This in excerpt from an SGIA article for more on the article you can download the file here: digitalink_0706. It also contains a great glossary of terms too!!
- More versatile in terms of what they can be printed on, rigid substrates, such as board product, plastic, glass, wood, ceramics and metal.
- Can help achieve fast production because there is no wait time for prints to dry.
- Save on production costs and media versatility despite having up front equipment costs that are higher than other digital printers.
- Avoid continual cleaning and purging of the print head to remove insoluble products.
| Solvent Ink
- Commonly regarded as the most economical inks for digital printing today, in terms of equipment costs and maintenance expenses.
- Produce highly durable outdoor prints.
- Media is less costly than coated media for aqueous inks.
- Well suited to printing on soft and compatible flexible materials.
- They can be used on low-cost, uncoated materials, such as self-adhesive vinyl, fabrics and scrim banner materials.
| Mild Solvent Ink
- Often dubbed “mild,” “low-odor” and “eco-solvents” because they are more economical than conventional solvent inks.
- Tend to have a low odor during production.
| Aqueous or Water-based Inks
- Primarily derived from water, 70 to 90 percent, with a small amount of a milder solvent so that the ink will adhere to the medium.
- Mostly used for retail POP for short-term outdoor prints, long- lasting indoor prints and indoor backlit materials.
- Have a relatively clean handling process.
|“Bio” or vegetable-based inks
- Made with vegetable oil rather than petroleum oil. The vegetable source, coming from soy, linseed or corn, to make ethanol uses fewer non-renewable sources such as petroleum. However, some conventional solvent is typically used as well.
- Adhere to a wide range of uncoated media.
Deliver nearly the same durability as compared with conventional solvent inks.