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Method and means for magnetically transferring indicia to a coating composition applied on a substrate

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Method and means for magnetically transferring indicia to a coating composition applied on a substrate


The invention concerns a device for magnetically transferring indicia, such as a design or an image, to a wet coating layer applied on a substrate, such as a sheet or a web, wherein the said coating layer comprises at least one type of magnetic or magnetizable particles; said device comprising a) at least one magnetized permanent-magnetic plate (2) carrying relief, engravings or cut-outs, mounted such that its relief surface remains accessible, b) at least one additional magnet (3), disposed below said at least one permanent-magnetic plate, facing the surface of the magnetic plate which is opposite to the relief, engraving or cut-out, and c) a holder (1), which has the mechanical function to hold the pieces together in fixed positions. A method for producing the device, the use of the device, and magnetically induced designs obtained with the device, which are useful for protecting currency, value—and identity documents, are disclosed as well.
Related Terms: Currency Designs

Browse recent Sicpa Holdings S.a. patents - Prilly, CH
USPTO Applicaton #: #20140008906 - Class: 283 82 (USPTO) -
Printed Matter > Having Revealable Concealed Information, Fraud Preventer Or Detector, Use Preventer Or Detector, Or Identifier >In Incorporated Magnetic Material

Inventors: Mathieu Schmid, Claude-alain Despland, Pierre Degott, Edgar Muller

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140008906, Method and means for magnetically transferring indicia to a coating composition applied on a substrate.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/917,945, which is the National Stage of International Application No. PCT/EP2007/059818, filed Sep. 18, 2007, which claims priority to European Application No. 06122467.1, filed Oct. 17, 2006. The disclosure of application Ser. Nos. 11/917,945 and PCT/EP2007/059818 are expressly incorporated by reference herein in their entireties.

The invention is in the field of security document printing. It concerns improvements to a device for the transferring of a security design into a magnetic ink layer, in particular a color-shifting magnetic ink layer.

Markings exhibiting viewing-angle dependent color effects (“optically variable devices”, OVDs) are used as an efficient anti-copy means on bank notes and security documents. Among the OVDs, optically variable inks (OVI®); EP 227,423 B1) have acquired a preeminent position since their first introduction on currency back in 1987. Optically variable inks are formulated on the basis of optically variable pigment (OVP), a preferred type of OVP being the thin-film optical interference flakes described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,705,300; U.S. Pat. No. 4,705,356; U.S. Pat. No. 4,721,217; U.S. Pat. No. 4,779,898; U.S. Pat. No. 4,930,866; U.S. Pat. No. 5,084,351 and in related disclosures. Other useful types of OVP comprise the multiply coated particles described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,624,486 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,607,504, and the thin film cholesteric (i.e. chiral-nematic) liquid crystal pigments described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,807,497 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,824,733.

Optically variable printed features on security documents, e.g. bank notes, are primarily aimed for the authentication of the document by the unaided human eye, through an examination of the optically variable feature\'s color at two or more different angles of view, i.e. at least at a near-orthogonal and at a near-grazing view. Said angle-dependent color is a simple message of authenticity, which cannot be reproduced by photocopying machines, and which can rapidly and easily be checked by the man on the street.

In a previous disclosure, published as WO 2005/002866 A1, included herein by reference, applicant proposed an improvement to optically variable printed security elements, which consists in a specific, high-resolution orientation of magnetic optically variable pigment particles in a coating layer in the printing process, using a particular magnetic orientation device.

Magnetic optically variable pigments which can be used for this purpose have been disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,838,648; in EP 686,675 B1; as well as, preferably, in WO 02/73250 A2 and in WO 03/00801 A2.

Methods and devices for the orientation of magnetic particles in coating layers have been disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,676,273; U.S. Pat. No. 3,791,864; EP 406,667 B1; EP 556,449 B1; EP 710,508 A1; WO 02/90002 A2; none of these documents, however, gives an indication to the skilled man about how a high-resolution magnetic orientation pattern can be transferred into a magnetic coating layer in a high-speed printing process.

