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You will find information related to this major project, which is innovative, high added value printed materials into a sustainable development project via the application of nanotechnology and thin films.


Brief description of the project


The project proposed by the Quebec Institute of Graphic Communications (QIGC), with the financial support of the NSERC, consists of developing a technology and expertise platform for the application of nanotechnologies and thin layers to the printing industry. The aim of the platform is to create innovative, high added value printed materials that fit into a sustainable development framework.


The proposed platform is in fact an extension of the applied research projects undertaken by the Institute over the past few years to develop innovative printed products.

Having made new and less expensive value-added processes more widely available to SMEs or transferred to the print world existing and proven technologies from other sectors for over 15 years, the QIGC realized that in future the application of new technologies not yet used in the printing industry would be the only way to support enterprises' current and future needs in terms of innovation. For five years now, the QIGC has therefore been conducting several projects to apply nanotechnologies and thin layers to printed material, both in-house and with industrial partners via projects initiated by them. Examples of projects that the QIGC is involved in include:

  • an applied research project (in its third year now) to create a printing material based on cellulose nanocrystals and develop printed applications;
  • the first phase (over a one-year period) of an applied research project consisting of depositing a coating capable of receiving a barrier layer ultra-resistant to moisture and oxygen, ultimately with a view to developing dynamic printed material based on OLED technology; and
  • a project (over one-year period) to replace ITO-precoated PET films with standard PET films on which a layer of an ITO substitute, with the same properties as ITO for electronic applications, is deposited using printing technology.

These projects have given the QIGC the opportunity to foresee the scientific and technical challenges posed by the application of nanotechnologies and thin layers to printed material. It is therefore now essential that the QIGC strengthens its applied research capacity.


Overview of the applied research conducted as part of this project:


Development of printed applications:

1/ electronic applications to make printed content dynamic; and

2/ non-electronic applications with printed functionalities (security components, indicators or sensors).


Implementation of two projects:

a/ a dynamic print, successively reproducing information on a flexible plastic substrate that can be printed on a web press; and

b/ a color print, limiting the counterfeiting risk, produced with an NCC (nanocrystalline cellulose) printing material.

The short term will see the development of a/ a conductive printing material as a substitute for ITO (indium tin oxide), to produce printed electronics on web presses and b/ a sustainable NCC printing material capable of replacing the four usual inks.

In the long term, there will be the adaptation and development of a/ other printing consumables and processes required for the production of dynamic prints on a web press and b/ printing technologies required for coating NCC printing material.

The main activities planned are knowledge acquisition via the development of new technologies and innovative products; technology transfer to industry to encourage necessary innovation and job creation; and knowledge transfer to students and teachers/researchers at Ahuntsic College.


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