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Inktipid Continuous Ink Supply System ( CISS )

June 29, 2012 ·


How Dye-based Inks and Pigment-Based Inks Affect Your Printer
Pigment-Based Ink
Pigment-based ink is produced through resins, normally chemically based polymers. These are then ground into small particles and covered with a dispersant. The
particles or resin are then suspended in water so that they can be used in an inkjet printer. The production method for creating pigment-based ink makes the ink much
more resistant to UV and gives it a longer life expectancy. However it also causes the printed colors to appear more dull when compared to dye-based ink prints.
It has been common for black inks to be pigment-based inks because of their quick drying nature that results in a much clearer and crisper printout.
Pigment-based inks have typically not been used for color desktop printers because constant usage would see the color pigments mass together, causing the print
cartridges to become blocked. Color printers that use pigment-based ink are the more expensive due to the need to incorporate special software to prevent blockage
and produce dense colors.
Dye-Based Ink
Dye-based inks are far cheaper than pigment-based inks and easier to manufacture, so as a result they have traditionally been the ink of choice for digital printers. Dye-
based inks are made with optical brighteners to make their colors more vivid as they use a colorant dye dissolve-in solution. This results in prints that are much brighter
in color and much more stable. However the vivid colors may fade quickly due to a poor UV resistance; and since the colors take longer to dry it can result in a blurry
image.
Hence, a pigment-based ink is more resistant to water and light, but the dye-based ink is much better at holding and projecting the brightness of colors. A dye-based ink
printer such as a Canon will be best used for photo and graphic production, while a pigment-based ink printer will produce much better text documents. Major printer
manufacturers such as Lexmark, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Epson and Dell will use pigment-based black ink to go alongside dye-based ink for their colors.
Which is the Best Choice?
Given the above characteristics, below is a summary of the desirable qualities of printer inks and how these two types compare:
1. Resistance to water: Dye-based inks need to be dissolved in order to work. They are often used as inkjet printer inks because they easily dissolve in water and thus
flow easily with it. However, if a print made from dried dye-based ink gets wet, the print colors will begin to run. Pigment-based inks, on the other hand, absorb water
but do not dissolve with it. Thus, they are more water-resistant.
2. Resistance to light: Dye-based inks have optical brighteners that produce vivid colors. These optical brighteners, however, are vulnerable to light and other chemicals,
and thus fade more quickly. Pigment-based ink is the ink of choice for archiving jobs because it can last for years even under light or chemical exposure.
3. Sharpness of color: Dye-based inks are desired for the brightness and vivacity of the colors they produce. Thus, they are more often used for printing photos and
graphics. Pigment-based inks are typically limited to black colors only and are thus used for grayscale prints and text documents.
Knowing what ink a printer's cartridges are filled with will ensure that the correct machine is used for a particular job, whether it is dye-based ink for color or pigment-
based ink for monochrome (black & white) work. Canon, Compaq, Epson, HP, Lexmark and other major printer manufacturers use dye-based inks in their less expensive
inkjet printers. Higher end printers may use pigment-based black ink and dye-based color inks. Check the printer's manual for exact specifications on the type of ink
used prior to purchasing a new printer