The applications WO 2004/007095 A2,A3 and WO 2004/007096 A2,A3 disclose the orientation of magnetic pigment flakes in a coating layer, to produce esthetically appealing, bright optically variable designs, which, albeit flat, show a smooth variation of color and reflectivity, reminiscent of a 3-dimensional object. These coatings and the related effects can be obtained in a high-speed printing process. A drawback of these methods and devices is, however, that they do not allow for the transfer of a high-resolution design into the magnetic coating layer.

The device of WO 2005/002866 A1, on the other hand, allows to transfer a high-resolution magnetic orientation pattern into an optically variable magnetic coating layer. A major drawback therein is, however, the lacking esthetics of the resulting image, which has a dull visual appearance. This is a direct consequence of the perpendicular orientation of the magnetic pigment flakes, with respect to the printed substrate plane, over a large part of the oriented coating layer, as resulting from the perpendicular magnetization which is required in the said magnetic orientation device.

The technical problem of orienting plate-like magnetic pigment particles in a coating layer, so that the resulting design exhibits highly resolved, sharp features, as well as a bright overall appearance, has not been resolved up to now.

A need therefore exists for an improved magnetic orientation device, which allows for the transfer of bright and high-resolution designs or images, through the magnetic orientation of pigment particles, into an optically variable magnetic coating layer. The device should furthermore be reliable, easy to implement, and able to function at high printing speed.

The stated technical problem is solved, according to the independent claims, by a combination of a magnetic plate having surface relief, engravings or cut-outs with additional magnetic elements. The present invention furthermore addresses the problem of realizing customer-specific high-resolution magnetic designs on a printed article in an easy-to-implement and highly reliable way.

In the context of the present disclosure, the term ‘magnetic’ refers to a material which is itself a source of a magnetic field. The term ‘magnetizable’ refers to a material which reacts to a magnetic field, without being a source of it.

The magnetic orientation device of the present invention comprises at least one permanent-magnetic plate, having an accessible surface carrying a relief, engravings or cut-outs, such as disclosed in WO 2005/002866 A1, and at least one additional magnet, which may be a permanent magnet or an electromagnet, disposed underneath the said relief magnetic plate or plates, i.e. facing the magnetic plate\'s surface which is opposed to the relief surface, e.g. such as schematically depicted in FIG. 1. The at least one magnetic plate and the at least one additional magnet or magnets are mechanically fixed in a holder.

The said relief permanent-magnetic plate is herein magnetized in a direction which is approximately perpendicular to the relief surface, and the said relief causes local perturbations of its magnetic field, such as disclosed in WO 2005/002866 A1. The relief surface may furthermore be flat or curved. The said additional magnet or magnets can have the same or different magnetization directions, which may coincide or not with the magnetization direction of the relief magnetic plate. As stated before, the permanent-magnetic plate may carry a relief, an engraving or cut-outs, or combinations thereof. A cut-out magnetic plate can be seen as an extreme variant of an engraving, wherein the depth of engraving equals the thickness of the plate. As is understood by the skilled man, a cut-out magnetic plate may need to be mounted on a support, in order to maintain the mutual arrangement of its different parts. The relief plate can furthermore be obtained by all methods known to the skilled man, such as material ablation, molding, polymerization, etc.

Inventors have found that, for obtaining the effects of the invention, the relief magnetic plate and the said additional magnet or magnets must in all case be assembled in a “forced way”, i.e. in mutual positions which are different from the positions they would adopt by their natural magnetic attraction.

In the context of the present disclosure, a curved surface is defined as a surface which is only curved in a first dimension, and which is not curved in a second dimension perpendicular to the said first dimension. Approximately perpendicular is to be understood as not deviating more than 30° from the normal direction to the surface.

The magnetic orientation device comprises thus a) at least one magnetized permanent-magnetic plate (2) carrying relief, engravings or cut-outs, mounted such that its relief surface remains accessible, b) at least one additional magnet (3), disposed below said at least one permanent-magnetic plate, facing the surface of the magnetic plate which is opposite to the relief, and c) a holder (1), which has the mechanical function to hold the pieces together in fixed positions.

