Web edition: March 20, 2013
Print edition: April 6, 2013; Vol.183 #7 (p. 4)
A new printing invention, electrostatic printing, is expected to have a major impact on the nation’s second largest industry because good quality and inexpensive impressions can be made on virtually any material, from building bricks to fresh fruits and vegetables. In the new process dry ink particles instead of wet ink are screened onto the material to be printed. The particles are attracted to the object or surface by an electrically charged backing plate. The design or image to be printed forms the other electrode plate in the system. The ink particles are then fused permanently on the surface by heat or chemical treatment. The equipment involved is simple and lightweight compared with conventional printing presses.