How Does Solvent Ink Work? & What are Advantages and Disadvantages of It?

If you doing digital printing, you may know sublimation ink, solvent ink and you UV ink. I believe that someone may just know their name, have you know how does it work? Please read my this article, now I share how does solvent ink work.

How Does Solvent Ink Work?

The solvent used in solvent ink serves a dual purpose in that it’s both a carrier to deliver the coloured pigment to the media, and it helps to melt the surface of the media. The ink colourants can penetrate beneath the softened surface to bite into the media itself.

What are Advantages of It?

When the solvent evaporates, the colourants are left etched into the media which produces a very robust image able to withstand scratching and weathering. This also allows solvent inks to work with a tremendous range of media, including very cheap uncoated media. The solvent content in this type of ink can account for up to 90 per cent of its volume.

What is Disadvantage of It?

Once the solvent has done its job it evaporates away into the atmosphere, leaving the dried pigment behind. There are concerns that as the solvent evaporates it emits volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which, with previous generations of ink, could cause respiratory problems.


This is why fumes must be removed from the local print environment. Most solvent inks now produce far less VOCs than in the past, so that special ventilation is not as vital as it used to be. It’s still advisable to ensure good airflow around solvent printers. Today most manufacturers offer a choice of eco-solvent or light solvent inks, with the latter using a more aggressive type of solvent. This should work with a wider range of uncoated media as well as having better colour gamut.


Thus Mimaki, for example, reports that 98 percent of its solvent customers opt for its light solvent SS21 inks over the slightly cheaper eco-solvent ink option. Solvent ink is still one of the most cost effective ways of printing to uncoated substrates for outdoor use.


It’s widely used in vehicle graphics, where the inks have to be heated up and stretched to fit around difficult shapes such as door handles. However, the major disadvantage of solvent ink is that although the prints are touch dry as they come off the printer, they still need to be left for up to 24 hours to allow the solvent to evaporates completely from the media. This delays any finishing, such as lamination.

Okay, these all above are my share about the knonledge of solvent ink. If you have any other needs or questions welcome to contact us at any time. We will provide you the best quality product and service. Hope my article can be useful to you. Thank you for your reading.


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