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Latex Ink vs Solvent Ink - Is one better than the other?

Latex Ink vs Solvent Ink - Is one better than the other?

Published by Karen Gendron on 25th Sep 2018

Ink is an integral part of outdoor signage and stickers. Quality is the identifier between a good company that stands behind their products, and a poor company that is out to make a quick buck. Combine quality ink with quality vinyl, and you have a superior product that will outlast cheap competitors.

What is solvent ink and what is latex ink?

Solvent Ink

Solvent is any ink that is not water based. Solvent ink adheres to non-absorbent materials (vinyl stickers), which makes it great for outdoor use. It is made of the carrier fluid (solvent), and pigment (colour), which is dissolved in the carrier fluid. The solvent penetrates the media (vinyl) and pigments adhere to the media. Volatilization occurs, which is the evaporation of the carrier fluid, leaving the pigment on the media.

Pros:

  • very good outdoor endurance/quality/weatherability
  • fade, water and scratch proof
  • clear prints
  • high rub-fastness

Cons:

  • VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) - can be dangerous to human health or environment
  • Long dry time/gassing out time


Latex Ink

Latex is water based ink. It is made from polymers (or resin - a man-made synthetic, not from a rubber tree where latex is derived), water, and pigment. Polymers encapsulate the pigments and are dissolved by heat to form a membrane that firmly affixes pigments to the surface of the media.

Pros:

- very good outdoor endurance/quality/weatherability

  • fade, water and scratch proof
  • clear prints
  • high rub-fastness
  • prints are immediately dry and no need for gassing out
  • NO VOC’s = no special ventilation
  • allows for printing on wide range of media/materials

Cons:

  • requires 220V hookups for heat element to dry


Why we use HP latex printers

Not only is the technology superior and the prints immediately useable, the quality of the prints on HP latex printers are better. We know this because we’ve used both eco-solvent and latex ink printers.

Latex printers produce minimal VOC’s. When it comes to the health of our employees, customers, and the environment, we choose what’s best. Not to mention, some customers (government and health care) mandate that any paints or inks entering their facility must be under certain VOC levels.

HP Latex Inks have qualified for certifications that demonstrate that they meet some of the world's most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air. ULECOLOGO® Certified HP Latex Inks meet a range of stringent human health criteria. As of January 2014, HP is the only large format digital printing manufacturer to earn UL ECOLOGO® Certification for latex printing inks. HP Latex Inks are GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air.

An important component of total environmental performance is the recyclability of used consumables. All of our HP printing supplies—including ink cartridges, printheads, and maintenance supplies are recyclable through the HP Planet Partners program.

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_kits/2014/...

As a company we want to provide the best quality product as well as care about the environment. For Stickernut, it’s a win win.

Do you know what’s on your sticker?