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Water-Based Ink: What is it, Where is it used and Why is it Great?

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Water-based digital inkjet inks are an increasingly popular option due to their environmental friendliness and their application versatility. 

In this blog we take a look at how water-based inks work, and the benefits they bring to a growing number of customers. 

 

What is Water-Based Ink? 


Water-based inks are defined as inks that use water as the main solvent for carrying pigment. These inks are made from water, rather than other components such as plastic or PVC. Water-based inks use water as a medium to bring pigments (colours) into the substrate. Water-based inks require a longer drying time during the production process. Due to the low chemical risk associated with water-based inkjet inks, this inkjet ink technology is well suited for primary and secondary packaging applications, including food packaging production.

cardboard food packaging

Advantages of water-based inkjet inks


Aqueous, water-based inks are particularly useful for printing onto non-porous surfaces and those which may come into contact with items for human consumption. They are also much kinder to the environment and equipment:

  • Cost Effective: Aqueous inks use a carrier comprising water and organic co-solvents, which are low-cost compounds. Thus, water-based aqueous digital ink can deliver attractive economic benefits.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Water-based ink formulations are kinder and limit safety risks for operators as well as end users, and for printing on food packaging. Products printed using these inks can also be widely recycled.
  • 'Soft-hand': Water-based inks seep into the fabric, and after a couple of washes, there is virtually no difference in the texture between the unprinted and printed fabric. This is known as a “soft hand” because (you guessed it) it feels soft to the hand. This soft hand is especially beneficial for baby clothes and pillows.
  • Versatile: Aqueous inks are versatile, meaning they can deliver high-quality prints for a range of applications. This includes porous substrates, such as papers, corrugated boards, and cardboard.
wide format printer

 

Applications for water-based inkjet inks

 

Water-based inks are particularly useful for printing onto various substrates within a range of industries. Here are a few:

  • Cardboard Packaging: Water-based inks eliminate the risk of toxic compounds migrating through packaging to what is inside - this is particularly important for food packaging. 

  • Non-Porous Surfaces: Water-based digital inks are particularly useful for printing onto non-porous, high density substrates such as plastic flexible film packaging.
     
  • Wallpaper Manufacturing: Water-based inks are being utilised increasingly by wallpaper manufacturers who aim to improve the quality of indoor air without compromising print quality. Moreover, designers would traditionally need to hold stock of wallpaper prints in order to replicate them, sometimes for years. Water-based digital ink allows for small run productions of digitally-stored designs.


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How can needham ink tech help?


We are able to develop and manufacture a wide range of OEM compatible inks, with 60 years of experience in the research, design and manufacture of high quality, British-made ink products. We can guarantee that our OEM compatible solutions will save you money without any cost to quality.

In need of something a bit more bespoke? Not a problem! Our in-house team of chemists are able to research and develop wide format inkjet inks specific to your requirements.

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Call: +44(0)1948 662629
Email: info@needham-ink.com

 

 

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