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Photo Imaging with Ink Jet Inks

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Both dye-based and pigment-based aqueous ink jet inks are capable of providing excellent photo quality in the current generation of low drop volume high resolution small office home office (SOHO) ink jet printers, especially when printed on special coated glossy ink jet photo papers. However, no one system delivers the perfect balance of color, image quality, physical durability, glossy uniformity, and image permanence.

The primary factors causing color fade and loss of image permanence in dye-based ink jet inks are environmental conditions such as light, heat, air quality, and humidity. Dye inks printed on microporous photo media undergo color fade much more rapidly than on polymeric nonporous coated photo media, with a significant color changed observed sometimes in a matter of weeks.

When image permanence is required for photo printing, pigment-based ink jet inks are the choice. One of the remaining image quality issues with pigment inks is nonuniform gloss. For photographic and other high definition imaging, uniform high gloss is desirable to enhance the perception of clarity and sharpness of the image. When a significant difference in gloss occurs between inked and unprinted areas (media), the image appears to have “flat”, non-shiny areas in the photo print. In our studies of gloss uniformity, we found nonuniform gloss also can occur with dye-based ink jet inks printed on glossy media.

This paper will summarize our studies of gloss as function of ink formulation parameters: colorant (pigment or dye), dispersant type/dispersion process (pigment), vehicle (co-solvents, surfactants) and water. This gloss study included a variety of glossy media types. Additionally, the color gamut of current pigment inks printed on glossy photo papers will be reviewed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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