by weight of the ink carrier, no more than about 20 percent by weight of the ink carrier, no more than about 5 percent by weight of the ink carrier, or no more than about 3 percent by weight of the ink carrier, although the amount can be outside of these ranges.

[0048] The radiation curable phase change inks can also, if desired, contain additives to take advantage of the known functionality associated with such additives. Such additives may include, for example, defoamers, slip and leveling agents, pigment dispersants, as well as mixtures thereof. The inks can also include additional monomeric or polymeric materials as desired.

[0049] The radiation curable phase change white inks herein can include a wax, a wax curable by free radical polymerization, a wax curable by ultra-violet radiation initiated polymerization, a free radical curable wax, a radiation curable wax containing at least one acrylate group. The radiation curable phase change white inks herein can include a radiation curable wax and the at least one rheology control agent, for example, a rheology control agent comprising a compound of the formula described herein.

[0050] Curing of the ink can be effected by exposure of the ink image to actinic radiation at any desired or effective wavelength, in one embodiment at least about 200 nanometers, or no more than about 480 nanometers, although the wavelength can be outside of these ranges. Exposure to actinic radiation can be for any desired or effective period of time, in one embodiment for at least about 0.2 second, at least about 1 second, at least about 5 seconds, no more than about 30 seconds, and no more than about 15 seconds, although the exposure period can be outside of these ranges. By curing is meant that the curable compounds in the ink undergo an increase in molecular weight upon exposure to actinic radiation, such as crosslinking, chain lengthening, or the like. The curing of the ink can also be accomplished in the absence of photoinitiators by electron beam radiation.

[0051] The ink compositions generally have melt viscosities at the jetting temperature (in one embodiment no lower than about 50°C, no lower than about 60°C, no lower than about 70°C, no higher than about 120°C, no higher than about 110°C, although the jetting temperature can be outside of these ranges) in one embodiment of no more than about 30 centipoise, no more than about 20 centipoise, no more than about 15 centipoise, no less than about 2 centipoise, no less than about 5 centipoise, no less than about 7 centipoise, or greater than about 105 centipoise at a temperature of less than about 40°C, in another embodiment, of less than about 15 centipoise at a temperature of no less than about 70 °C, although the melt viscosity can be outside of these ranges.

[0052] In one specific embodiment, the inks are jetted at low temperatures, in particular at temperatures below about 110°C, from about 40°C to about 110°C, from about 50°C to about 110°C, or from about 60°C to about 90°C, although the jetting temperature can be outside of these ranges. At such low jetting temperatures, the conventional use of temperature differential between the jetted ink and the substrate upon which the ink is jetted to effect a rapid phase change in the ink (i.e., from liquid to solid) may not be effective. The rheology control agent can thus be used to effect a rapid viscosity increase in the jetted ink upon the substrate. In particular, jetted ink droplets can be pinned into position on a receiving substrate such as a final recording substrate, such as paper or transparency material, or an intermediate transfer member, such as a transfuse drum or belt, that is maintained at a temperature cooler than the ink jetting temperature of the ink through the action of a phase change transition in which the ink undergoes a significant viscosity change from a liquid state to a gel state (or semi-solid state).

[0053] In some embodiments, the temperature at which the ink forms the gel state is any temperature below the jetting temperature of the ink, in one embodiment any temperature that is about 5°C or more below the jetting temperature of the ink. In one embodiment, the gel state can be formed at a temperature of at least about 25°C, at least about 30°C, no more than about 100°C, no more than about 70°C, no more than about 50°C, although the temperature can be outside of these ranges. A rapid and large increase in ink viscosity occurs upon cooling from the jetting temperature, at which the ink is in a liquid state, to the gel temperature, at which the ink is in the gel state. The viscosity (complex viscosity as measured in the Examples) increase is in one specific embodiment at least a 102.5-fold increase in viscosity.

