Inks for marking

of press hardening parts

Development of ink formulations for heat-resistant marking of press hardened parts for deformation analysis

Development Project 2019 - 2022

Development of new ink formulations for high temperature resistant screening with new ink auxiliaries and fillers, chemical ink formulation and development of the reactive ink components for high temperature printing stability. The deformation analysis in the production of high quality press hardened parts in the industry is an important quality indicator for the production process. Today, this test can only be performed with a very high, time-consuming manual process due to the temperatures during the pressing process of more than 950 °C, because there are no printable inks that can withstand these temperatures and the mechanical abrasion in the pressing tool. In the present R&D project, this gap is closed by developing an ink formulation that reacts with the metal surface at high temperature (approx. 900 °C and higher) and leaves an exact pattern that can still be recognised and automatically evaluated after hot forming and subsequent quenching (press hardening) in the press tool. As a result, this quality test can be integrated into the press hardening process for the first time worldwide and ensure highly effective quality assurance. The process of deformation analysis is automated and digitalised for the first time and thus significantly shortened.

But it is not only the ink formulation that has to be developed at great expense, but also the associated printer technology that has to be completely reinvented, because the ink cocktail has a highly chemical structure and has to be treated precisely. The ink tanks, filters, pumps and hose lines have to be developed anew, as does the print head. The pilot application is also used to redesign the process of deformation analysis, which can run automatically for the first time, and thus for the first time provide reliable information about the quality of the production process in the shortest possible time without having to interrupt it. This is an innovation that production experts have been waiting for for a long time.   The newly developed printer including the new ink is marketed by the company Frank Gärtner Beschriftungstechnik and offered through the existing sales organisation. The company Octopus Fluids GmbH & Co. KG will also market the newly developed ink through its own sales organisation. Likewise, both partners will offer the new mould changing process to all production companies that produce with press hardening technology. In addition, the Institut für Korrosionsschutz Dresden GmbH and the Technische Universität Dresden will use the results of the development for teaching and research and publish them.