The said at least one additional magnet may be of a permanent magnetic material, such as cobalt, iron and their alloys, chromium dioxide, generic magnetic oxide spinels, generic magnetic garnets, generic magnetic ferrites including the hexaferrites such as calcium-, strontium-, and barium-hexaferrite (CaFe12O19, SrFe12O19, BaFe12O19, respectively) , generic alnico alloys, generic samarium-cobalt (SmCo) alloys, and generic rare-earth-iron-boron alloys (such as NdFeB), as well as the permanent-magnetic chemical derivatives thereof (such as indicated by the term generic) and mixtures including them. It may further be of a polymer-bonded composite magnetic material. Further to this, the magnet may be embodied as an electromagnet, comprising an electric current coil, such as known to the skilled man.

The magnet may also comprise auxiliary magnetizable material, which is present to guide the magnetic field. In case of an electromagnet, the magnetizable material may be an iron core or the like, whose poles are shaped to the desired form and size.

The said at least one additional magnet is magnetized either perpendicular to, or, alternatively, along the magnetization direction of the said relief magnetic plate, or, in case, even along any arbitrary magnetization direction, depending on the technical requirements imposed by a particular magnetic design.

The said at least one additional magnet can also be embodied by a plurality of magnets, having aligned magnetization, mutually opposed magnetization, arbitrary magnetization or any combination thereof.

The magnetic orientation device according to the present invention can be used to produce magnetically induced images (indicia) in coatings comprising magnetic or magnetizable particles, preferably magnetic optically variable pigments.

The process of assembling the magnetic orientation device of the present invention comprises the commutable steps of a) fixing at least one magnetized permanent-magnetic plate (2), carrying surface relief, engravings or cut-outs, in a holder (1) such that its relief surface remains accessible, and b) fixing at least one additional magnet (3) in said holder (1) such that it faces the surface of the magnetic plate which is opposite to the relief, and that the mutual positions of magnet and plate are different from the positions they would adopt by their natural magnetic interaction.

The magnetic orientation device can be part of a printing machine or of other industrial equipment; in particular it can be mounted on a rotating cylinder, in order to allow for high-speed serial operation in sheet fed or continuous roll-to-roll printing processes.

The process of producing a magnetically oriented design or image comprises the sequential steps of a) applying a coating layer (I) onto a first surface of a flat substrate or web (S), said coating comprising magnetized or magnetizable particles; b) while the coating is wet, exposing the coating to the relief surface of the magnetic orientation device according to the present invention, hereby orienting the magnetic or magnetizable particles in the coating; c) hardening the oriented coating layer, hereby permanently fixing the magnetically induced image; wherein said exposing is performed by bringing said coating into close proximity of said relief surface, or by bringing a second surface of the substrate (S), opposite to the said first surface carrying said coating, into contact with said relief surface.

wet coating, in the context of the present disclosure, means a coating composition, applied to a substrate in a pasty or liquid form, which is not yet hardened or cured.

The coating can be applied to the substrate as known by the skilled man, e.g. by screen-printing, rotogravure printing, flexographic printing, intaglio printing, bar coating, and by still other coating processes, using the corresponding inks. The preferred application method is screen-printing, using particularly designed inks, which are disclosed in a co-pending application of the same applicant, EP06113891.3 (Dec. 5, 2006).

The hardening (curing) step can be performed as known to the skilled man, e.g. through physical drying (evaporation of solvent), UV-curing, electron beam curing, heat-set, oxypolymerization, by combinations thereof, or still by other curing mechanisms. Preferred in the context of the present invention is curing by UV-irradiation, which is rapid and inexpensive.

The magnetically oriented design produced according to the present invention in a coating layer comprising magnetic or magnetizable particles, preferably optically variable magnetic pigment particles, can be used as a security element on bank notes, value documents, identity documents, cards, tax stamps and the like, as well as for product security applications.