[0054] It has been found that optimum transfer efficiency from an intermediate transfer surface to a final recording sheet and optimum print quality can be achieved if the viscosity of the ink image deposited on the intermediate transfer member is greatly increased after jetting the ink, so as to obtain a stable and transferable image that will not smear. A suitable rheology control agent for the ink will gel the monomers/oligomers in the ink vehicle quickly and reversibly and will demonstrate a narrow phase change transition, for example within a temperature range of from about 30°C to about 100°C or from about 30°C to about 70°C, although the transition range can be outside of these temperature ranges. The gel state of the ink in embodiments exhibits a minimum of 102.5 centipoise, or 103 centipoise, increase in viscosity at transferring temperatures, e.g., in one specific embodiment from about 30°C to about 70°C, compared to the viscosity at the jetting temperature. One embodiment is directed to rheology control agent containing inks that rapidly increase in viscosity within from about 5°C to about 10°C below the jetting temperature and ultimately reach a viscosity above 104 times the jetting viscosity, and in another embodiment about 105 times the jetting viscosity, although the viscosity can be outside of these ranges.

[0055] When the inks are in the gel state, the viscosity of the ink is in one embodiment at least about 1,000 centipoise, at least about 10,000 centipoise, at least about 100,000 centipoise, although the viscosity can be outside of these ranges. Viscosity values in the gel state are in one embodiment at least about 103 centipoise, at least about 104.5 centipoise, no more than about 109 centipoise, no more than about 106.5 centipoise, although the gel state viscosity can be outside of these ranges. The preferred gel phase viscosity can vary with the print process. For example, the highest viscosities are preferred when employing intermediate transfer, or when jetting directly to porous paper in order to minimize the effects of ink bleed and feathering. On the other hand, less porous substrates such as plastic may lead to the use of lower ink viscosities that control dot gain and agglomeration of individual ink pixels. The gel viscosity can be controlled by ink formulation and substrate temperature. An additional benefit of the gel state for radiation curable inks is that higher viscosities of about 103 to about 104 centipoise can reduce oxygen diffusion in the ink, which in turn can lead to a faster rate of cure in free radical initiation.

[0056] For printing applications wherein the ink is printed onto an intermediate transfer member and subsequently transferred to a final substrate, the viscosity of the ink in one specific embodiment increases to about 106 centipoise or greater at the intermediate transfer member temperature to facilitate adhesion to the intermediate transfer member, and for printing applications wherein the ink is printed directly onto a final substrate, the viscosity of the ink in one specific embodiment increases to 106 centipoise or greater at the final substrate temperature to prevent the ink from soaking into the final substrate and/or to facilitate adhesion to the final substrate until curing by exposure to radiation. In one embodiment, the temperature of the intermediate transfer member or the final substrate onto which the ink is printed and at which the ink viscosity increases to about 106 centipoise or greater is about 70°C or lower.

[0057] In embodiments, the ink has a viscosity of greater than about 104 to about 107 centipoise at a temperature range of from about 15°C to about 50°C or greater than about 105 centipoise at a temperature of less than about 40°C or greater than about 106 centipoise at a temperature of less than about 40°C or greater than about 2 to about 22 centipoise at a temperature range of from about 70°C to about 95°C or less than about 15 centipoise at a temperature of greater than about 70°C.

[0058] The ink compositions can be prepared by any desired or suitable method. For example, the ink ingredients can be mixed together, followed by heating, to a temperature in one embodiment of at least about 80°C, or no more than about 120°C, although the temperature can be outside of these ranges, and stirring until a homogeneous ink composition is obtained, followed by cooling the ink to ambient temperature (typically from about 20°C to about 25°C). The inks are solid at ambient temperature.

