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What is the difference between pigment ink, dye ink and Sublimation Ink?

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All ink jet printer inks used in the home and most businesses use a similar formulation. The basic make-up of ink jet inks is de-ionized water as the solvent, isopropyl alcohol or glycol as the drying agent, and dye base to provide the colour. These materials as well as proprietary ingredients are mixed in various proportions to form ink jet inks. Depending on the page speed, print head design and colour capabilities, the actual proportion of the ingredients will vary. All dye-based ink jet ink formulations lack water resistance.
The introduction of pigmented black inks changed this, instead of using water soluble dye to provide colour, pigmented inks use small particles suspended in the base solution to provide the colour. To keep the particles from settling out of the solution the pigment particles are coated with a polymer material to generate a static charge around the particle, thereby keeping the particles from clumping.

Sublimation is the process of combining heat and pressure to convert ink on special sublimation paper to gas(without converting it to liquid), and then impart the impression depicted on the paper onto the end product. In the simplest terms - heat+pressure+ink on sublimation paper -> transfers the image on the paper to ceramic metal or other treated surface.
The end product receiving the image can be something that contains polyester, such as a T-shirt (the more polyester, the deeper the impression), or it might be metal or ceramic, such as a mug, and be coated with a special polymer coating that allows the design to permanently adhere to the final product.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 September 2008 23:39 )  

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