The Clickinks Blog | pigment based ink

Inked: The History of Printer ink

Inked: The history of printer ink

An ink is a liquid containing a mixture of pigments and or dyes used for coloring a surface to produce an image or text.

Ink is a compound medium composed of solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, surfactants and other materials. The materials serve many purposes including controlling flow, thickness of the ink and the print results.

Up until the mid 1980’s, with the introduction of home computers, consumers did not have the freedom of home printing. Today in the U.S. most homes have printing, faxing and scanning options. As a result, buying a cartridge of ink is now a part of both business and consumers shopping lists, similar to buying a bottle of ink for fountain pens years ago.
The majority of ink cartridges from companies selling remanufactured and compatible ink cartridges, like Clickinks.com, contain dye based ink. OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) cartridges may contain pigment based ink. You will get a wider range of color into dyes than into pigments. Consequently, dye based inks tend to be more vibrant than pigment based inks. However, results depend upon the overall printer design.

Some printer brands use a combination of both dye and pigmented, other printers can use either type of ink, while still others are only restricted to dye based or only restricted to pigment based.

The price of replacing printer cartridges has recently become a point of contention with consumers, especially as prices are lowered on printers. The major printer manufacturers like Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, Dell, Canon, Epson and Brother, often only break even selling printers, because they plan to make a sizeable profit by selling cartridges over the life span of the printer.

One reason printers are now available at much lower prices is because, in order to continue benefiting from cartridge sales, they have installed microchips on their cartridges to interact with the printer in a way that prevents operation when the ink level is low or when the cartridge has been refilled. Many cartridges produce up to 38% more prints, even though the chip stated that the cartridge was empty.

Customers can often cut printing costs by using ink cartridge refill kits, or by purchasing new non-O.E.M./Original equipment manufacturer brands. The non-OEM equipment can include Compatible or Remanufactured ink cartridges. The replacement of OEM ink cartridges is more common in other countries, with United States starting to catch up. These less expensive alternative cartridges sometimes have more ink than the original OEM branded ink cartridges and may produce the same, better, or sometimes inferior quality, depending on a variety of factors, including the retailer chosen, and their ability to produce a quality product.

Some manufacturers like HP, Dell and Lexmark have built-in the printer head on the cartridge. This also makes the printers cheaper, but the cartridges more expensive because with every replacement you are paying for a new precision print head. Other brands, such as Epson, do not include the print head and so the printers tend to be somewhat more expensive.

Empty laser toner cartridges, inkjet cartridges, photocopier toner bottles and drums are many times discarded, and are now piling up tons of waste in landfills. This waste is now avoidable with the use of Remanufactured products. Remanufactured printer supplies, now available from stores like Clickinks.com, utilize a smart recycling process to recycle cartridges to like new products.

Compatible, Remanufactured and OEM cartridges can be found at www.Clickinks.com.