Pigmented Ink Vs Dye Based Ink
When the time comes to replace your printer, the last thing most people think of is the type of ink the printer uses. This is a very important factor and should not be overlooked. We use our printers for producing various kinds of documents, text, graphics, photos and others, different printing jobs require different printer inks.
There are two main choices in printer inks; these are dye-based inks and pigmented inks. You may be wondering what the differences are between these two different types of ink and which printer ink is the better choice, read on….
The first thing we need to look at in differentiating dye-based ink from pigment ink is the substances that go into them. Pigment ink is made with resin or binders that make them more resistance. Dye-based ink is made with optical brighteners to make the colours more vivid and vibrant. In short, pigment ink is more resistant to the elements where as dye-based ink will produce a more vivid life like image but may not withstand the test of time as well.
1. Water resistance
Dye-based ink needs to be dissolved in order to work. Inkjet printers mainly use dye-based inks because they easily dissolve in water and flow easily. However, if a print is made from dried dye-based ink and the print gets wet, then the ink will run. On the other hand, pigmented inks will absorb water but do not dissolve with it; therefore they are a lot more water resistant!
2. Light resistance
Dye-based ink contains optical brighteners which produce very vivid bright prints. These optical brighteners are vulnerable to light and other chemicals, and therefore tend to fade more quickly. Pigmented ink is the top choice if you are archiving prints because it lasts for years, even under light or chemical exposure.
3. Sharpness of colour
Dye-based inks are the best option if you require sharp, bright and vivid images. They are better suited for printing images and photographs. The same cannot be said for pigmented ink, and they are more limited to grayscale prints and black text documents.
- Expect for a very few models, Canon printers mainly use dye-based ink.
- Dell printers, colour cartridges are dye-based and black cartridges are pigmented
- HP printers use mostly dye-based ink, apart from a few DesignJet models which use pigmented black ink.
- Epson uses mostly dye-based ink, although they do sell some special pigmented black ink.
- Lexmark uses pigmented ink for the black cartridges and dye-based ink for the colour ink cartridges.
It is also important to remember that the type of paper you use can also affect the longevity of the print.