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Inkjet Dyes

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Electronic print processes is widely in demand these days. The growth of multi color inkjet technology is especially growing in the home and office segments. A substantial and thriving consumer market for inkjet can be noticed in packaging, publication, and specialty areas.

Inkjet Dyes are highly concentrated colorants specifically designed for today’s inkjet markets. Available in wide variety of colors, these ultra pure dyes are low in chlorides and prepared to meet all standard criteria for the inkjet industry. Inkjet printing are meticulously produced using comprehensive purification and filtration processes. The quality of an inkjet printing is very much influenced by the physico-chemical properties of printing ink.

Dye inks are prepared by dissolving of the liquid colored dyes into a fluid carrier. This makes the dyes easy to apply. When it is applied to a paper, the dyes are absorbed very uniformly so they reflect light very evenly. As the printing is a high precision job the inkjet dyes need to have superior quality in terms of colors, physical properties, and stability. Generally direct, reactive, and acid dyes are used as dyes for Inkjet Ink.

Inkjet dyes are available in both forms powder and liquids.

Given here is a few of the inkjet dyes that are available in the powder form along with its characteristics:
CI Name CI Number Concentration Quality Characteristics
Reactive Red 180 181055 100.00% Salt-free / RO Magenta (standard)
Acid Red 52 45100 400.00% Low Salt Standard for toning as well as shading
Acid Blue 9 42090 165.00% Low Salt Cyan (standard)
Direct Blue199 74190 175.00% Salt-free / RO Greenish blue
Acid Yellow 23 19140 200.00% Salt-free / RO Red shaded Yellow (standard)
Direct Black 168 30410 165.00% Salt-free / RO Standard
Direct Black 19 35255 200.00% Salt-free / RO Standard

Functioning of the Inkjet dyes

Inkjet dyesInkjet print images use a specific procedure to fix dye firmly for making the prints durable when they are stored.

Dyes that are generally used for inkjet printers is charged to anionic, while cationic substances are used as a fixation for the dye.

Inkjet papers that has cationic polymers, have a superlative effect in fixing the various dyes. As the following diagram illustrates:

Selecting the right powder form Inkjet Dyes

Advantages of Inkjet Dyes

Inkjet dyes have many advantages, some are listed below:

Drawbacks of Inkjet Dyes

A few of the drawbacks as experienced by the users of the inkjet dyes in the printers is given below:

Comparison between Inkjet Dyes and Inkjet Pigments

Both the materials have different characteristics. Some pros and cons are listed below:
From the point of view of the manufacturers:
Dye based Ink Pigment Ink
As a result of sustained efforts over the years this technology is now very well mastered in the industry. In fact Dye based inks started long before the time that inkjet printers even appeared on the market. The technology of pigment is comparatively difficult to master as the problem of small size of the particles to create in large quantities must be taken into account. As nano-sized particles have to be manufactured that will be coated in a thin resin. This resin is used for protection of the pigment against external chemical and mechanical attacks. This has a problem too as it also helps in transportation of the particle inside the ink, through the nozzles and finally onto the paper. Thus it is quite clear that these contradictory constraints make this technology a difficult proposition to perfectly master.

From the point of view of the manufacturers:-
Dye Based Ink Pigment Ink
  • The dye based ink is usually cheap though the manufacturing cost is only one factor in ascertaining the selling price of inkjet ink.
  • Dye is usually fragile, when exposed to light and Ultra-violet light, the colored molecules gets broken and loose its color. This results in the prints to loose their original colors and fades overtime.
  • Ozone and several other common pollutants are also able to chemically break down the color molecules.
  • Drying time has a direct bearing with the drying time of the solvent on the paper (often this leads to untimely closing of nozzles, if the ink is set to dry very fast on paper). Consequently, if the ink and its solvent is not quickly absorbed by the paper, there is a risk of ink flow or paper deformation.
  • The Pigment based ink solution gives longevity. It is thus no surprise that many printers are opting for such pigments. Manufacturing costs are higher, therefore cost of the ink is higher to the user.
  • Degradation of pigments by pollutants or ozone is not that much, the presence of the resin coating limiting it further.
  • Color density is generally better, or easier to achieve than with dye-based inks.
  • However talking of limitations pigments shows tendency to promote a defect called bronzing. When brightly lit or if lit with low incidence, the print can show unpleasant metal-like reflections.

Colour Index | Dyes | Pigments | Applications | Glossary | FAQ's | Buyers Guide | Global Dyestuff Industry

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