Hot Inkjet Printing (HIP) Technology for Nuclear Forensic Sample Labeling
Since the 1990s, numerous cases of illicit trafficking of nuclear materials have been reported. As a result, a new disciplinenuclear forensic sciencehas been developed to support tracking, testing, and forensic analysis of nuclear material. Obviously, nuclear forensic material samples are extremely valuable and must be safeguarded to avoid loss or misidentification, which drives the need for durable labeling that is compatible with computer barcode and RFID tracking systems. Unfortunately, current label printing technologies have limited durability and cannot be applied to substrates of interest including glass jars and polyethylene bags. To address these limitations, YewSavin, Inc. proposes a patent-sensitive Hot Inkjet Printing (HIP) technology (Figure 1) that combines commercial off-the-shelf handheld inkjet printing technology with a new class of UV-cured ink. UV light instantly activates and sets the jetted ink, which is a mixture of liquids that can include metal compounds tailored for durability, electrical conductivity, strength, and adhesion to a wide range of substrates over time and in austere environments. The UV system is also designed to minimize heating for compatibility with temperature-sensitive substrates like glass jars and polyethylene sample storage bags. Finally, the technology can print conventional barcode patterns and/or RFID tags for computer-aided sample tracking during nuclear forensic sample acquisition activities. The HIP process was invented by YewSavins founder, Dr. Makarand Gore the former Principal Scientist of HPs Inkjet Business Unit and inventor of HPs current family of commercial inkjet inks. During Phase I, Dr. Gore and his YewSavin team will work with its engineering subcontractor i2C Solutions, Inc to validate the HIP process through fabrication and testing of a proof-of-concept unit incorporating a commercially available handheld inkjet printer. Significant effort will be placed on development of liquid HIP ink that meets a minimum set of requirements for the nuclear forensics community to be established jointly with DOE, NNSA, and FBI stakeholders at the outset of the project. Durability tests will be conducted on substrates of interest and results will be used to define specific objectives of Phase II.
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