Printer inks are inks manufactured especially for printers. The quality of printing depends on the type of ink, type of paper and the type of printer used. The quality of ink is reflected in the quality of the final product.
Printer ink is made from a combination of dyes or pigments, distilled surfactants, de-ionized water, biocides and fungicides, buffering agents, humectants and resins. These combinations ensure that the ink produced matches the quality specification of OEM ink. Dye or pigment of a particular type and quantity is used, and the surfactant helps in balancing the paper wetting and surface tension. Resins ensure paper adhesions and humectants minimize evaporation.
Printer inks are either dye based or pigment based. Dye based inkjet inks are brighter in color and can produce sharp quality printing. They are stable and can be stored for long periods of time. One of the drawbacks of dye based inkjet inks is that they are slow in penetrating and usually take up to ten seconds for drying. Since the drying time is long they often tend to blur. On the other hand pigment inkjet inks are light, fast, waterproof and fade resistant. They also dry much faster than the dye based ink and are more suited for color ink as they prevent blurring. They also have lower toxicity levels than dye-based ink. One of the major goals of the inkjet ink manufacturers is to develop ink that is durable, fade resistant, and waterproof and has the ability to print on any media.
Printer inks should be checked for compatibility with the cartridge while purchasing as they are not generic and can only be used in the cartridges they are manufactured for.