Printer Inks

Types of Ink Used in Printers

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Introduced in the 1980s, the inkjet printer has grown in popularity and performance. A printer is considered inkjet if it drops ink droplets into a paper to form an image. The dots will be as low as 60 microns in diameter. They will be precisely positioned to work at resolutions of 1440*720 dpi and will have different color combinations to create quality images.

Inkjet printers have cartridges and will often need small adjustments to allow their large-format laminator to produce a variety of results. Note that different ink combinations will determine factors, like outdoor durability, fade resistance, production costs, and environmental concerns. Here are some types of ink used in printing signboards:

Water-based ink

Here, tiny molecules of dye are mixed with water to form this ink, which soaks in the paper. The result is a brilliant combination of saturated colors. These dye molecules will not cause light to scatter. However, the ink will fade fast if exposed to UV light. A microporous paper will result in UV-filtering. Dye ink is not waterproof, so a print can run, smudge, or smear. Even after it has dried, one will need to protect their signboard from moisture and humidity. Since dye inks will flow smoothly through the nozzle, they are cheap and used in printing photos that belong in an album.

Eco-solvent ink

Solvent ink will have color pigments mixed with a chemical solvent. They are often used for uncoated applications and outdoor graphics. Solvents will typically have VOCs, making them a safety concern. Printing shops will often need specialized ventilation if they use this type of ink. A newer alternative of the solvent ink has the solvents suspended in mineral oil to make the ink eco-friendly. Such solvents are not toxic, but they will have trouble sticking to vinyl. Using eco-friendly solvent inks will need one to have air scrubbers.

UV-cure inks

Specialized Printer Ink

The ink chemistry in this ink results in an elastic polymer that can withstand UV light. As such, signboards made with this ink will be fade-resistant. Since the inks are cured, they will dry instantly when printed. They can work on both coated and uncoated media. When intended for outdoor uses, they demand lamination or other clear coats for protection. Printers using this ink will run at high speeds. Uncured inks will release chemicals in the air since they dry slowly through evaporation. If you have to choose, cured inks are the best in line with worker security.

Latex ink

This kind of ink will use wetting agents like water, humectants, and other additives to attach to the printing media. It creates a polymer that is resistant to heat. If prints are un-laminated, latex ink will last up to five years and longer indoors. Latex inks are not combustible, toxic or flammable. They do not need labels or special handling conditions.

Printers work with two leading technologies. Impact technologies touch the paper to create images. Non-impact technologies will not need to contact the paper, and inkjet printers fall under this category.

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