Dongkuk Steel has successfully integrated a digital inkjet printing technology with colored steel sheets. It allows photos to be printed on steel plates as they can be developed on paper.
The South Korean steel producer said on August 30 that it has developed specialty solvent inks for steel plates and exclusive machines as a result of a three-year long research.
The newly developed technology coats image of photos onto steel sheets by mixing four to seven colors in such a digital way as does an inkjet color printer connected to the computer, and then spaying them on them.
As the existing printing technology uses ultraviolet curable inks, it has caused some problems, including discoloration and corrosion of steel plates, when applied to building exterior materials. Weather-resistant water soluble inks have relatively low resolution so that it is hard to deliver precise images in them.
The new technology is expected to be widely utilized on such multiple things as photo frames, mouse pads, and fire doors in the market. The company plans to explore a variety of markets for home appliances as well as interior/exterior materials by developing functional finish paints as well in the future.