Home Technology Intelligent paper arrives that can be erased and reused

Intelligent paper arrives that can be erased and reused

A new type of foil that can be printed, erased and reused several times could help to significantly reduce the consumption of ink and paper.

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One of the problems with these technologies is precisely that the texts and images that are reflected on these supports tend to fade in a short time. Other, that, in general, only allow to include monochrome motifs. Well, a group of researchers from different Chinese technology centers, coordinated by Qiang Zhao, an expert in organic electronics at the Nanking University of Post and Telecommunications, has designed a new type of paper and a special ink that, when used together, they not only make it possible to show images and texts in color on a single sheet several times, but also to last for more than six months.

Cheaper and eco-friendly

As they explain in a study in the journal  Nature Communications , after reusing one of these sheets eight times – a job they consider conservative – they have estimated that  the cost per impression of their system is approximately one fifth of the inkjet that currently They use many printers .

The support they have developed is a multilayer sheet composed of several polymers on which a chemical substance that reacts with the metallic salts used by the ink has been applied. When this happens, seven  different colors are produced. During the process, Zhao and his collaborators used a conventional injection printer. Images and texts can be deleted simply by adding another compound to the sheet.

This same team of experts has presented  another type of reusable paper that uses water as ink. The system, still in its early stages of development, only allows obtaining prints in one color, but reduces printing costs to one tenth of what is usual with the aforementioned injection system.

In their essay, the authors explain that, for centuries, paper has been the most important means to conserve data and extend civilization. “Although in the last two decades different electronic media have broken into our daily lives, it is still fundamental in the communication and dissemination of information, but its use has an important environmental impact,” they added. Now, they hope that their progress will help alleviate the ecological footprint of today’s printing systems.

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