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​​​​​​​What is Water-based Ink?

Date:2024-05-29  From:Star Color   

Water-based ink is an ink that uses water as its primary solvent or dispersion medium, widely applied in the printing industry. Unlike traditional solvent-based inks, water-based ink uses water as the main diluent, thus making it more environmentally friendly and reducing harm to the environment and human health. The development and application of water-based ink conform to the trend of modern printing industry towards environmental protection and green development.

Main Components of Water-based Ink

The main components of water-based ink include:

  1. Water: As the main solvent or dispersion medium, it is used to dissolve or disperse other components.
  2. Resin: Primarily plays the role of binding and film formation. Commonly used resins include acrylic resin, polyurethane resin, etc.
  3. Pigment: Provides color. It can be divided into organic pigments and inorganic pigments. Organic pigments have vivid colors, while inorganic pigments have better weather resistance.
  4. Additives: Used to improve the performance of the ink, such as wetting agents, dispersants, preservatives, antifreeze agents, defoamers, etc.

Characteristics of Water-based Ink

  1. Environmental Friendliness: Water-based ink uses water as the main solvent, significantly reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, making it more environmentally friendly and beneficial to human health.
  2. Safety: As water-based ink contains almost no flammable or explosive organic solvents, it reduces the risk of fire and explosion, making operations safer.
  3. Low Odor: Water-based ink has a relatively low odor, improving the comfort of the working environment.
  4. High Color Fastness: Water-based ink typically has good abrasion resistance, water resistance, and lightfastness, ensuring vibrant and long-lasting colors in printed products.
  5. Easy to Clean: Printing equipment using water-based ink can be cleaned with water or simple cleaning agents, reducing the usage and cost of cleaning solvents.
Water-based ink

Classification of Water-based Ink

Based on different application requirements and technical characteristics, water-based ink can be classified into the following categories:

  1. Water-based Flexographic Printing Ink: Mainly used for printing corrugated boxes, paper bags, labels, and plastic films. It has good adhesion and color rendering.
  2. Water-based Gravure Printing Ink: Used for high-demand printing products such as food packaging and pharmaceutical packaging. It has high transparency and excellent printing adaptability.
  3. Water-based Screen Printing Ink: Used for printing on various substrates such as textiles, plastics, and metals. It has good washability and abrasion resistance.
  4. Water-based Inkjet Printing Ink: Used in inkjet printers for image printing, advertising printing, etc. It has high resolution and vivid colors.
  5. Water-based Lithographic Printing Ink: Used for printing paper materials such as books, periodicals, and advertisements. It has excellent drying performance and printing adaptability.

Applications of Water-based Ink

Water-based ink is widely used in various printing fields, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Packaging Printing: Used for printing packaging materials such as paper boxes, paper bags, and labels, suitable for areas with high requirements for environmental protection and safety, such as food packaging and pharmaceutical packaging.
  2. Label Printing: Applied to various types of label printing, such as commodity labels and clothing labels, providing excellent printing effects and durability.
  3. Book Printing: Used for printing publications such as books, periodicals, and newspapers, with good printing adaptability and environmental friendliness.
  4. Textile Printing: Used for printing textiles such as T-shirts and canvas bags. The colors are vivid and long-lasting, and they are non-irritating to the skin.
  5. Plastic Film Printing: Used for printing plastic packaging materials such as plastic bags and cling wrap, providing good adhesion and printing quality.

As an environmentally friendly, safe, and low-odor printing material, water-based ink is gradually replacing traditional solvent-based inks and becoming an important choice in the printing industry. Its wide range of applications and excellent performance make it have broad development prospects in the printing industry. With the continuous advancement of technology, the performance of water-based ink will be further improved, making greater contributions to green printing.