[0059] The inks can be employed in apparatus for direct printing ink jet processes and in indirect (offset) printing ink jet applications. Another embodiment is directed to a process which comprises incorporating an ink as disclosed herein into an ink jet printing apparatus, melting the ink, and causing droplets of the melted ink to be ejected in an imagewise pattern onto a recording substrate. A direct printing process is also disclosed in, for example, U.S. Patent 5,195,430, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference. Yet another embodiment disclosed is directed to a process which comprises incorporating an ink as disclosed herein into an ink jet printing apparatus, melting the ink, causing droplets of the melted ink to be ejected in an imagewise pattern onto an intermediate transfer member, and transferring the ink in the imagewise pattern from the intermediate transfer member to a final recording substrate. In a specific embodiment, the intermediate transfer member is heated to a temperature above that of the final recording sheet and below that of the melted ink in the printing apparatus. An offset or indirect printing process is also disclosed in, for example, U.S. Patent 5,389,958, the disclosure of which is totally incorporated herein by reference. In one specific embodiment, the printing apparatus employs a piezoelectric printing process wherein droplets of the ink are caused to be ejected in imagewise pattern by oscillations of piezoelectric vibrating elements. Inks as disclosed herein can also be employed in other hot melt printing processes, such as hot melt acoustic ink jet printing, hot melt thermal ink jet printing, hot melt continuous stream or deflection ink jet printing. Phase change inks as disclosed herein can also be used in printing processes other than hot melt ink jet printing processes.

[0060] Any suitable substrate or recording sheet can be employed, including plain papers such as XEROX® 4200 papers, XEROX® Image Series papers, Courtland 4024 DP paper, ruled notebook paper, bond paper, silica coated papers such as Sharp Company silica coated paper, JuJo paper, HAMMERMILL LASERPRINT® paper, and the like, glossy coated papers such as XEROX® Digital Color Gloss, Sappi Warren Papers LUSTROGLOSS®, and the like, transparency materials, fabrics, textile products, plastics, polymeric films, ceramics, inorganic substrates such as metals and wood.

[0061] The following Examples are being submitted to further define various species of the present disclosure. These Examples are intended to be illustrative only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure. Also, parts and percentages are by weight unless otherwise indicated.

Example 1



[0062] Two inks were prepared having the compositions set forth in Table 1. The initial dispersion was prepared by combining about 0.2 grams of Disperbyk® 2001 (modified acrylate block copolymer available from BYK-Chemie) with about 15.8 grams SR-9003® (propoxylated (2) neopentyl glycol diacrylate monomer available from Sartomer Company), and about 4.0 grams of Dupont® R-103 titanium dioxide pigment. The resulting suspension was allowed to rest overnight to allow the pigment to become wetted. The pigment suspension was then mixed with a rotor stator mixer for about 30 seconds at about 300 rpm and then the pigment dispersion was aged for eight days. After eight days, the dispersion showed little perceptible separation, but was redispersed using an ultrasonic probe at full power for about 300 seconds. Again the stability of the dispersion was assessed for a week. After one week, the pigment dispersion remained well dispersed and was combined with about 0.2 grams of Irgastab® UV10 (radical scavenger available from Ciba® Specialty Chemicals, Inc.) and heated at about 90 °C for about three hours with no deleterious effects. This dispersion was then made into a full gel ink and wax gel ink having the compositions set forth in Table 1.
Table 1
 Ink Example #, wt%
Component1234
SR-9003® 24.8 29.8 29.9 35.9
amide rheology control agent 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.5
Unilin® 350-acrylate 5 0 0 0
Irgacure® 184 5 5 5 5
Irgacure® 819 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Darocur® ITX 2 2 2 0
Darocur® EDB (ethyl-4-dimethylamino benzoate) 5 5 5 0
TiO2 pigment dispersion, 49 49 0 0
20wt%*        
TiO2 pigment dispersion, 0 0 49 50
40wt%**        
Disperbyk® 2001     0.1 0.1
Irgastab® UV10 0.2 0.2 0 0
  100 100 100 100
* pigment dispersion = SR9003 (79%), Disperbyk 2001 (1 %), R103 TiO2 (20%)
** pigment dispersion = SR9003 (59%), Disperbyk 2001 (1%), R103 TiO2 (40%)


[0063] The amide rheology control agent is as described in Example VIII of U. S. Patent 7,279,587. Irgacure® 184 is an alpha hydroxyl ketone photoninitiator (1-hydroxy-cyclohexyl-phenyl-ketone). Irgacure® 819 is a bis acyl phosphine photoinitiator (phosphine oxide, phenyl bis (2,4,6-trimethyl benzoyl). Darocur® ITX is a photoinitiator. Darocur® EDB is ethyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoate amine synergist.

