With the diversification of products in the market, people’s requirements for product adaptation to machines are keeping increasing constantly. Among these numerous factors, the printer head, ink, coating, waveform (Here is the simple explanation for waveform. Generally each ink need its own waveform file and waveform so that the ink printing effect will achieve the most perfect effect, Ricoh machines has much higher requirements for it compared with ink-jet flatbed printer machines. If the ink waveform does not fit for the ink, it maybe result in bad printing effect, like flying ink, wire drawing, wire drawing in the middle of printing, no ink in the middle of printing, wrong color, trailing, etc.) and the UV lamp brightness have the most prominent influence on the printing quality of the printer machine.

As we all know, materials of different products are not the same, and the difference of materials will lead to the difference of the final printing effect, such as color fastness (generally refers to whether the printed picture will fade, crack, etc.), color brightness, saturation, etc. And ink can solve this situation well, it is not difficult to discover that the choice of ink is very important. When purchasing a printer, how do we choose the most suitable ink for the product we want to print? Let me briefly introduce the ink, so that we can choose the most suitable ink well and print more perfect results.

The Classification of Ink

Classification by color base

1.1  Dye ink: molecular-level fully dissolved composite ink. Its characteristics are that they are easy to be absorbed by materials, easy to dissolve in water or other chemical reagents, not easy to get printer head clogged, bright colors, distinct layers, common prices, not waterproof, afraid of ultraviolet radiation, easy to fade, etc.

1.2  Pigment ink: using pigments as colorants, grinding solid pigments into micron or even nano-sized particles, and dissolving in special solvents as colloid-like suspensions. Its characteristics are waterproof, good light resistance, corrosion resistance, not easy to change color, anti-oxidation, easy to plug, low color saturation (6 colors can effectively solve this problem), strong graininess and so on.

Classification by solvent

1.1  Water-based ink: use water or a solvent of water solvent as the main component for dissolving the color base. It is mainly made of water-soluble resin, organic pigment, solvent and related reagents after grinding. It is suitable for printing products with strict hygiene requirements such as food, drinks, medicines, children’s toys, and candies.

1.2  Oil-based ink: use a water-insoluble solvent as the main component to dissolve the colorant. It is a viscous colloidal liquid mainly composed of resins, pigments, additives, solvents, fillers, etc. Mainly used for printing books, acrylic, packaging, PVC board, plastic, advertising, decorative materials and other materials.

1.3  Neutral ink: ink between water and oil. It is a kind of UV ink, which can be selected according to the characteristics of printing materials and environmental protection requirements.

The Choice of Ink

For the selection of ink, you must first clearly know the material characteristics of your own product.

If you need to print clothing and other fabric products, water-based ink are available. However, due to the difference in the production formula of each manufacturer, the ink has differences in fluency, brightness and so on. For example, the whiteness of USA DuPont’s white ink is very good, which makes it very bright and smooth to print on dark fabrics directly, but the price is relatively much more expensive. There is no problem with the fluency of domestic ink, but the vividness of printing is not as good as imported DuPont ink. However, it should be noted that this type of ink is easy to block the printer head nozzle, so it is necessary to pay more attention to the maintenance and sealing of the printer head nozzles.

If it is a product printed with a UV machine. Generally oil-based ink or neutral ink are available, there are more choices for this type of ink, such as Korean ink IT, Japan Toyo, Japan Bantian, Taiwan Dongzhou, Taiwan Sanhuang, Taiwan Stein, Zhuhai Tianwei, France Dolby, Pretty Nazda in the United States, Agfa in Belgium, etc. However, some are expensive, some have a strong smell, some have better fluency, and some have brighter colors.

All in all, it is necessary to select the ink according to the user’s requirements for the product need to be printed, the product’s own requirements for the color fastness of the ink, and its own control of the price. After the machine is ordered, it is best to use the manufacturer’s ink. Generally, each ink and each precision corresponds to a curve, otherwise serious color difference will occur.

Maintenance of Ink

The shelf life of ink is generally 1-2 years when they are not opened. If the ink bottle has been opened, try to use it up within 1-2 months, otherwise the ink may expire.

Possible phenomena when the ink expires: ink layering (transparent liquid appears in some places of the ink, and looks normal in some places), chromatic aberration in printing color, needle breakage in the middle of printing, drawing of printed pictures, blockage of printer nozzles, etc. The ink is generally stored in a cool place, and the temperature should not be too low or too high, usually at room temperature.

Of course, UV ink cannot be irradiated by the sun or ultraviolet light, otherwise the ink will condense and eventually cause the printer nozzle to block. Do not mix water-based ink, oil-based ink and neutral ink, otherwise it will cause the printer nozzle to block, and even need to replace the all ink path. The ink bottle needs to be shaken gently before adding ink into printer’s ink tank to make the liquid inside even.

The Use Environment of Ink

The use of ink will be constrained by the environment. If the environment is too cold, the ink may precipitate and cause the printer nozzle to block, especially white ink; If the environment is relatively dry, and the first part of the print may appear to be out of color. Therefore, the environment in which the ink is used is also crucial:

Temperature: 20 degrees -35 degrees;

Humidity: 40%-70%;

Self-safety Protection When Using Ink

Due to the use of various reagents and additives in the ink production process or deployment process, the ink is corrosive to a certain extent (mainly for UV ink), so there are the following safety regulations for the use of ink

  1.  keep the ink away from children
  2. Do not splash UV ink into your eyes, if you accidentally splash into your eyes, please seek medical attention immediately
  3. Avoid splashing UV ink onto human skin. If it accidentally splashes onto the skin, please rinse immediately or seek medical attention
  4. The ink is not allowed to be poured randomly. In some places, the ink is regarded as a liquid that pollutes the environment.