Ink formulations have come a long way from lampblack and egg albumen. As with all technology, we enjoy the advances of modern adaptations that have optimized our ability to use insoluble organic pigments offering reduced toxicity while remaining light fast. In fact, the market for direct mail printing has helped the ink industry become the second largest market for carbon black.
Most commercial ink used to produce the booklet printing Phoenix has come to expect from us uses clay fillers or extenders, which help improve the properties of the inks. There are a variety of methods used to deliver inks, such as offset printing, flexography, gravure, and digital printing, just to list some of them. In each case, the viscosity of the inks and their ability to dry efficiently are what call for some fine-tuning as to their composition.
The goal is to use a printing ink that will not clump as it is delivered onto the substrate. With direct mail printing, there are a variety of paper surfaces that will not only hold up to delivery through the mail but will also receive delivery of the ink that will ensure a clean professional finish.
There is a bit of chemical science applied to the use of dispersants in the finely milled pigment particles. The science of plastics gave us polymers, which have been useful in everything from paint to liquid crystal displays. The use of either a polymer or what are called surfactants act as stabilizers that either hinder dispersion or prevent particles from settling. The manner in which the very fine pigment particles absorb the polymers forms a coating of variable thickness and composition.
The end product, such as the booklet printing Phoenix customers appreciate, is the result of a lot of product testing before they are made available to the market for commercial printers like us. This dynamic process is one that would certainly be cost prohibitive to attempt at home. As advancements continue, we are proud to be able to work with state-of-the-art equipment in order to deliver optimal print materials you need to drive your business.