Exemplary embodiments of the preferred optically variable pigments are those of the 5-layer type described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,838,648, e.g. Cr/MgF2/M/MgF2/Cr, or of the 7-layer type described in WO 02/73250, e.g. Cr/MgF2/Al/M/Al/MgF2/Cr, as known to the skilled man. Herein, ‘M’ stands for a magnetic material. The metal/dielectric/metal (Cr/MgF2/M, respectively Cr/MgF2/Al) Fabry-Pérot stacks provide for color and angle-dependent color shift, and the magnetic central layer (M) provides for the magnetic properties.

In consequence, a Security element for the protection of bank notes, value documents, identity documents, cards, tax stamps, labels, windows, foils, threads, carrying a magnetically oriented design or image produced according to the present invention is claimed as well.

Furthermore, a security document such as a bank note, a value document, an identity document, a card, a tax stamp, a label, or a product security application, carrying a magnetically oriented design or image produced according to the present invention is also claimed.

A further advantage of the device according to the present invention is that the indicia to be transferred can be defined at will by an appropriate choice of the relief and the constellation of the underlying magnets. The device can be realized using any mechanically workable permanent-magnetic material, such as permanent-magnetic composite materials, comprising a brittle permanent magnetic powder in a malleable metal- or polymer-matrix. Furthermore, the device can most easily be implemented as an relief in a polymer-bonded body of permanent-magnetic material (Plastoferrite). A further advantage of the device is that it is fully customizable, as to the nature of the relief design and of the additional magnet arrangement.

A polymer-bonded body of magnetic material, in the context of the present disclosure, is a composite material comprising a rubber- or plastic-like polymer as a structural binder, and a permanent-magnetic powder material as an extender or ‘filler’. Preferred polymer binders include rubber-type flexible materials such as nitrile rubber, Nordel® (EPDM hydrocarbon rubber), and Natsyn® (poly-isoprene), as well as Nylon 6 (poly-caprolactam), Nylon 12 (poly-laurolactam), polyamide, poly-phenylene sulfide (PPS), epoxy resins, and Hypalon® (chlorosulfonated polyethylene).

Preferred permanent magnetic powder materials include cobalt, iron and their alloys, chromium dioxide, generic magnetic oxide spinels, generic magnetic garnets, generic magnetic ferrites including the hexaferrites such as calcium-, strontium-, and barium-hexaferrite (CaFe12O19, SrFe12O19, BaFe12O19, respectively), generic alnico alloys, generic samarium-cobalt (SmCo) alloys, and generic rare-earth-iron-boron alloys (such as NdFeB), as well as the permanent-magnetic chemical derivatives thereof (such as indicated by the term generic) and mixtures including them. Polymer-bonded bodies of magnetic materials are obtainable from many different sources, such as from Group ARNOLD (Plastiform®) or from Materiali Magnetici, Albairate, Milano, IT (Plastoferrite). Alternatively, specifically engineered polymer/magnet composites can be used.

The said magnetic powder material can either be magnetically isotropic or magnetically anisotropic. In the case of magnetically anisotropic powder materials, the magnetic powder particles are preferably oriented in the matrix or binder so as to determine a preferred direction of magnetization, chosen perpendicular to the extended surface of the magnetic sheet carrying said relief. Isotropic polymer-bonded bodies of magnetic materials, in turn, can be magnetized equally well in all directions.

Bodies of permanent-magnetic composite materials advantageously combine the desirable magnetic properties (high coercivity) of the otherwise brittle and not well workable ferrite, Alnico, rare-earth or still other magnets with the desirable mechanical properties (flexibility, machine-ability, shock-resistance) of a malleable metal or a plastic material.

The body of a magnetic composite material can be obtained in any desired size and form, e.g. as a thin, flexible plate which can be bent and mechanically worked, e.g. cut to size or shape, using commonly available mechanical ablation tools and machines, as well as air or liquid jet ablation, or laser ablation tools. The relief of the body of composite permanent-magnetic material may be achieved by any way and method known in the art, by molding, by hand-engraving, by mechanical engraving machines, as well as by computer-controlled engraving stations which, furthermore, may produce the engraving either with the help of mechanical tools, or with gaseous or liquid jets of abrasives, or through laser-ablation, using e.g. CO2—, Nd-YAG or excimer lasers.

