1) There’s more to ink than meets the eye…
Many people view ink as essentially the same as paint – an organic or inorganic pigment or dye dissolved or suspended in a resin and/or solvent. However, ink is more unique than it may seem.
The modern ink market is segmented into two classes: printing inks and writing inks. Printing inks have two subclasses: ink for conventional (analogue) printing, in which a mechanical plate comes in contact with or transfers an image to the substrate; and ink for digital non-impact printing, which includes ink-jet and electro-photographic (xerographic) technologies.
For the largest analogue printing segment, Offset Printing, Imerys Kaolin has developed ImerPrint 07K to offer excellent print density, viscosity and fount bleed control. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/2AjUO17
Donut chart shows ‘Total Printing Inks & Colourants Consumption: One Million Tonnes’ Credit: SmithersPira 2015
2) Ink’s role in nature
For millions of years, ink has held an important function for coleoid cephalopods. Yes that’s right, squid, cuttlefish and octopus, who use it as a defence mechanism; a smoke-screen to confuse predators. Some deep water squids are even known to produce bioluminescent ink.
The chemistry and biosynthesis of ink in cephalopods is complex and even to this day not well understood. It is a form of the common biological pigment melanin. Coleoid cephalopods produce the variety eumelanin which chemically and structurally is a complex polymer of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and 5,6-dihodroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid. Eumelanin is, as we all know, a dark brown, kind of ‘sepia’ colour.
Credit: Ruth Siddal, UCL
3) Ink Industry is the 4th largest user of titanium dioxide worldwide
TiO2 accounts for 80% of all white pigments used in printing ink formulations. Most white inks contain titanium dioxide as the pigment, as rutile and anatase in tetragonal crystalline form. It is also one of the most costly ingredients, and partially the cause behind the recent price hikes of inks at top manufacturers.
ImerPrint™ 02K is a high performance kaolin designed to extend TiO2 in water and solvent based flexographic inks, by providing good opacity and colour performance whilst maintaining high gloss. ImerPrint™ 02K enhances TiO2 efficiency and provides a cost savings and sustainable solution for packaging inks and varnishes. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/ImerPrint
Credit: European Coatings
4) Fragmented and Competitive Global Market for Ink Production
5) The Future of Inks
New technologies have enabled many specialty inks to be designed for very specific end uses. With some new thermochromic and photochromic inks heat and light are needed to produce colour, while electronic ink requires an electric field to induce colour.
Thermochromic inks help detect temperature changes in a moving part while electronic inks find application in various displays. Magnetic inks incorporate certain magnetic materials in the ink and are used in printing cheque books for efficient screening by cashiers.
Published on: 13 Dec 2017