The technology used in ink for large format printing is a substantial portion of the cost for the printing process. Since the diversity of applications have grown in the industry, the print manufacturers have maintained a demand for new ink formulas that promote efficiency, quality, stability, affordability, and performance.
Here below are some of the different types of Inks used in large format printing.
- Solvent Inks:
Solvent inks contain pigments rather than water based dyes. The main formula of solvent inks are volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). The best benefit for solvent based inks is that they are relatively inexpensive. Solvent inks are optimal for print applications on flexible, vinyl substrates, billboards, vehicle graphics, and banners. Solvent inks provide excellent longevity in UV light. Make sure you ventilate when printing to eradicate VOC’s.
- Aqueous Inks:
Aqueous is the liquid that holds the colorant “Water”. Water based inks come in two forms:
Ø Pigment (UV).
Dye Inks: Dye water based inks are made for maximum saturation and brightness. The colorant in the dye inks is very small which allows detailed images with smooth picture tones. Although dye inks are water soluble and will fade in UV. They are optimized for short term adhesions or indoor displays. It is advised to use them where color and quality are essential.
Pigment (UV) Inks: Pigment Inks are a more durable dye ink when exposed to UV light. They have a a huge print life. They are perfect for outdoor or windows displays do to the UV protection.
- Dye Sublimation inks: Two types of dye sublimation inks can be found in the market. The most popular one is aqueous dye sublimation ink for desktop and large format printer’s use. The other one is solvent dye sublimation ink that can be used in Spectra and Konica print head large format printers.
- Latex Inks: This is the latest and most versatile ink technology. Latex inks are odorless, water based, solvent free and eco-friendly. They deliver effervescent and stunning images that last for an indefinite period, without being liable to fading or flaking. The water-based inks are non-flammable and non-explosive and they do not require hazard warning labels and does not include hazardous air pollutants.
- UV cured Inks: These inks can be applied to extensive range of un-coated substrates. The most interesting part of UV cured inks is that they “dry” as soon as they are cured. The resulting prints are water-resistant, imprinted & vibrant. However, they are expensive.
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