The ABCs of printer inks

As there is a large amount of manufactures, technologies and models to choose from, it seemly to be buying a correct printer is also a difficult thing for make a decision you need to consider aspects far from the costs and its features like speed, ink technology and paper capacity. And the terminology about printing inks is often confusing and even particularly esoteric. Moreover, the manufacturers also don’t always give out an overall overview of the weaknesses and strengths of the inks. Therefore, to make you chose the inks fit for you easily; there is a handy guide for you to refer to. In this guide, you’ll be told the most common ink technologies, the basic information of how they work and the tasks they’re best for. And by following this guide, you can into the right direction to make the large classifications of printers eliminated from consideration while just left the printer inks which is most useful to you. Then you can make full use of your time and money to buy the inks fit for you. Let’s go to the guide.

Firstly, let’s have a look at the inks used the oldest of all mechanical ink technologies: the trusted ribbon, which is not going to disappear completely even there, comes out a lot of more modern ink-transfer methods. In fact, these ribbons are very popular in the past. However, they are only limited to specialty applications such as use old-school fabric ribbons in environments like receipt printing, which emphasize reliability at the expense of quality. And other ribbon types such as thermal transfer ribbons can used to produce high quality output and print specialty dyes like metal foils which aren’t replicated with other technologies easily.

Secondly, let’s turn to the thermal paper which is infused with a chemical substance can turns dark while exposed to heat. As this technology doesn’t need to keep ink reservoir filled, there is a lot of advantages than the traditional printing technologies. It makes the mechanical design and the use of the printer extremely simple and quiet. Thus, the thermal paper is often applied to the place where the reliability and ease of maintenance are paramount. And to the consumer, it always means label printers just like the printers made by Brother and Dymo. However, thermal paper is very expensive and print only in one color. And its quality decreases rapidly in a hot surface.

Thirdly, when you are an inkjet printer user, you must have used Liquid inks which are often forced by a number of methods through very tiny nozzles in the printing head of the printer to “painting” dots on paper that would form an image or text eventually. Most of this kind of consumer inks are water-based dyes, they are ideal for applications such as drawings and photographs where need high-quality output. However, these inks suffer from two major defects for their formulation. The first one is that they tend to bleed into paper; the second one is that they are often fading over time. To solve the first problem, the easiest way is to use right paper like special inkjet-specific stocks manufactured to not easily absorb water. In this way, the ink can be force to dry on the surface and then form the crisper images. While to the second problem, there are also paper stocks which are specifically designed to resist the yellowing and degradation for archival purposes. However, they are always sold with expensive but higher quality photo printers.

The fourth should be the Solid ink which was first developed by Tektronix, the company that was acquired by Xerox eventually. Today, Xerox is making printers based on this technology. In fact, the solid ink is a candlewax-like substance which sold in small blocks. This substance is one type for every primary process colors such as cyan, magenta, yellow, black or CMYK which will form images on paper. When the ink used inside the printer, it uses a technology similar to that of offset printers to melted and squirted onto an oiled roller. It is fast, reliable and environmentally friendly for these inks are safe and non-toxic to handle but the initial investment is higher than that in a laser printer. Even the photo quality solid inks made is not quite good as an inkjet, they can generally be used to make excellent office machines and print high-resolution color graphics due to the low maintenance cost.

The fifth one was toner, the ink of laser printers. Toner is made of a fine powder with particular electrical properties, among that, the powder was created by bonding a pigment to a polymer. Inside the printer, there is a laser beam “paints” the image to be rendered on a drum. The inks there are loaded with an electrostatic charge. Then the drum rotates over the toner reservoir and pick up the particles of the ink which will transfer to paper and melt in place. In terms of quality and durability, toner is excellent, especially for printing line art and text. And once the toner is fused to the paper, it won’t easily fade or come off.

The final type of ink technology there will be introduced for you is dye sublimation. In this ink, there is a special dye rapidly heated. In this way, the link can go from a solid to a gaseous state with no passing through a liquid phase. Then the resulting “cloud” of dye is deposited to form a dot of color onto the paper. The dots printed have fuzzy edges which blend into one another unlike the inkjet technology. This result in high-quality output of photographs especially used specialized paper. However, this ink is cost high, and the same feature makes dye sublimation is not that ideal for printing content like text or vector art which has sharp edges.If you need more printer ink cartridges.please visit our website 123inkcartridges.ca.

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Andrew Lu - Marketing Manager - Shopper+ Networks Canada

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