Gearing up for drupa yet? At WhatTheyThink, we are. In fact, our drupa page is already up, so be sure to follow the news as the show gets closer! One of the areas worth investigating when you go to drupa is the developing area of advanced materials, whether it is resins for 3D printing, conductive inks, or advanced inkjet ink formulas.

Sun Chemical is a key provider of these materials and is increasingly turning to its Japanese parent company, the DIC Corporation, to expand the range of its offerings. We recently spoke with Mehran Yazdani, President of Sun Chemical’s Advanced Materials Group, to learn more about what Sun Chemical is doing in the area of advanced materials. In graphic arts, we primarily think of Sun Chemical with respect to its inks, but Yazdani is quick to point out that the company’s portfolio extends well beyond that.

“We are involved with technologies like electronic materials for smart packaging, antennas and sensors; technologies that are changing the world,” Yazdani said. “It is exciting to be at the forefront of materials development for these advanced applications. We are leveraging our own R&D and that of DIC to bring an ever-increasing range of materials and solutions to market.”

The advanced materials group is also working with resins and inkjet inks. “We are a major supplier of inks to the inkjet printer OEMs,” he adds. “We tailor our solutions, including inkjet inks, to the specific customer need, whether OEM or aftermarket. And these inks are not only for the graphic arts space, but also textiles, packaging and more.” The company is also actively involved in testing the interaction of inks and other materials with a variety of substrates in its sophisticated lab.

The Advanced Materials Group supports both Sun Chemical’s ink and pigment businesses, serving industries as diverse as graphic arts, paint & coatings, automotive, plastics, textiles, cosmetics and more. One example of electronic materials Sun Chemical is actively involved in is the conductive and other inks that are used to create solar panels.

Another area of growing interest for the Advanced Materials Group and its customers is smart packaging. Yazdani explains, “We have partnered with T+Ink to develop materials for the TouchCode application to bring an interactive packaging solution to market. This enables the printing of unique, but non-intrusive, codes on packaging that allow consumers to access additional information using their phones. This extends the brand owners package real estate without the need for unsightly barcodes. It can also be used to verify product authenticity, particularly important in pharmaceuticals.” He adds that smart packaging can also indicate whether a product is fresh, its source, and a wide range of other information in which consumers are increasingly interested.

He points out that DIC is a global leader in the production of resins for use in everything from coatings to plastics. “As we develop new inks or pigments for paints, plastics, ink, or inkjet,” he says, “we are leveraging DIC polymer technology to bring added value to customers. Particularly in areas like providing materials for 3D printers, we are hoping that by being engaged in an early stage of this market, we will have the opportunity to grow that part of our business as the 3D print market grows.”

Take a look here to learn more about Sun Chemical’s advanced materials business.  There’s a lot going on!