C: The 5 Main Types Of Inks
This section forms the main meat of our article. Here we take an in-depth look at the five main types of inkjet inks. Namely, solvent, eco-solvent inks, UV, dye & latex inks.
Well discuss each of these inks advantages and see which segment/application they cater to. I will also attempt to list the costs and level of expertise needed to work with these different ink systems.
Now, if you are in a hurry, just click here to view a chart listing the main differences between these inks.
Also, if youve worked with large sized printers before, you can skip the first section, explaining the workings of the same. Feel free to jump straight to the write-up on inkjet inks composition.
But I recommend that you read on, and I promise that youll discover some pretty interesting tidbits about the printing world.
Additional Benefits Of Exclusive To Uv Ink Technology
An operator can configure UV printers with additional colours like clear ink and opaque white ink. This opens up new product lines for the print vendor, along with new revenue streams.
UV machines can also be used to create prints with a raised, embossed effect.
These additional capabilities are not possible on other ink systems like eco solvents or latex machines at the time of this writing.
So lets read on, to learn more.
White Ink as a Special Color
All colour inks are transparent in nature. Print an image on a clear film and you will be able to see through the non-printed as well as the printed area. For example, if there is an image of a model printed on transparent glass films you can see through her face, on to the other side.
But white inks are opaque.
A UV ink printer configured with white ink enables you to place an opaque layer of white just beneath your models face. Now you have a glass film print that is partially opaque and partially transparent.
The image area, i.e. the face, is opaque, and you cannot see through the same. The non-image area, i.e. the area where no inks are layered, remains transparent.
Such special application prints can only be created by using white inks. Apart from this, multi-layered prints and reverse film printing also require the use of white inks.
Parking stickers/permits stuck on from the inside of car windscreens is one example of reverse ink printing.
Clear Inks as a Special Color
An Option of Rigid & Flexible UV Inks
Is Solvent Ink Archival
Lumaprints offers pigment inks or eco-solvent inks for your canvas prints. Both of these inksets are archival and will last over 100 years when displayed in the proper conditions. However, for most images without extreme colors, there will be no discernible difference between prints of the two ink types.
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What Is The Difference Between Latex Printing And Eco Solvent Printing
While the introduction of eco solvents may have overcome one of the major disadvantages of solvent printing and can now be classed as environmentally friendly, it is difficult to avoid the fact that where HP Latex printing is concerned, it is not just eco-friendly, but it is also more user-friendly. Better still, latex printing can now be used in a much wider range of applications, such as wallpaper, soft signage, etc.
A Darling Of The Print Industry
Eco-solvent inks went on to become an instant hit among print shop owners. And by 2010, most reputed print houses in India had at least one eco-solvent printer installed within their premises.
Some of the biggest printing companies on the globe have also engineered machines around this technology. These include Canon, Mutoh, Mimaki, Roland, Scitex, Durst, Colorspan, Matan, Vutec, etc.
HP / Hewlett Packard is a notable exception to the above list, and we will see why in just a short while.
The benefits of these machines, as I have already mentioned before, were manifold. Print bureaus could now generate photo-quality output at stunning image resolutions. And all of this at a pretty low price point.
Apart from this, laminating the prints was no longer required. And this eliminated one entire step in the production process. You could simply pull the prints from the machine and hand them over to your clients.
As eco-solvent machines started getting adopted across the board, media manufacturers, too, got on to the act. And they all started developing a variety of materials compatible with these printers.
Today, print shop owners are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to media selection.
In addition to the standard media like flex and vinyl, you can buy eco-solvent compatible rolls of paper, cloth,mesh films, backlit films, canvas, tarpaulin, metal foils, radium reflective films, night glow films, glass films and even rolls of artificial leather/rexine.
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Can You Convert A Printer To Eco Solvent
Introducing Eco-Surge a water based eco solvent ink for Epson desktop printers. That’s right you can convert your Epson printer to an Eco Solvent Printer meaning you can print directly on printable vinyl. By simply filling refillable cartridges and adding our ink, you can have a Eco solvent right on your desktop.
Is Eco Solvent Ink Toxic
Solvent inks contain volatile organic compounds , which cause ozone pollution when released into the environment and reacts with nitrogen oxides. The reaction also leads to health problems like asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, so printing workers are regularly exposed to health hazards unless given protection.
