There are two types of colorants used in water-based inkjet inks: dye and pigment. Elements such as application, substrate, chemistry of the ink vehicle, and even printing conditions at the customer’s facility can impact the overall performance of dye and pigment inkjet inks.
At Colordyne, a variety of our digital print engines use dye or pigment water-based inks to produce applications in a wide range of markets. It is important to understand the differences between the two types of inks in order to select the right one for your business needs.
Our partners at Kao Collins helped us gather information about dye and pigment inkjet inks that can help users evaluate this technology during the decision-making process.
These are water-based inks that use dyes as the colorant. Dyes are soluble in water and typically lower-cost than pigment inkjet inks, making them ideal for cost-driven applications. The cost-savings and solubility provided by this type of inkjet do come with a trade-off. If printed on uncoated substrates, dye inks can bleed or fade sooner than pigment inks. These elements make dye inkjet a good option for documents, packaging, or labels with a short shelf life, like billing statements and event tickets that are disposed of shortly after use.
This type of ink uses insoluble pigments as the colorant. These pigments are powders that are dispersed into a liquid vehicle creating a substance containing tiny colorant particles. Pigment inks are ideal for applications requiring enhanced durability and substrate versatility such as coated mailers and corrugated cardboard packaging, among many others.
Several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing the right type of ink for your business. It is important to evaluate which elements are most important for your market and applications needs. These may include speed, cost, fastness requirements, substrate type, print appearance and more. Having a clear understanding of the benefits each of these inks offer will help you identify whether dye inks or pigment inks are the best option for you.
Colordyne offers digital inkjet presses using dye and pigment inks, as well as integration-ready inkjet print engines using pigment inks. Contact us today to learn more!
*Colordyne also offers UV LED inkjet technology.