[0064] The rheological profiles for the ink examples 1-4 are provided in the Tables 2-9 below. According to the rheological profiles, all of these inks are jettable (that is, have a viscosity of about 10 cps) at or below 90°C. The rheological characteristics of the inks were obtained by testing with a Rheometrics® Fluid Spectrometer RFS3. As is known to one of ordinary skill in the art, temperature step is a rheology measurement at discrete temperatures across a range of temperatures. Ratesweep is a rheological measurement at a single temperature but with varying shear rates. G' is the storage modulus and G" is the loss modulus. Tan delta is G" divided by G'. A temperature sweep from 90°C to 30°C at 1 Hz sweep rate was conducted with measurements every five or ten degrees. The wax-rheology control agent ink required more energy to effectively stabilize the rheology and this was accomplished with an ultrasonic probe (full power, 15s, 10g scale).
Table 2
Example 1 Temperature = 90°C
rate (s-1)shear viscosity
 (cps)
1 5.8117
1.5849 5.0086
2.5119 4.6296
3.9811 5.0871
6.3096 4.3749
10 4.4255
15.849 4.2014
25.119 4.2078
39.811 4.1917
63.096 4.2281
100 4.1975
158.49 4.2083
251.19 4.1819
398.11 4.1691
630.96 4.2597
630.96 4.2901
398.11 4.2119
251.19 4.2136
158.49 4.232
100 4.2347
63.096 4.2242
39.811 4.2571
25.119 4.2998
15.849 4.2908
10 4.5612
6.3096 4.1723
3.9811 4.3967
2.5119 4.1241
1.5849 4.5286
1 4.3694
Table 3
Example 1 Temperature step
tempcomplex viscosityG' (Pa)G" (Pa)tan delta
(°C)(cps)   
90.002 5.5649 0.018767 0.029502 1.572
85.004 5.9067 0.014059 0.034347 2.4431
80 6.6806 0.01637 0.038652 2.3611
74.995 8.6649 0.031024 0.044739 1.4421
69.999 8.6782 0.019898 0.050766 2.5513
64.999 975.51 3.7332 4.8612 1.3021
60.002 29944 170.09 80.425 0.47284
55.002 1.55E+05 922.49 313.09 0.3394
50.002 4.23E+05 2571.7 660.69 0.2569
44.997 8.34E+05 5144.1 1011.7 0.19667
39.997 1.42E+06 8833.4 1362 0.15418
35.006 2.17E+06 13543 1702.6 0.12572
29.998 3.04E+06 18988 2093.8 0.11027
Table 4
Example 2 Ratesweep Temperature = 90°C
rate (s-1)shear viscosity
 (cps)
1 3.8909
1.5849 3.9643
2.5119 3.622
3.9811 4.15
6.3096 4.2611
10 4.2898
15.849 4.258
25.119 4.373
39.811 4.408
63.096 4.4289
100 4.4362
158.49 4.4234
251.19 4.418
398.11 4.4183
630.96 4.4236
630.96 4.4384
398.11 4.4207
251.19 4.4286
158.49 4.4418
100 4.4647
63.096 4.4803
39.811 4.4964
25.119 4.4893
15.849 4.48
10 4.4834
6.3096 4.4511
3.9811 4.4247
2.5119 4.4847
1.5849 4.3692
1 4.4847
Table 5
Example 2 Temperature step
tempcomplex viscosityG' (Pa)G" (Pa)tan delta
(°C)(cps)   
