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Inkjet Printer Information (4)
More About Inkjet Ink

There are ingredients in inkjet ink that really serve very important purposes. These ingredients are the result of extensive research and can not be missed. Inks that lack of the correct ingredients or cut corners in production often result in problematic printing for printers. The most common problem as a result is print head clogging. In order for the ink to work reliably and cause no harm in long term operation. Correct ingredients are critical to the ink formulation.

What are The Ingredients?

Colorant - This is basically the color dye or pigment for a specific color of the ink being formulated. The selected colorant needs to meet some physical property requirement such as stability, fade resistance, gamut, color as well as cost and environtal safety, etc. Newer and more advanced colorants usually cost more but will yield better ink. This is the most expensive ingredient of the ink. Cheap inks usually use old and cheap colorants to formulate. It is very true that better ink costs more to produce.

Lubricant Additive - This is an additive for the purpose of cleaning the print head nozzles to keep the nozzles from accumulating residual colorant. This is basically an additive for preventing print head clogging.

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Volativity Enhancer - This ingredient is important to the ink. It is for speeding up drying of the ink when the ink droplets hits the surface of the medium. The ink needs to be fairly fast drying. Theer isn't much time allowed because the next page may be completed soon and it will be stacked on the top.

Solubilizing Agent, Surfactant and Penetrant - These additives are for the ink to have the correct physical properties required by the soecific type of print head. The ink needs to fall in certain range of surface tension and viscosity. The solubilizing agent ensures that the selected colorant is fully dissolved in the ink.

Humectant - This additive is actually an anti-vaporization agent. Its purpose is the opposite of volativity enhancer to prevent ink form vaporizing. This additive will form a thin layer of protective film on the surface of the ink inside print head nozzles. It prevents the ink inside the nozzles from drying up during the time the printer is in idle state before the print head is parked on the top of the purge unit of the print head. This is actually a very important ingredient of the ink. Without it the print head will have frequent clogging issues.

Biocide - This additive is for preventing fungus or bacteria growing in the ink. Without it the ink won't have a long shelf life time.

The above ink ingredients are just a few that are commonly known to manufacturers. There are quite some more that are kept as trade secret by the manufacturer themselves.

The complexity of the formulation of inkjet ink reveals a fact that when ink is made too cheap. The manufacturer must have cut some corners. There will be compromises of ink quality as a result.

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