With the onset of multi-media printing comes the demand for a reliable ink that can be used on different media. With these, solvent based ink cartridges comes into play due to its many different applications. What is solvent based ink cartridge and how does it work? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using solvent ink?
Solvent Based Ink Cartridges
Solvent based ink cartridges in the context of the printing industry is defined as an ink that is dissolved in another substance—but mostly this substance is not water. Most of these substances are glycol esters or glycol ether esters and their derivatives.
Types and Uses of Solvent Based Ink
In the printing industry, solvent ink is categorized based on the amount of heat used to dry the solvent of the ink once it was applied on a medium. They are distinguished as mild and aggressive.
Mild solvent or sometimes referred to as eco-solvent uses considerable amount of heat because the solvent used here is slow-drying. The printers that use mild solvent cartridge have a lot of heaters for drying the ink. These are mostly designed for fast printers because the faster the printer is, the more heat is required to dry the ink.
Aggressive solvent ink on the other hand uses just a minimal amount of heat for drying the ink because the solvent used in it dries quickly. Because of this quick drying property, the print outputs are mostly resistant to sun’s heat and so this type of ink is mostly used on outdoor media. More so, the aggressive inks are also weather resistant and scratch resistant.
The solvents on both types of ink make the pigment or color of the ink in liquid form prior to application. It evaporates when applied.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Amidst its multiple applications on the printing industry, both types of solvent based ink cartridges have their downside, too. The term mild and aggressive should not be equated with how safe or unsafe these solvents are. For instance, there are safe aggressive solvent and there are toxic mild solvent based inks.
To ensure your safety and your co-workers’ in a print shop, you should read the safety data sheet that comes with the solvent ink. It should enumerate how to properly use, handle, clean or dispose of the used cartridge. It should indicate the short term or long term effects of exposure to these solvent based inks. If it doesn’t come with a safety data sheet, you can download it from the manufacturer’s website.
This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry News Articles.