When you’re looking to print and produce high-quality images, there’s a never-ending number of options. Which printer to use, what type of ink cartridge to purchase and what material to print upon? A further decision you’ll need to contemplate is whether you want your printing to be eco-solvent. Not sure what this is? Here we explain.
Eco-solvent inks have their colours suspended in a mild biodegradable solvent, which means that the ink has virtually no odour as they don’t contain as many volatile organic compounds. They’ve been around since the early 2000s and originally were designed for general signage work.
The lack of smell is a real plus point for eco-solvent inks. In some solvent inks not only do you get a strong smell during the printing process, meaning you need to consider the placement of your printer, but they can also leave an odour on the printed material itself. This can rule out printing onto material which will be displayed or used indoors.
Having less volatile organic compounds also means that the eco-solvent printing cartridges are not so damaging, or deteriorating, to your printer components and as such you won’t need to do full system cleans quite so often – although as with any type of printing you will need to do regular cleaning and maintenance of your printer from time to time.
Eco-solvent printing does require more heat in order to dry and this can affect the type of material you can print on. What’s more, the ink is not as durable as solvent inks. While it’s adequate for outdoor printing work, it’s best to only use it for applications which need to last a year or two.