Inkjet technology is a printing technology used in large-format printers for engineering and graphics arts applications, desktops, fax machines, workgroup printers and several other industrial applications. Besides printing on paper, inkjet technology can be used for printing on metals, glass, plastics, fabrics, wall coverings and ceramics. The ink used in inkjet colorant contains resin, colorant, solvent and additives. Resin is the material that carries the dye or colorant. It also is responsible in making the ink adhere to the surface, be abrasion resistant and providing UV protection. The additives are responsible for adding flexibility, better flow, formation, and longer stability. The solvent determines the ink’s dry time and enables mixing of the other components.
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Some of the major driving factors of this market include rising demand for high performance pigments and growth in end user industries. The paints and coatings industry is recording significant growth due to growing printing industry. Printing ink is another application of the colorants market. The demand for printing ink is driven by various factors such as technological developments and increasing demand for digital inks. The popularity of digital cameras has hugely increased the demand for inkjet printers that can print photographs. Similarly, increased use of colored documents has intensified office demand for color printing, resulting in greater overall demand for high-speed and high-quality printing capability. However, raw material price volatility, its global over capacity and environmental concerns are expected to act as restraints for the inkjet colorants market. Some of the trends witnessed in this market are shifting of the manufacturing facilities from U.S. and Europe to India and China. Kao Corp, a specialty chemicals company from Japan, has developed inkjet colorants made of ultra-fine pigment particles encapsulated with a unique functional polymer for use in water-based inkjet ink. This technology offers excellent color reproduction achieved by giving the encapsulating polymer a high affinity to the cellulose fibers in the paper and by using compound colorants. This environment friendly innovation is an opportunity for the inkjet colorants market.
The inkjet colorant market has been segmented on the basis of product types – organic pigments (blues and greens, high performance pigments, azo and phthalocyanines), dyes (disperse dye , reactive dye, VAT dye, direct dye, sulfur dye, acid dye, basic dye and others), and inorganic pigments (iron oxide, titanium dioxide and others). It can be segmented based on the following applications: paints and coatings, textile, construction, printing inks and plastics, leather and paper among others. Irrespective of the solvent used, all inkjet colorants have to follow certain stringent criteria, which include - bright and vivid color, high solubility, heat resistance, bleeding resistance, light and water fastness, chemical resistance, low content of dielectric cations and anions, substrate sensitivity and low toxicity. In the inkjet colorants market, Asia-Pacific accounts for the largest share. This region is one of the key markets for dyes and pigments production. In the Asia-Pacific, India and China are the important countries contributing towards the growth of this market.
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The market is highly fragmented in nature. It has several small, medium and large players. Some of the key players in Inkjet Colorant market include BASF, Cabot Corp, Lanxess AG, DIC Corp, Kronos Worldwide Inc, Clariant International Ltd, Hongsam Digital Science & Technology Co. Ltd, Econuo Technology, Lanscend Industrial Ltd and Commart Co Ltd among others.
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