The University of Southampton

Novel environmentally friendly advertising display uses low power electrostatics and recyclable ink

Published: 19 February 2015

The Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL) at the University of Southampton has developed a novel electrostatic technique for the SPABRINK Eu project partnership. The project uses dielectrophoretic forces produced at the surface of a polymer foil to pin coloured ink powder particles in position to form an image.

According to Project Leader Balázs Ring of ATEKNEA Solutions Ltd,, Hungary, “The SPABRINK project uses an innovative combination of existing and new technologies. The technology will allow remotely controlled printing of large area adverts like bill boards. The printed image can be wiped off and the ink can be reused after separation. The end result is a new advertising tool that is controlled remotely to display different images periodically without creating waste. It will only use energy during image change and could be powered by a battery and solar panel”.

The SPABRINK technology uses a seven coloured powder printer deposited onto an electrostatic surface through a novel piezoelectric ceramic printing head developed by CERC (Hungary). A special electrode structure in the foil creates intense electrostatic fields at the surface to pin the powder in position on a vertical surface for viewing. The goal of this project is to produce a cost effective and environmentally friendly Real-time Outdoor Media tool which can give the same visual effect as a paper based billboard, but without the use of pre-printed paper with one-time-use ink and glue. The SPABRINK consortium includes includes four media partners Studio Itinerante Arquitectura S.L. (SIARQ), ImpactMedia S A, X-Treme Holding BV and Index Kommunikációs Kft. (Hungary) who will market and use the technology.

Professor Paul Lewin of TDHVL said “This project has presented a range of unusual challenges that have been successfully tackled by the Southampton team; our expertise in high voltage engineering and electrostatic phenomena has contributed to the development of a novel printing technology that could find wide application around the world.”

A prototype SPABRINK display board is now in production at ATEKNEA Solutions Ltd, Budapest, Hungary.

Acknowledgement This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 605299.

Articles that may also interest you

Share this article FacebookTwitterWeibo