Ink is a gel, sol, or solution that contains at least one colourant, such as a dye or pigment, and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing or writing with a pen, brush, reed pen, or quill. Thicker inks, in paste form, are used extensively in letterpress and lithographic printing.
Ink can be a complex medium, composed of solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, particulate matter, fluorescents, and other materials. The components of inks serve many purposes; the ink's carrier, colorants, and other additives affect the flow and thickness of the ink and its dry appearance.
In 2011 worldwide consumption of printing inks generated revenues of more than 20 billion US dollars. Demand by traditional print media is shrinking, on the other hand more and more printing inks are consumed for packagings.
Many ancient cultures around the world have independently discovered and formulated inks for the purposes of writing and drawing. The knowledge of the inks, their recipes and the techniques for their production comes from archaeological analysis or from written text itself. The earliest inks from all civilizations are believed to have been made with lampblack , a kind of soot, as this would have been easily collected as a by-product of fire.
Ink was used in Ancient Egypt for writing and drawing on papyrus from at least the 26th century BC.Egyptian red and black inks included iron and ocher as a pigment, in addition to phosphate, sulfate, chloride, and carboxylate ions; meanwhile, lead was used as a drier.
Chinese inks may go back as far as threeor maybe four millennia, to the Chinese Neolithic Period. These used plants, animal, and mineral inks based on such materials as graphite that were ground with water and applied with ink brushes. Direct evidence for the earliest Chinese inks, similar to modern inksticks, is around 256 BC in the end of the Warring States period and produced from soot and animal glue. The best inks for drawing or painting on paper or silk are produced from the resin of the pine tree. They must be between 50 and 100 years old. The Chinese inkstick is produced with a fish glue, whereas Japanese glue (膠 "nikawa") is from cow or stag.
India ink was first invented in China,though materials were often traded from India, hence the name. The traditional Chinese method of making the ink was to grind a mixture of hide glue, carbon black, lampblack, and bone black pigment with a pestle and mortar, then pouring it into a ceramic dish to dry. To use the dry mixture, a wet brush would be applied until it reliquified. The manufacture of India ink was well-established by the Cao Wei Dynasty (220–265 AD). Indian documents written in Kharosthi with ink have been unearthed in Chinese Turkestan. The practice of writing with ink and a sharp pointed needle was common in early South India. Several Buddhist and Jain sutras in India were compiled in ink.
In ancient Rome, atramentum was used; in an article for the Christian Science Monitor , Sharon J. Huntington describes these other historical inks:
About 1,600 years ago, a popular ink recipe was created. The recipe was used for centuries. Iron salts, such as ferrous sulfate (made by treating iron with sulfuric acid), were mixed with tannin from gallnuts (they grow on trees) and a thickener. When first put to paper, this ink is bluish-black. Over time it fades to a dull brown.
Scribes in medieval Europe (about AD 800 to 1500) wrote principally on parchment or vellum. One 12th century ink recipe called for hawthorn branches to be cut in the spring and left to dry. Then the bark was pounded from the branches and soaked in water for eight days. The water was boiled until it thickened and turned black. Wine was added during boiling. The ink was poured into special bags and hung in the sun. Once dried, the mixture was mixed with wine and iron salt over a fire to make the final ink.
The reservoir pen, which may have been the first fountain pen, dates back to 953, when Ma'ād al-Mu'izz, the caliph of Egypt, demanded a pen that would not stain his hands or clothes, and was provided with a pen that held ink in a reservoir.
In the 15th century, a new type of ink had to be developed in Europe for the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg.According to Martyn Lyons in his book Books: A Living History, Gutenberg's dye was indelible, oil-based, and made from the soot of lamps (lamp-black) mixed with varnish and egg white. Two types of ink were prevalent at the time: the Greek and Roman writing ink (soot, glue, and water) and the 12th century variety composed of ferrous sulfate, gall, gum, and water. Neither of these handwriting inks could adhere to printing surfaces without creating blurs. Eventually an oily, varnish-like ink made of soot, turpentine, and walnut oil was created specifically for the printing press.
