The Nature of Printing Inks

  • C. Armstrong


Inks are coloured, usually liquid, materials for writing or printing. They are used for many reasons, primarily as a tool to convey a message and give instant decoration. Inks are extremely versatile and can be applied to a wide variety of different surfaces, whatever their texture, size or shape. Paper, plastic, metal, glass and textiles will all accept ink. Printing inks are applied to such surfaces by printing presses of various designs and are conveniently divided into five classifications according to the type of press. Ink films, unlike paint films, are very thin varying from 2 to 30 µm depending on the print process. Inks consist essentially of two components, the colourant, an insoluble solid or a dye, and the vehicle, a liquid in which the colourant is suspended or dissolved. The combined components form a fluid capable of printing from a printing press. The secondary function of the vehicle is to ‘dry’ and bind the colourant firmly to the substrate.


Resistance Property Printing Process Paint Film Lithographic Printing Print Process 
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Copyright information

© Society of British Printing Ink Manufacturers Ltd 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Armstrong
    • 1
  1. 1.Coates Brothers Inks Ltd.Australia

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