The quality of an ink is derived from its formulation, specifications, raw
materials, and quality control procedures.
The specific components of the ink formulation would include such things as
pigments, solvents, resins, and binders. Every ink formulation is unique based
on print head type and printer characteristics.
- Particle Size: All of Triangle Digital’s inks are submicron
- Surface Tension: Determined by the print head which usually is
between 27-32 dynes.
- Viscosity: Viscosity requirement are determined by the type of
print head for which the ink is formulated.*
- Rheology: All pigmented inks are thixotropic by nature. When formulating
an ink, it is important to take into consideration rheology and the ink train.
Triangle Digital’s IQC (Incoming Quality Control) Program ensures consistency
and reliability in all raw materials entering the production facility. Being
the second largest manufacturer of digital inkjet inks, Triangle Digital often
sets the standards for raw material suppliers globally.
Triangle Digital has a progressive Quality Control Program which ensures consistency
and reliability from batch to batch. More than 37 measurements are taken during
production, filling, and post manufacturing to guarantee consistent jettability,
color, viscosity, and aging.
Digital prints are made up of many colors. Use of more colors will offer a
wider color gamut when printing.
Primary Colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK). Inkjet ink’s
standard color gamut is larger than standard SWAP color.
Light Colors: Using light versions of primary colors will give higher
print quality. Light colors are typically 12-15% of the density of the dark
Secondary Colors: Also known as “intermediate” colors.
These are typically orange, green and purple. There is a very low demand for
these types of colors due to limitations in pre-press and RIP technology.
The outdoor durability of a print is determined by many things but no limited
to: pigments quality, and raw materials used in product formulation and production.
Triangle Digital has made a commitment to high quality and consistency.
- Quality Pigments will provide a quality product with increased protection
against UV light and basic elements of the outdoors. Triangle Digital secures
its raw materials from only the industry’s top suppliers to ensure 100%
- Triangle Digital typically will warrant solvent based ink for up to 2 years
durability outdoors; 3 if using a recommended ClearFlex UV coating.
In the Wide Format market, Triangle Digital has superior formulation in our
Mild Solvent inks, offering much greater adhesion to uncoated media. The adhesion
of an ink is determined by the binders and the solvents used in the ink formulation.
The key issues that affect printability are dry time, ink starvation, overspray,
wetting, and platen temperature.
This is determined by the evaporation rate of the ink and the solvent retention
by the media. When formulating an ink, the following need to be considered:
head type and speed of the printer into which the head is being integrated.
Developing a properly matched system will limit downtime and increase production
This occurs when ink is not flowing to the head correctly. In many cases, temperature
has forced the viscosity out of specification.
This occurs due to improper droplet formation caused by either improper voltage
to the head, print speed not matched, or a change in viscosity. Often you will
see this on the sides of prints or in white text. Another term for this would
This is a direct effect of the surface tension of a substrate not matching
that of the ink set. Using the proper media, with the correct settings and the
RIP to minimize over inking, will generally resolve this issue.
The temperature should be set differently for each media using the lowest possible
temperature to ensure longer print head life. Too high of a temperature will
result in the ink drying too fast, often leading to clogged print heads.
Ink Shelf Life
Inkjet ink generally has a shelf life of approximately one year. This was
a major issue in the industry as aging resulted in sedimentation. Storage conditions
are an essential part of maintaining an ink’s jettability. Please see
labels for proper storage conditions. All digital inks should be kept on a shelf,
at least one meter off of the floor. Once a bottle has been opened, it is important
to retighten the lid to keep evaporation from occurring.
Ink viscosity varies with temperature. The higher the temperature, the lower
the viscosity. This is the reason why ink should be kept at an ambient temperature
for several hours before using in any printer. Room temperature should be kept
between 18°C and 25°C. A higher or lower temperature could lead to overspray
or starvation as the ink’s viscosity will change. For example, there could
be a difference of 3 centipoise for an ink at 23°C whose is standard temperature
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