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Corridor Light Box Advertising Store Advertising Subway Station Bus Station Advertising
For light we should be very familiar with, as some stores are lamplight illuminate for a long time, if use water-based gravure machine printing, under the lights, over time, easy to fade, image dodge, and users with pictorial machine to print the light piece can keep fresh for a long time, will not fade, so in our daily life, is also very common outdoor photo machine lamp printing application, for example, the store window corridor light box advertising, subway station, bus station advertising, etc.
Choosing Between Solvent And Eco
While there are clearly a number of benefits to eco-solvent printing, it may be that for the type of printing you wish to do, choosing eco-solvent ink may not be right for you.
As we have already touched upon, eco-solvent ink is not ideal for all types of material due to the heat required to dry it. If you need to use thin, cheap vinyl then solvent ink would be better.
If cost is a factor, you should be aware that eco-solvent inks are more expensive than solvent inks, due to the number of benefits that you get with eco-solvent printing. However, they are widely used by businesses and individuals who are just starting out, or who have a medium-sized printing need. Industrial printing is still typically done with solvent inks.
Finally, youll need to check what type of ink is compatible with your large format printer. If you know from the outset that you wish to use eco-solvent inks, you need to ensure that they are compatible with your printer.
If you are unsure whether your printer is compatible or if you just want some further information about eco-solvent printing, then dont hesitate to . Our team of experts will be happy to help.
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What Is An Eco Solvent Printer
What are eco solvent printers used for?
He says that the most popular applications for eco-solvent printers and printer/cutters include: signs and banners, vehicle wraps and graphics, backlits, die-cut labels and decals, wall graphics, and heat transfer graphics.
Can I use eco solvent ink in my inkjet printer?
Epson Ecotank is an inkjet color eco-friendly printer . You can print, copy and scan on plain paper. Even if you are new to operating printers, this printer will be easy to navigate. There is a 1.4-inch color display on the printer.
How long does eco solvent ink last outdoors?
These ink types do not require lamination. While eco-solvent inks are not quite as robust as solvent inks, they are expected to survive outdoors for 3-5 years without being laminated.
Low Resolutions At A Low Price Point Still Works For The Ad Industry
A solvent print set in an outdoor location is typically viewed from a long distance. And one need not strive for high resolutions, for jobs that are going to be viewed from a distance because the human eye cannot make out the difference anyway.
Imagine that you are sitting in a car at a traffic signal. The hoarding is approximately 40 feet from you. And you will see the print for only a few seconds before you drive away. So a slight graininess in the image will not really register.
Moreover, outdoor hoardings need not have a very long life the ads running in that space change every few months . So in this scenario, keeping your print costs low is far more critical than the quality of the image.
And this is where hard solvent ink prints rock. They are absurdly inexpensive!
As we shall see in the next section, eco-solvent prints are pretty inexpensive. A low price point is one of the main reasons for their widespread adaptation. But solvent prints are even cheaper. They cost 40-60% less than eco-sol prints. This makes them ideal for mass advertising campaigns.
The following example will tell you why solvent prints are such a success story today.
|Printing on Eco-Solvent Ink||Printing on Solvent Ink|
|Output||A single print of high-quality||A single print of lower-quality but works for huge outdoor advertising. For the cost of one eco sol print, you can make three hard solvent hoardings. And show them at three different locations.|
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Benefits Of Eco Solvent Printing Inks
The new eco solvent inks for printing have emerged as the latest choice for printers. This new Eco-Solvent inks offer you with the some unusual benefits as compared to Solvent inks because they are available with added enhancements. These enhancements available with the eco solvent printing inks include a faster drying time along with a wider color gamut. The ink also has an improved ink fixation with better scratch resistance and chemical resistance, so that you are able to attain better quality print. These inks have a higher print speed and a much sophisticated media compatibility, which enables the smoother functioning of the printer along with providing you with better quality work.
The eco solvent inks also help you to reduce cost for print figures and thus reduce the overall budget for such products. This happens because the eco solvent ink cassette provides you with a better percentile of quality than the regular inks available in the market. The eco solvent inks also help you to print onto a selection of lower cost PVC with standard paper backing. As compared to the regular PVC these inks come with PE-coated backing and they also have the features of paper backed PVC.
My Smart Alec Daughter & A Case Of Verbal Diarrhoea
My daughter Mahi often accuses me of going into unnecessary details and long backstories.
Ask me a problem about the angles in a triangle, she says, and I tend to start a lengthy explanation beginning with this gentleman called Pythagoras, from 400 BC.