89.998 4.6319 0.004491 0.028755 6.4028
84.999 4.9961 0.003639 0.03118 8.5687
80.002 5.7468 0.003606 0.035928 9.9633
74.995 6.6157 0.004312 0.041344 9.5891
69.998 15.869 0.053366 0.084225 1.5782
65 2626 8.8327 13.936 1.5778
60 62001 335.68 197.69 0.58892
55.001 2.39E+05 1386.5 579.32 0.41783
50.002 4.29E+05 2508.2 993.46 0.39609
44.996 6.76E+05 4012.5 1388.7 0.3461
39.967 1.00E+06 6005 1859 0.30957
35.033 1.35E+06 8168 2314.9 0.28342
30.046 1.74E+06 10518 2912.9 0.27694
Table 6
Example 3 rate sweep Temperature =90°C
rate (s-1)shear viscosity
 (cps)
1 4.7626
1.5849 5.273
2.5119 5.308
3.9811 4.962
6.3096 5.212
10 5.2914
15.849 5.18
25.119 5.2278
39.811 5.1995
63.096 5.2048
100 5.1866
158.49 5.177
251.19 5.1535
398.11 5.1389
630.96 5.1999
630.96 5.2269
398.11 5.1728
251.19 5.1906
158.49 5.2098
100 5.2446
63.096 5.2569
39.811 5.2949
25.119 5.299
15.849 5.3024
10 5.2971
6.3096 5.2676
3.9811 5.3248
2.5119 5.1637
1.5849 5.0736
1 5.0508
Table 7
Example 3 Temperature step
tempcompG' (Pa)G" (Pa)tan delta
 viscosity   
(°C)(cps)   
90.003 5.7494 0.005022 0.035774 7.1238
84.996 5.99 0.003317 0.03749 11.304
80 6.9684 0.006527 0.043295 6.6335
74.999 8.0146 0.005483 0.050058 9.1298
70 9.0392 0.004357 0.056627 12.996
65.003 10.327 0.00944 0.064197 6.8002
60 9461.3 58.858 8.3449 0.14178
54.999 1.90E+05 1187.5 118.44 0.099733
50.001 4.68E+05 2932.7 210.17 0.071665
45.009 9.44E+05 5924.3 301.76 0.050937
40.015 1.61E+06 10131 357.16 0.035253
34.999 2.51 E+06 15768 413.38 0.026217
29.985 3.58E+06 22504 846.7 0.037625
Table 8
Example 4
Ratesweep Temperature =90°C
rate (s-1)shear viscosity
 (cps)
1 5.1938
1.5849 5.105
2.5119 5.5986
3.9811 5.4217
6.3096 5.3029
10 5.2365
15.849 5.2211
25.119 5.2427
39.811 5.2478
63.096 5.2503
100 5.2491
158.49 5.2287
251.19 5.2137
398.11 5.1682
630.96 5.2193
630.96 5.2313
398.11 5.1804
251.19 5.1881
158.49 5.2139
100 5.271
63.096 5.2932
39.811 5.3096
25.119 5.2913
15.849 5.195
10 5.3258
6.3096 5.0266
3.9811 5.3723
2.5119 5.4845
1.5849 5.4407
1 5.4687
Table 9
Example 4
temperature step
tempcomp viscosityG' (Pa)G" (Pa)tan delta
(°C)(cps)   
89.998 5.6242 0.005312 0.034936 6.5773
84.998 6.1119 0.004739 0.038109 8.0411
80.001 7.1087 0.005934 0.04427 7.4599
74.997 8.102 0.007818 0.050302 6.4343
70 9.4199 0.00573 0.058909 10.282
65 586.82 0.55648 3.6449 6.5499
60.001 11578 63.334 35.788 0.56507
55.001 7.05E+04 382.4 222.99 0.58313
49.998 2.11 E+05 1094.8 750.98 0.68595
45.007 4.06E+05 2139.7 1386.6 0.64804
40.011 6.41 E+05 3474.1 2037.9 0.58661
34.997 9.18E+05 5111.2 2674.4 0.52325
29.997 1.24E+06 7007.2 3334.9 0.47593


