Ink printing has been an indispensable part of human civilization ever since its discovery circa 4500 years ago. Almost everything in this modern day and age employs its use, across age, race, and sector. It plays a vital role in everyday human life from currency, to educational textbooks, to labels, to entertainment. This dense permanent dye has permanently etched its mark in the development of human life.
A brief history on its origins and ink printing
Ink is basically a concentrated pigment suspended in solvent. This creates a homogenous mixture that forms a somewhat permanent mark when applied to a surface. Early ones were extracted from tree bark, vegetable and fruit juices, as well as the black ink that octopi, squids, and cuttlefish secrete as protection. Ink printing was first used around 4500 years ago in Egypt. It was in the form of vegetable charcoal mixed with a sort of glue. Printing, as well as ink itself has been developed further since then. It has been influenced by and has influenced many cultures through the ages.
The black one has been around for centuries, modern black ones contain black carbon mixed with certain lubricants, waxes, and other dyeing agents. Moreover, a big development in ink printing is the development of colored ones. Modern colored inks contain extracted linseed and soybean oil, and organic pigments mixed into a solvent.
Modern ink and ink printing
Today, they are used for a wide variety of purposes ranging from basic writing to industrial projects. It is classified into two general categories – printing and writing ones. Writing ones are used for everyday writing purposes. It includes simple inscription and calligraphy. It usually requires an apparatus for its application such as in the case of ball-point pens, felt tip pens, permanent markers, and speed pens.
Printing ones are further classified into sub-categories for traditional ink printing and non-impact printing. The difference is that the traditional one employs the use of a certain mechanical plate to apply the ink on paper. Meanwhile, on-impact printing uses electrographic technology to apply it such as in ink-jet printers and laser jet printers.
Telltale characteristics of high quality ink for ink printing
While it may seem to us that what kind of ink we use doesn’t make much of a difference in the final product. However, ensuring that the ink you use for ink printing is of high quality will prove to be beneficial to you in the long run, given that high quality prints out with just the right color and doesn’t smudge or smear, and it doesn’t fade too fast.
You can tell the quality of the ink by observing 4 certain characteristics of ink:
- While this quality is not observable by simply looking at it. This is since it is designed to be a concentrate of pigments. Ink color is measured through a device called a spectrophotometer which measures color consistency through measuring the amount of light energy of the pigment.
- Surface tension. Good surface tension is vital for good ink printing quality because inconsistency in the ink will allow the creation of droplets during printout. A surface tensiometer is used to measure cohesiveness of molecules in the ink solution.
- Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow or deformation. Much like surface tension, the ink has to be thick enough to hold together during ink printing and after printout. Ink undergoes quality control to ensure the right consistency so as to avoid blotting on the paper.
- pH or Acidity. Acidity or alkalinity is measured to ensure that the ink does not become damaging to ink printing apparatus as well as to the paper or surface it is to be printed on.
Ink and printing is absolutely vital to civilization and development. Furthermore, it is absolutely indispensable to business and advertising since almost everything within an organization relies on ink for transactions and processing which is why it is important to keep these qualities in mind when choosing an ink for ink printing.