As is understood by the skilled man, the permanent-magnetic plate can also be cut or molded to a particular size and shape, rather than engraved. Holes may be cut out of it, or cut-out pieces may be assembled on a support. Furthermore, it is also understood that there must not be any predetermined size relation between the at least one magnetic plate and the at least one additional magnets underneath.

According to the invention, a sheet- or plate-like body of a composite permanent-magnetic material, preferably an aniso-tropically oriented one, is engraved or molded and magnetized preferably in a direction substantially perpendicular to the relief surface of the sheet. In the context of the present disclosure, substantially perpendicular means a direction which is not deviating more than 30° from perpendicular direction, and substantially parallel means a direction which is not deviating more than 30° from parallel direction.

According to the invention, user-defined indicia are engraved, cut or molded into at least one surface of the said body of permanent-magnetic composite material. The relief generation can hereby take place either before or after the magnetization operation. The relief must be sufficiently deep, in order to create a significant perturbation of the local magnetic field at the surface. Said perturbation of the local magnetic field, which is due to a local lacking of magnetic material, manifests itself in a downward-bending of the magnetic field lines into the lower parts of the relief, which, in turn, correspondingly orient magnetic particles in a wet coating layer on a printed item, when this layer is brought into sufficient proximity of the device, e.g. placed on top of the relief magnetic device.

The invention can be practiced on any type of imprintable sheet or web material, in particular on the materials used for producing a bank note, a value paper, an official document, a tax excise stamp, a label, a foil, a thread or a decal. The imprintable sheet or web material may further be of paper or of polymer (such as PE, PP or PVC), and it may comprise a single layer, as well as a plurality of layers.

EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

The invention is now further explained with the help of the figures and some exemplary embodiments.

FIG. 1 schematically depicts an embodiment of the device of the invention: a holder (1) comprises a relief magnetic plate (2) having vertical magnetization and an additional magnet (3) having horizontal magnetization.

FIG. 2 schematically depicts an alternative embodiment of the device of the invention: the device comprises two additional magnets (3a, 3b) having horizontal magnetization and opposed poles.

FIG. 3 schematically depicts an alternative embodiment of the device of the invention: the device comprises two additional magnets (3a, 3b) having vertical magnetization and alternating poles.

FIG. 4 schematically depicts an alternative embodiment of the device of the invention: the device comprises two additional magnets (3a, 3b) having vertical magnetization and opposed poles; the poles are also opposed to those of the magnetic plate.

FIG. 5 schematically depicts an alternative embodiment of the device of the invention: the device comprises two relief magnetic plates (2a, 2b) having vertical magnetization and alternating poles and an additional magnet (3) having horizontal magnetization, whose poles are opposed to those of the magnetic plate.

FIG. 6 schematically depicts an alternative embodiment of the device of the invention: the device comprises a manifold of additional magnets (3), disposed along the viewing direction, whose poles are partly opposed.

FIG. 7 schematically depicts an alternative embodiment of the device of the invention: the device comprises two additional magnets (3), disposed along the viewing direction, whose poles are aligned.

FIG. 8 schematically depicts an alternative embodiment of the device of the invention: the device comprises two additional magnets (3), disposed along the viewing direction, whose poles are opposed.

FIG. 9 shows a top view of an embodiment of a holder (1), cut from aluminum and designed to be mounted on a rotating drum of a printing machine. The holder can take up, in a lower plane, two permanent magnets of section 10×30 mm, and in an upper plane, a relief permanent magnetic plate of section 40×30 mm.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140008906 A1
Publish Date
01/09/2014
Document #
14022932
File Date
09/10/2013
USPTO Class
283 82
Other USPTO Classes
427547, 428207, 428 29
International Class
/
Drawings
9


Currency
Designs


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