[0065] It will be appreciated that various of the above-disclosed and other features and functions, or alternatives thereof, may be desirably combined into many other different systems or applications. Also that various presently unforeseen or unanticipated alternatives, modifications, variations or improvements therein may be subsequently made by those skilled in the art which are also intended to be encompassed by the following claims. Unless specifically recited in a claim, steps or components of claims should not be implied or imported from the specification or any other claims as to any particular order, number, position, size, shape, angle, color, or material.


Claims

1. A radiation curable phase change ink comprising:

a white colorant;

a colorant dispersant; and

an ink vehicle comprising at least one curable monomer; and at least one rheology control agent.


 
2. The radiation curable phase change ink of claim 1, further comprising at least one photoinitiator; and/or at least one stabilizer; and/or at least one wax.
 
3. The radiation curable phase change ink of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the white colorant is a white pigment selected from titanium dioxide pigment, zinc oxide pigment, zinc sulfide pigment, calcium carbonate pigment, clay, lithopone or mixtures or combinations thereof, preferably wherein the white colorant is titanium dioxide pigment; and/or
wherein the white colorant is a white pigment having a particle size of from 200 to 300 nanometers.
 
4. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, wherein the white colorant is present in the ink in an amount of from 1 to 60 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink, preferably wherein the white colorant is a white pigment present in the ink an amount of from 1 to 60 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink, most preferably wherein the white colorant is a white pigment present in the ink an amount of 20 to 40 percent by weight based upon the total weight of the ink.
 
5. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, wherein the dispersant is selected from copolymers and block copolymers containing pigment affinic groups, or mixtures or combinations thereof.
 
6. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, wherein the at least one curable monomer is isobornyl acrylate, isobornyl methacrylate, lauryl acrylate, lauryl methacrylate, isodecylacrylate, isodecylmethacrylate, caprolactone acrylate, 2-phenoxyethyl acrylate, isooctylacrylate, isooctylmethacrylate, butyl acrylate, alkoxylated lauryl acrylate, ethoxylated nonyl phenol acrylate, ethoxylated nonyl phenol methacrylate, ethoxylated hydroxyethyl methacrylate, methoxy polyethylene glycol monoacrylate, methoxy polyethylene glycol monomethacrylate, tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate, tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate, or mixtures or combinations thereof.
 
7. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, wherein the ink vehicle further comprises a multifunctional acrylate or methacrylate compound, preferably wherein the multifunctional acrylate or methacrylate compound is pentaerythritol tetraacrylate, pentaerythritol tetramethacrylate, 1,2-ethylene glycol diacrylate, 1,2-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate, 1,6-hexanediol dimethacrylate, 1,12-dodecanol diacrylate, 1,12-dodecanol dimethacrylate, tris(2-hydroxy ethyl) isocyanurate triacrylate, propoxylated neopentyl glycol diacrylate, hexanediol diacrylate, tripropylene glycol diacrylate, dipropylene glycol diacrylate, ethoxylated bisphenol A diacrylate, ethoxylated bisphenol A dimethacrylate, alkoxylated hexanediol diacrylate, alkoxylated cyclohexane dimethanol diacrylate, polyethylene glycol diacrylate, polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate, tris (2-hydroxy ethyl) isocyanurate triacrylate, a brand of trifunctional acrylate monomer, amine modified polyether acrylates, trimethylolpropane triacrylate, glycerol propoxylate triacrylate, dipentaerythritol pentaacrylate, dipentaerythritol hexaacrylate, ethoxylated pentaerythritol tetraacrylate or mixtures or combinations thereof.
 
8. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, wherein the at least one rheology control agent is a free radical curable rheology control agent and/or a photoinitiator compound; and/or wherein the at least one rheology control agent is a compound of the formula

wherein R1 is (i) an alkylene group, including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the alkylene group, (ii) an arylene group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the arylene group, (iii) an arylalkylene group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group, or (iv) an alkylarylene group, including substituted and unsubstituted alkylarylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group,
R2 and R2' each, independently of the other, are (i) alkylene groups, including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the alkylene group, (ii) arylene groups, including substituted and unsubstituted arylene groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the arylene group, (iii) arylalkylene groups, including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkylene group, or (iv) alkylarylene groups, including substituted and unsubstituted alkylarylene groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylarylene group,
R3 and R3' each, independently of the other, are either (a) photoinitiating groups, or (b) groups which are (i) alkyl groups, including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkyl groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the alkyl group, (ii) aryl groups, including substituted and unsubstituted aryl groups, wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the aryl group, (iii) arylalkyl groups, including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkyl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group, or (iv) alkylaryl groups, including substituted and unsubstituted alkylaryl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group, provided that at least one of R3 and R3' is a photoinitiating group, and
X and X' each, independently of the other, is an oxygen atom or a group of the formula -NR4-, wherein R4 is (i) a hydrogen atom, (ii) an alkyl group, including linear and branched, saturated and unsaturated, cyclic and acyclic, and substituted and unsubstituted alkyl groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the alkyl group, (iii) an aryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted aryl groups, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in the aryl group, (iv) an arylalkyl group, including substituted and unsubstituted arylalkyl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the arylalkyl group, or (v) an alkylaryl group, including substituted and unsubstituted alkylaryl groups, wherein the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group can be linear or branched, saturated or unsaturated, and cyclic or acyclic, and wherein heteroatoms either may or may not be present in either the aryl or the alkyl portion of the alkylaryl group.
 
9. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, which comprises at least one photoinitiator wherein the at least one photoinhibitor is a photoinitiator selected from the group consisting of benzophenones, benzyl ketones, monomeric hydroxyl ketones, polymeric hydroxyl ketones, α-amino ketones, acyl phosphine oxides, metallocenes, benzoin ethers, benzil ketals, α-hydroxyalkylphenones, α-aminoalkylphenones, acylphosphine, isopropyl thioxanthenones, arylsulphonium salts, aryl iodonium salts and mixtures thereof.
 
10. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, which comprises at least one wax,
wherein the at least one wax is a radiation curable wax; and/or
wherein the at least one wax is a free radical curable wax.
 
11. The radiation curable phase change ink of any preceding claim, wherein the ink has a viscosity of greater than 104 to 107 centipoise at a temperature range of from 15°C to 50°C, and/or wherein the ink has a viscosity of greater than 105 centipoise at a temperature of less than 40 °C, and/or wherein the ink has a viscosity of greater than 2 to 22 centipoise at a temperature range of from 70°C to 95°C, and/or wherein the ink has a viscosity of less than 15 centipoise at a temperature of greater than 70 °C.
 
12. A process which comprises (I) incorporating into an ink jet printing apparatus radiation curable phase change ink comprising a white colorant; a colorant dispersant; and an ink vehicle comprising at least one curable monomer; and at least one rheology control agent; (II) melting the ink; (III) causing droplets of the melted ink to be ejected in an imagewise pattern onto a substrate; and (IV) exposing the imagewise pattern to ultraviolet radiation.
 
13. A process according to claim 12 wherein the substrate is a final recording sheet and droplets of the melted ink are ejected in an imagewise pattern directly onto the final recording sheet and the imagewise pattern on the final recording sheet is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, or
wherein the substrate is an intermediate transfer member and droplets of the melted ink are ejected in an imagewise pattern onto the intermediate transfer member followed by transfer of the imagewise pattern from the intermediate transfer member to a final recording sheet, and wherein the imagewise pattern on the final recording sheet is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, preferably wherein the intermediate transfer member is heated to a temperature above that of the final recording sheet and below that of the melted ink in the printing apparatus.
 
14. A process according to claim 12 or 13 wherein the rheology control agent gels to effect a rapid viscosity increase in the jetted ink upon the substrate, preferably wherein there is at least a 102.5 - fold increase in viscosity between the ink jetted in the liquid state and the ink on the substrate in the gel state.
 
15. A process according to any of claims 12 to 14, wherein the radiation curable phase change ink further comprising any of the features of claims 1 to 11.
 











REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description