The benefits of polybutene in inks

The addition of polybutenes can control the rheological properties of inks, resulting in improved processing and print image. Traditionally used naphthenic oil carriers used in printing inks can be replaced by polybutenes and have been used to improve the image quality and feel of carbon papers.

The viscosity of the inkjet composition may be modulated by suitable solvent blends. Suitable solvent blends for viscosity adjustment may be based on Polybut™ 10, a standard grade polybutene with intermediate viscosity which is often used to adjust the viscosity of the ink composition; other Kemat Polybut™ grades may be suitable as well depending on the target properties of the ink.

Polybutenes can be used in preparing ink followers that aid in uniform flow of ink in gel and ballpoint pens. Ink followers, also known as ‘grease plugs’ are generally employed in ballpoint pens containing inks of low viscosity. Typically, ink followers are composed of a liquid which is thickened to a grease-like consistency via the use of a thickener. Ink follower compositions include a non-polar liquid that is a mixture of high molecular weight polybutene and low molecular weight polybutene, the high molecular weight polybutene having a number average molecular weight greater than about 900 and the low molecular weight polybutene having a number average molecular weight of about 500, the ratio of high molecular weight polybutene to low molecular weight polybutene being at least 2:1; a thickener and a polar additive. The polar additive is water or a non-ionic surfactant, e.g., ethoxylated nonylphenol.

KEMAT provides the largest range of viscosities combining the Polybut™ polybutenes with the Polybol™ medium and high molecular polyisobutenes including grades with very narrow MW distributions for coatings applications.

Additionally, Kemat offers a unique and novel series of water-based emulsions of polybutenes and polyisobutenes, Polybut™ EM, offering formulators to include polybutenes and polyisobutenes in water-based inks.

Key Properties Kemat Polybut & Polybol products

  • low conductivity and high viscoelasticity
  • excellent rheological properties
  • viscosity modification for most colour systems

Key Applications

  • inkjet inks
  • solvent-based pigmented ceramic inks
  • water-repellent inks