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What You Need to Know about Dye-based and Pigment-based Color Inkjet Label Printers

What You Need to Know about Dye-based and Pigment-based Color Inkjet Label Printers

Posted by Jim on 3rd Aug 2020

In an earlier blog post, we talked about what you need to know about thermal transfer versus direct thermal label printers. Today, let’s take a look at the differences between dye-based and pigment-based color inkjet label printers.

As you know, inkjet-based label printers use liquid inks to produce printed labels. What you may not realize is that there are two different types of inks commonly used: dye-based inks and pigment-based inks. Because these ink have different properties, they are used for different purposes.

What are Dye-based Inks? What are Pigment-based Inks?

With dye-based inks, the liquid ink contains a fully dissolved colorant suspended in liquid. With pigment-based inks, the liquid ink contains solid powder particles of colorant suspended in liquid.

Because dye-based inks are water soluble, the printed labels are not water resistant unless laminated afterwards. In contrast, pigment-based inks are not water soluble and therefore much more durable and water resistant than dye-based inks. In fact, if you need to print the most durable, long-lasting labels, a color GHS BS5609 label printer with pigment inks is a great choice. When printed on BS5609 chemical labels, the pigment inks can resist chemicals, oil, solvents, abrasions, and long-term immersion in seawater.

Another key difference between dye-based and pigment-based inks has to do with the printed label’s vibrancy. Dye-based inks tend to produce more vibrant colors than pigment-based inks.

When to Use Dye-based Inks

The differing properties lend themselves to different label applications. For example, the vibrant colors of dye-based inks are ideal for printing attractive, consumer-facing labels such as:

-“Prime” product labels

-Coffee and tea labels

-Product packaging labels

-Wine labels

-Advertising labels

-And much more

Because dye-based color label printers are typically used for printing these consumer-facing “prime” labels, many offer high print resolutions such as the Primera LX500 with its 4800 dpi print resolution.

When to Use Pigment-based Inks

With extreme durability as a leading characteristic, pigment-based inks are commonly used for printing industrial and chemical labels as well as product labels likely to encounter water, oils, and chemicals. For example, pigment-based color label printers are ideal for printing:

-BS5609 chemical drum labels

-Pool chemical labels

-Fertilizer labels

-Waterproof wristbands

-Lab specimen and healthcare labels

-Agriculture labels

-Horticulture labels

-Shampoo labels

-Vegetable oil labels

-And more

Pigment-based color label printers are also available with high print resolutions and outstanding print quality. Because they are used for industrial purposes, many are built tough such as the Epson ColorWorks C6500A color label printer.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a color label printer for your business, including ink type. If you’re not sure where to start, let us know. We’ll be happy to hear about your labeling challenges and point you in the right direction.