First let’s understand, what ink is, theoretically it is fluid is used in printer forced to spread on a paper. Practically is difficult to understand the inks. Ink is basically a chemical solution compromises of different chemicals.
The significance to add these chemicals is to achieve special properties, needed while printing. The main chemical dyes, water as carrier, surfactant, pH agent, solvents etc. are some of the chemical used to make Inkjet ink. Final ink combination is a delicate balance of various chemicals which is compatible with different types of printers.
It is important to make the balance in the chemical composition of inks. The imbalance combination doesn’t support printing, storage life and affecting the precious parts like print-head. In inkjet printing technology, it is necessary to meet the performance according to the media used, application. To develop the true color of inks and formulation of inks is the difficult task and requires a number of iterations.
In design strategy efficiency, flexibility, diversity, standardization, and speed is required in the entire formulation, application, and testing process. The separate ink is required as application based, print head technology based & specifications of a print head. The ink should not have an unpleasant odor & should not be toxic or inflammable.
The following are the contents of inks to understand the chemistry of Inkjet ink,
1. The main solvent is water worked as a carrier.
2. Co-solvent it is used to modify the viscosity, higher viscosity does not allow fluid to flow and lesser viscosity continues flow of inks.
3. Colorants are the main ingredient of dyes and pigments.
4. The surfactant used to maintain the surface tension of the ink. This creates the hydrophobic and hydrophilic phenomenon.
5. pH buffer, the ink should not be acidic in nature. There are metal as well as plastic parts indie the printer. Due to direct contact with the electromechanical parts, the corrosion will take place, hence sometimes damage to the internal assembly.
6. Corrosion inhibitor, ink as a chemical solution, the chemical reactions are taking place. The longest time duration gap may affect the performance of ink in printing. Ink should have a good shelf life.
7. Biocides, there would be a possibility of bacterial formation due to the long time gap without use. The ink should be odorless.
8. Other additives to increase the drying speed on paper.
All these factors get involved with proper proportion to make good inks. Considering a chemical solution, the storage of inks is very important. For every type of inks, the ideal environmental conditions are 15 0C to 25 0C temperature and controlled humidity of about 60%. All the Inkjet ink are designed to make compatible with these type of environmental conditions.
This storage facility increases the life of ink. The direct exposure to sunlight has to be avoided, extreme temperature, extreme cold will affect the ink performance and stability of the ink. Due to UV radiations from direct sunlight loses ions inside the inks and hence disturbs chemical bonding.
The instability of ink may be clogged into the print-head and sometimes permanent damage to print-head.
Normally the storage life of pigment inks are 2years and that of dye ink is less. Sublimation inks comparatively have less storage life than dye and pigment. The environmental conditions for all inks should be stored under controlled humidity, temperature.
If you are using cartridges (Tri-color and mono-color), just try to note down the manufacturing date of cartridges. If the cartridges are packaging is in good condition, then not to worry. Once it is opened then, you must use the cartridges into the printer. Once you installed the cartridges take a nozzles pattern first. The cartridges should be inside the printers, it doesn’t make difference the printer is used or not, but this is applicable for short duration.