ASAP Inkjets "Computer & Printer Tips" Newsletter

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Hi,

Welcome to our September edition of 'Computer & Printer Tips'.

We've got a jam-packed issue this month, so let's get right to it.

Our first topic of interest is a great new internet traffic tip for those of you who have your own blogs. It's a great new application of an older idea, and looks to be very effective.

Secondly, our feature article this month talks about the differences of dye-based inks and pigmented inks. It was spawned by a customer question, so we hope you enjoy the answer as well.

TRAFFIC TIP: A New Way to Promote Your Blog

I know that a good number of you have your own website or blogs already (and many more of you are working on getting one online).

Blogs have become one of the easiest ways to get a website up quickly for those whose technical skills are somewhat limited. You no longer need to learn HTML. That's the beauty of blogs. They're relatively easy to setup, and once it's up -- posting to it is as easy to use as sending an email.

One of the most common and easy to use blog systems out there is Wordpress. I highly recommend (and personally use) Wordpress, because it's free, easy to use, and it also has a lot templates and add-ons available. Some web hosts even include it as part of your hosting account. (Download a free copy at: http://www.wordpress.org/

But getting your blog setup is only the first step. After that, you need to get the word out and start promoting it.

There are many different ways you can promote your blog including blog directories, RSS feeds, posting on related blogs, trading links, article marketing, etc.

All of these methods will provide you with traffic, but will require an ongoing persistant effort in order to continue to grow the traffic to your blog.

Well, I've just come accross a brand new method you SHOULD DEFINITELY ADD to your marketing arsenal. It has the ability to grow your traffic exponentially, and the potential to bring a flood of traffic to your blog.

The best part is that doesn't cost a dime!

In my experience, it's not very often that something unique like this comes along. It's definitely worth checking out.

FEATURE ARTICLE: Dye vs. Pigment Inks: What's the Difference?

What's the difference between dye and pigment inks?

Here's a question posed by one of our customers about a month ago. I told him it would be put on the "to do list" for articles, so here you go.

Depending on the ink formulation, dye and pigment based inks can perform very differently from one another. The technology and variations for ink formulation are never ending, and most printer companies have their own recipe.

Dye based inks have been used in most inkjet printers for the longest amount of time.

Dye inks are made from colored materials that completely dissolve in the solution like sugar in warm water. A dye particle is a single molecule, typically made of an organic chemical compound.

Pigmented inks have been difficult to formulate and produce so their use in inkjet printers is not as common. Pigmented ink in the past was often made from organic solvents but due to the increased restrictions on VOC's (volatile organic compounds), but are now generally made from inorganic materials.

Pigment is basically any colored particulate solid. Pigments are comprised of thousands of molecules. Pigments are usually simple and stable inorganic compounds. Pigmented colorant is an insoluble tiny particle suspended in a solution, like very fine sand mixed in water.

Most color pigments are made of chemically generated color plastic polymers that have been milled to fine particles and treated with a dispersing agent that give the particles a minor static charge. The charge repels the particles from each other thereby keeping them equally distanced and suspended in the solution.

Both pigment and dye-based inks use many of the same components

  • Solution(base) - Usually highly filtered, de-ionized water (can be a solvent as well in some formulas)
  • Colorants -- Dye colorants or pigment colorants )
  • Dispersants (mostly in pigmented ink) -- Additive that causes pigment particles to attract or repel from each other, which prevents clumping and sedimentation.
  • Resins or polymers -- Assist in ink movement, regulating viscosity and adhering to paper
  • Humectants -- Slow down the dry time of the ink
  • Antifoaming agents -- Decrease the amount of foam generated with ink movement
  • Wetting agents -- Improve correct movement of ink on paper
  • pH modifiers -- To modify the level of acidity (pH values usually range from 6 to 9.5)
  • Biocides and bacteriostats -- To prevent fungus and bacterial growth

The use and type of photo paper can also drastically change all characteristics of both types of ink because the photo paper actually reacts to the ink. The matching of OEM paper to OEM ink also changes the characteristics of each type of ink but that is another topic.

Color Resistance

Dye based inks are more fragile and have less resistance to UV light. The dye colorant breaks down faster when exposed to the light because it does not have the particulate mass of pigment ink solids. Ozone or other pollutants can also chemically break down the single molecule color structure.

Pigment based inks last longer in light conditions. The tiny flecks of pigmentation are colored all the way through and are better able to repel the effects of UV light because it is more substantial. The pigment is also partially protected from light where it has locked into the fiber of the paper.

Water resistance

Dye-based ink will completely dissolve in water and is devoid of particulate matter. This means that the ink cannot "lock" itself to the texture of the substrate (paper). If moisture is reintroduced into printed material, the ink will rehydrate thereby causing the ink to run or blur.

Pigment in pigmented ink does not dissolve completely in the solution. Pigment ink particles penetrates into the fibers of the paper, locking into the microscopic texture. If moisture comes in contact with the ink, only a small amount will typically run (usually 10% or less).

Color

The intensity of color increases as the size of the color particles decrease, producing a stronger and more saturated color. Think of this like DPI (dots per inch), the more dots per inch the stronger and sharper the color.

Dye based inks are usually more vibrant because of the density of color. The dye is completely dissolved in the liquid solution so the higher color saturation makes it more pronounced when applied to paper.

Some printers using dye-based inks can reproduce in excess of 70 million different color variations!

Pigment based inks tend to be less intense (although this is always improving) in comparison because the color is in tiny pigment particles, suspended in an aqueous solution. The pigment particles locking into the paper do not give the same color saturation as the dye based counter part.

Hybrid or special pigment inks that combine the strengths of both types of inks are still less vibrant in comparison to regular dye based inks.

Cost

Pigment inks are more expensive than dye-based inks because they cost more to engineer and produce. More Research & Development time and extra ingredients means a higher final cost..

Function

Dye based inks typically perform better in inkjet printers because it is more viscous which can result in less clogging issues. Dye ink can have more issues with running, paper deformation or bleeding especially when printing heavy graphics on plain paper.

You cannot necessarily take a printer designed for dye based inks and fill the cartridges with pigmented inks because the printhead moves at a specific rate of speed which is constrained by the aperture of the ink delivery system. Consequently, the printhead will not administer pigmented ink at the correct speed due to the difference of ink density, which will result in poor prints and constant clogging.

Most printer manufacturers design cartridges that only use dye- based inks. Some printer models use both pigment (usually black) and dye based inks.

Very few printers use only pigment-based ink because of the limitations in color replication but that is constantly improving. This type of printer is usually for high-end photo printers, most notably Epson or wide format printers for graphic art applications.

This is not the last word on pigment or dye inks. Some of the newer Epson printers have long life, high gamut ink sets, with longevity over a full range of products with pigment ink. Some HP dye based inks now being released have archival qualities and better UV resistance. Only time will tell what will come next and how they will perform.

About The Author

Bob Stephens writes for ASAP Inkjets. ASAP Inkjets offers ink cartridges & toner at up to 80% off.Signup for their free newsletter for tips & discount coupons at: http://www.asapinkjets.com/ or email: subscribe@asapinkjets.com


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Ok, that's all for this month. We hope you found it interesting.

If you're on the fence about setting up a blog, I say "Do it!". Start at Wordpress.org and get the wheels in motion. They've got a good system. (If you need a hosting account, email me and I can turn you onto a couple of good ones.)

Then when it's all setup, go to http://www.asapinkjets.com/blogrush and signup for a free account to promote it.

It's rarely the things you do in life that you regret -- it's the things you "didn't" do.

That's all for now... I'll see you next month!

Eli

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