She pretty bluntly sums up my condition by terming it Verbal Diarrhoea
And you know what. She might just be right.
We are four thousand words into our article, and only now, have we reached the main subject matter of the same.
But I honestly believe that you would not have fully underwood the pros and cons of the various inkjet ink technologies available today without the above explanation about wide-format printers and ink compositions.
Now, to recap, there are 5 main flavours of commercial inkjet inks.
And its now time to take a deeper look at each one of them.
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Which Type Of Ink Do Not Need The Ventilation
Solvent inks are divided into two sub-categories: hard solvent ink offers the greatest durability without specialized over-coatings but requires specialized ventilation of the printing area to avoid exposure to hazardous fumes, while mild or “eco” solvent inks, while still not as safe as aqueous inks, are intended for
The Advantages Of Working With Hp Latex Inks
Back in 2008, eco-solvent technology had a few shortcomings. And HP introduced latex inks to overcome the same. Here are the gaps that their latex printer fills addresses.
One other big plus of latex printers is their amazing print quality and vibrant colours. In fact, excellent image quality is a given, for just about every HP printer model.
But as with every new technology, this one had teething problems as well.
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Difference Between Solvent And Eco Solvent Printing
Solvent and eco solvent is a commonly used term when it comes to flex and vinyl printing. Eco solvent is a printing mechanism which is ecologically safe and used mainly for indoor applications. Normally solvent ink are harsh and are associated with definite odor i.e. Smell making them less likely to be used indoor.
Eco solvent printing doesn’t have any harmful ingredients and it is biodegradable. Being biodegradable means it can break down and absorb in the human body without any complications. You need not take without any smell to be automatically labelled as eco solvent. Odor is just one of the advantage of the eco material but there are lot many more as well. One definite advantage which we can associate with the solvent printing is that it can be used to print on wide variety or material. It is cheaper to print on this media.
Eco solvent media is a high resolution print where printing cost is more. Design artwork and images required should be high in resolution with no pixelation. We can expect very high quality print which is not the case with the solvent media. This is advised to used on good quality media which absorb the color well.
3 pass, 4 pass, 5 pass, 7 pass etc for flex printing
Higher the pass more pronounced should be the impression. More the number of pass will not make low resolution image print better. Eco solvent printing machine typically do not have any pass they are printed in high resolution with single pass only.
How Do Inkjet Printers Work
An inkjet printer can be broken down into three components.
But this simplistic mechanism hides some pretty clever engineering, as we shall see in the subsequent paragraphs.
At its core, every inkjet printer has printheads.
These heads have thousands of microscopic nozzles on one end. And there is a tube feeding ink into the printhead from the opposite side.
Liquid ink stored in a cartridge or ink tank is supplied to the head from above.
The printhead pulls in liquid ink from the cartridges/ink tanks and then sprays this ink through its tiny nozzles onto a sheet of paper passing beneath.
Commercial printers generally have four heads, each containing four primary colours: CMYK. These four letters represent the colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, respectively. And a combination of these four colours can create virtually any shade in the colour spectrum.
Colour theory in itself is a vast subject that falls beyond the scope of this discussion. Suffice it to say that these four colours are mixed like the paints on an artists palette to create new shades and tints at the time of printing.
DPI – Images Made of Individual Dots
Let us see why.
Paper / Media Path
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How To Choose Between Solvent And Eco Solvent Printing
While there are obviously many benefits to eco solvent printing, choosing eco solvent inks may not be right for you for the type of printing you wish to do.
Due to the heat required to dry, eco solvent inks are not suitable for all types of materials. If you need to use thin, inexpensive vinyl, then solvent inks will be better. If cost is a factor, you should know that eco solvent inks are more expensive than solvent inks because of the many benefits you can get with eco solvent printing. However, they are widely used by businesses and individuals who are just starting out or have medium-sized printing needs. Industrial printing usually still uses solvent inks.
Finally, you need to check which type of ink is compatible with your large format printer. If you know from the start that you want to use eco solvent inks, you need to make sure that they are compatible with your printer.
What Is Solvent Ink Used For
Unlike aqueous ink, solvent ink can be used to print directly on plastic, vinyl, and other non-absorbent materials. Solvent ink is most commonly used to print items such as signs and banners used outdoors and has to be highly resistant to damage and fading caused by weather, scratching and ultraviolet radiation.
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