Document security developments

Newly developed infrared absorbing ink-jet inks in ANY Security Printing Company PLC.

The Document Security Laboratory of ANY Security Printing Company PLC developed a new type of the ink-jet ink product family in 2007. Unlike conventional inks, the new inks have absorbing features in the near infrared range. Therefore, they can be successfully used as document or product protection solutions.

As the commercially available color ink-jet inks and black ’photo-inks’ do not absorb in the near infrared range, inks developed with different features can provide proper protection against counterfeiting. Additionally, it is worth considering that the use of infrared image converting devices as verification tools is not so well known as the UV lamps used to verify fluorescence.

The new ink family is available in yellow, magenta and cyan colors, but other direct colors can be mixed as well. Ink recipes were developed for Canon printers operating with BCI-6 and CLI-8 ink cartridges, but they can be converted to other printer types as well.

Possible areas of use

The inks in themselves are suitable for the the adequate level protection of documents to be printed with water-based inks, for example for printing of passport data pages or machine readable zones (MRZ) of other documents. As far as we know, the machine readable zones are printed only in black color nowadays in order to guarantee the proper optical feature of the print. As a result of our development, this can be ensured with color prints as well from now on. Counterfeits made with color printer or copy machines can be filtered out during the data processing implemented by IR reader and there is no need for additional verification of the origin.

Metamer ink-jet ink pairs may be applied as well, the colors of which are identical in the visible range, but they act differently in the near infrared range. One of the inks absorbs in the IR range, while the other does not absorb. As a result, the print made with joint application of the inks cannot be reproduced by photocopying and various latent graphic elements and information can be placed on the print.

The use of this technology is very simple but highly efficient. For instance, the place of barcodes printed on a paper can be covered by such an ink which has minimal absorption in the infrared range. The barcode itself is printed with another ink which absorbs in the infrared range. The two ‘colors’ are almost identical in the visible territory, so the copy machines cannot make a distinction between them. A rectangle appears on the copy which contains no information. Contrarily, the data carried by the original print can be detected and processed by an appropriate infrared barcode reader.