Titanium dioxide is classified by its production processes. The sulfate process uses sulfuric acid to treat the feedstock, while chloride uses chlorine. The resulting products differ in their characteristics.
Throughout the years, when the ink industry has looked to purchase titanium dioxide, it has invariably selected sulfate-processed products instead of chloride-based pigments, primarily because the chloride-producing TiO2 companies had an abrasion level that was too high for printing equipment.
This is changing now, as The Chemours Company, one of the world’s largest chloride-processing titanium dioxide producers, is now serving the inks industry with its Ti-Pure™ TS-4657 TiO2. The company reports that Ti-Pure™ TS-4657 is a whiter, brighter grade of TiO2, which will provide ink formulators with better colors and performance, at an abrasion level comparable to sulfate grades.
Pablo Aragon, global business development director, coatings and specialties for The Chemours Company, noted that Ti-Pure™ TS-4657 is ideal for packaging, as the whiter shades of TiO2 will make the packaging stand out better. “The chloride process produces brighter grades of titanium dioxide,” Aragon noted. “This helps to print in a broader color palette and makes the colors pop.”
“The inks industry is a market that is growing faster than other coatings,” Aragon noted. “Ti-Pure™ TS-4657 is designed for water- and solvent-based flexo, gravure and digital inks. This is the first grade we designed specifically for the inks market, and is designed for flexo, gravure and digital inks, and can also be used for indirect food packaging.”
Abrasion has been one of the challenges for chloride-processed titanium dioxide suppliers in the past. Higher abrasion levels can wear down printing equipment. Ted Sikorski, global communications leader (Titanium Technologies) at The Chemours Company, noted that Ti-Pure™ TS-4657 overcomes this problem, pointing to Daetwyler Abrasion Test results that show Ti-Pure™ TS-4657 on a par with standard sulfate grades of TiO2.
“For ink manufacturers, we now offer chloride-based titanium dioxide pigments that are low abrasion and are also brighter and whiter than sulfate,” Sikorski added.
The Chemours Company is well positioned to serve global inks manufacturers. The company has 28 offices worldwide and nine R&D facilities globally. Ti-Pure™ titanium dioxide is produced in four manufacturing plants, two in the U.S., one in Mexico and one in Taiwan.
Sikorski noted that the chloride process will lead to better consistency with TiO2. “The main difference is that chloride is a continuous process, which leads to a more consistent product,” he said. “Sulfate is a batch process, which has more variability.”
Typically, chloride processed titanium dioxide is more costly, which can be a problem for packaging products. Aragon said that The Chemours Company has overcome this challenge. “One of our big solutions is getting the cost of performance ratio in line with sulfate,” he observed.
“We offer very attractive performance at the right cost,” Sikorski added.
So far, the initial results have been excellent, according to Aragon.
“We have started sampling and testing with the top ink producers worldwide, and have received good feedback,” Aragon concluded.
To learn more about Ti-Pure™ TS-4657 and request a sample,
please visit Ti-pure.com/inks.
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