With the advancement of technology and the ever-increasing number of digital printing companies on the market, the available ink systems are also presenting diverse development trends. Since each ink system will have its own advantages and disadvantages, we can understand the characteristics of these ink systems more in order to understand the current core trends of ink development. The following let Xiaobian summarize the characteristics of various types of ink for you...
Water-based inks are generally formulated based on dyes and pigments. Their useful life spans from a few days to a month, and they need to be used in conjunction with specialized coated ink-jet substrates. The substrates are mainly coated with ink to absorb inks, so they are more expensive, but water-based inks The price is relatively cheap, and there are no subsequent processing issues. The color gamut that water-based inks can replicate is the largest of all ink systems. So now, more and more printing companies have begun to produce water-based printing solutions.
Solvent type ink
Solvent-based inks are primarily colored by penetrating the surface of the substrate. They are primarily developed for vinyl products and are the most used ink systems in the inkjet printing market. Solvent-based inks offer users longer life without the need for lamination, but they require heating during printing and drying. True solvent-based inks contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and require the printer to take ventilation and other air handling measures. In general, the prospects for the sale of solvent-based inks are very optimistic, except for certain areas where air quality requirements are more stringent.
Eco-friendly or low-solvent ink
Eco-friendly or low-solvent inks can be used on coated or uncoated substrates. When they print on coated substrates, they can control the dot gains themselves; when they are printed on uncoated substrates, heaters/dryers are needed to control the dot gain. Eco-friendly or low-solvent inks are cheaper than true solvent-based inks and contain no VOCs, eliminating the hassle of air handling. Since the life of this type of ink is similar to that of solvent-based inks, users can extend their durability by laminating films. Therefore, it is one of the mainstream inks to be used in the future.
Ecological ink using ethyl lactate is still an emerging technology, and its production of raw materials mainly from corn and other crops. The eco-ink needs to set the heater and dryer to a higher temperature when printing. Because the solvent extracted from the plant is used instead of the petroleum solvent, the ink is in the category of green products. If UV inks do not beat it before the eco-market launch, then it will certainly be able to create a world of digital printing.
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