Green Printing

Eco-solvent vs. Solvent, which Ink is Greener?


The use of eco-solvent inks has generated a buzz in the graphic industry and the international market. Many people sometimes do not know what to choose between eco-solvent and solvent inks and printers. The real difference lies in three factors; which we will discuss below in order to throw light in and then provide information so you can make a better decision on the technology that best suits your needs.

In order to talk about the differences between the two inks, we must see the composition of both. The solvent ink is made up of carrier fluid, pigment and resin, the problem is that it uses volatile organic components, and this is what causes solvent ink to be more abrasive or aggressive. This makes solvent ink difficult to handle in closed spaces and can even cause health problems to its operators. Many countries, especially in Europe, have banned the use of this type of inks.

On the other hand, eco-solvent inks has penetrated the market thanks to the fact that it has been a product of marketing, rather than been famous for its true composition. The term “eco” refers to what is ecological, correct? The truth is that it is not a 100% true. The ink was defined as “eco” since this ink does not emit so many toxic gases and is relatively healthier when used indoors. However the composition still has volatile organic components to a lesser degree, but it does not mean that it is ecological or that it reduces toxic waste for the planet. On the contrary, when using eco-solvent printers, more energy is used to dry the ink since it has fewer abrasive components which allow the ink to adhere more easily to different materials.

Taking into account the difference between the two inks, the two factors to consider the use of solvent technology are:



In general, solvent and eco-solvent inks are cheaper than others, as are printers for these inks. Many brands offer printers in which you can print with both inks. During the trade shows we have seen that most brands sell them in this way, since only the drying power is adjusted according to the ink with which it is printed.



The direct competition of solvent printing is latex ink. This is an ink that is not toxic, and that is based on water, but this also causes ink to rise in price. Companies like HP in recent years have been developing technology focused on this ink, however latex ink printers can become more expensive and expensive to maintain since they need much more energy to dry the printing parts.


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