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Inkjet Printer Information (3)
Inkjet Ink
Inkjet ink is a high tech product results from a long period of extensive R&D along with the development of inkjet printers. For this reason it is quite common among people when come to face with any 3rd party compatible ink they immediately have doubt in their mind about the quality. This is very natural. How do 3rd party manufacturers come up with correct formulations to formulate the ink? It's all about R&D. Many third party manufacturers have done the work too. There are a few that have excelled in producing compatible inks in fact. Some manufacturers are US public corporations with stocks traded in Wall Street in fact.
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Pigmant Based and Dye Based Ink
Whenever you look to buy a set of ink it is important to know what type of ink your printer uses. Getting a wrong set of ink is not only wasting your money it could result in problems for your printer too.
Keep this in mind. Most Thermo Bubble-Jet printers of HP, Canon, Brother and Lexmark brands use a black pigment ink for black text printing on plain paper. They use dye based photo ink (usually including a separate dye based black photo ink) for all color and photo printing on photo paper. If a seller of an ink set does not specifically say it has a pigment based as well as a dye based black ink in the set you can assume that there is no black pigment ink in the ink set. They do this for a reason of lower cost. Pigment based black ink is more expensive. There are ink sellers who sell for example Canon compatible inks without specifying the type of the black ink. The black ink in these cases is likely to be dye nased black ink.

Epson printers (Piezo-Jet) are somewhat different from the rest of other brands of printers. They either usel pigment based inks only , including black and all other colors, or use dye based inks exclusively. Epson's DuraBrite and Ultrachrom inks are exapmles of pigment based ink sets for the majority of their printers. Epson's latest lower priced photo printers are supplied with a set of dye based ink called Claria. These printers are the exception of Epson printers. Watch out for ink retailers who sell Epson compatible inks but do not specify the type of the ink. Such inks usually are low priced and are dye based inks.

The Difference

The ultimate characteristic of pigment based inks is that they are more durable and archival. They are waterfast and lightfast. This means they are waterproof and fade resistant. Thermo Bubble-Jet printers use a special type of black pigment ink formulated specifically for printing black text on plain paper (such as copy machine paper and laser printer paper). This type of black pigment ink yields black text that rivals laser printer black text on plain paper. The text will be deep black, bold and sharp. It is 100% humidity resistant. Water won't wash it off from the paper.

Pigment based color photo inks for Epson printers have a great advantage over dye based photo inks for Thermo Bubble-jet printers. It is its fade resistance that makes it the choice for professionals who sell their prints. Cost of pigment based ink generally is much higher than dye based ink.

Dye based color photo inks are used by Thermo Bubble-jet printers for several reasons. It is much cheaper. It has a very wide gamut, which is a terminology for describing how wide the range of colors the ink can print. Dye based photo inks generally are superior in color saturation and dynamic range of luminosity in every color due to wider gamut, especially printing on glossy photo papers. It is the choice for printing ultra vivid color photos with a vibrancy that beats traditional colors photos produced with wet chemical process. However, dye based photo inks lack the durability and fade resistance of pigment based inks. The print is subject to humidity (or water) damage.

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