Ink formulas vary, but commonly involve two components:
Inks generally fall into four classes:
Pigment inks are used more frequently than dyes because they are more color-fast, but they are also more expensive, less consistent in color, and have less of a color range than dyes.Pigments are solid, opaque particles suspended in ink to provide color. Pigment molecules typically link together in crystalline structures that are 0.1–2 µm in size and comprise 5–30 percent of the ink volume. Qualities such as hue, saturation, and lightness vary depending on the source and type of pigment.
Dye-based inks are generally much stronger than pigment-based inks and can produce much more color of a given density per unit of mass. However, because dyes are dissolved in the liquid phase, they have a tendency to soak into paper, potentially allowing the ink to bleed at the edges of an image.
To circumvent this problem, dye-based inks are made with solvents that dry rapidly or are used with quick-drying methods of printing, such as blowing hot air on the fresh print. Other methods include harder paper sizing and more specialized paper coatings. The latter is particularly suited to inks used in non-industrial settings (which must conform to tighter toxicity and emission controls), such as inkjet printer inks. Another technique involves coating the paper with a charged coating. If the dye has the opposite charge, it is attracted to and retained by this coating, while the solvent soaks into the paper. Cellulose, the wood-derived material most paper is made of, is naturally charged, and so a compound that complexes with both the dye and the paper's surface aids retention at the surface. Such a compound is commonly used in ink-jet printing inks.
An additional advantage of dye-based ink systems is that the dye molecules can interact with other ink ingredients, potentially allowing greater benefit as compared to pigmented inks from optical brighteners and color-enhancing agents designed to increase the intensity and appearance of dyes.
Dye-based inks can be used for anti-counterfeit purposes and can be found in some gel inks, fountain pen inks, and inks used for paper currency.These inks react with cellulose to bring about a permanent color change.
There is a misconception that ink is non-toxic even if swallowed. Once ingested, ink can be hazardous to one's health. Certain inks, such as those used in digital printers, and even those found in a common pen can be harmful. Though ink does not easily cause death, repeated skin contact or ingestion can cause effects such as severe headaches, skin irritation, or nervous system damage.These effects can be caused by solvents, or by pigment ingredients such as p-Anisidine, which helps create some inks' color and shine.
Three main environmental issues with ink are:
Some regulatory bodies have set standards for the amount of heavy metals in ink.There is a trend toward vegetable oils rather than petroleum oils in recent years in response to a demand for better environmental sustainability performance.
Ink uses up non-renewable oils and metals, which has a negative impact on the environment.
Carbon inks were commonly made from lampblack or soot and a binding agent such as gum arabic or animal glue. The binding agent keeps carbon particles in suspension and adhered to paper. Carbon particles do not fade over time even when bleached or when in sunlight. One benefit is that carbon ink does not harm paper. Over time, the ink is chemically stable and therefore does not threaten the paper's strength. Despite these benefits, carbon ink is not ideal for permanence and ease of preservation. Carbon ink tends to smudge in humid environments and can be washed off surfaces. The best method of preserving a document written in carbon ink is to store it in a dry environment (Barrow 1972).
Recently, carbon inks made from carbon nanotubes have been successfully created. They are similar in composition to traditional inks in that they use a polymer to suspend the carbon nanotubes. These inks can be used in inkjet printers and produce electrically conductive patterns.
Iron gall inks became prominent in the early 12th century; they were used for centuries and were widely thought to be the best type of ink. However, iron gall ink is corrosive and damages paper over time (Waters 1940). Items containing this ink can become brittle and the writing fades to brown. The original scores of Johann Sebastian Bach are threatened by the destructive properties of iron gall ink. The majority of his works are held by the German State Library, and about 25% of those are in advanced stages of decay (American Libraries 2000). The rate at which the writing fades is based on several factors, such as proportions of ink ingredients, amount deposited on the paper, and paper composition (Barrow 1972:16). Corrosion is caused by acid catalysed hydrolysis and iron(II)-catalysed oxidation of cellulose (Rouchon-Quillet 2004:389).
Treatment is a controversial subject. No treatment undoes damage already caused by acidic ink. Deterioration can only be stopped or slowed. Some[ who? ] think it best not to treat the item at all for fear of the consequences. Others believe that non-aqueous procedures are the best solution. Yet others think an aqueous procedure may preserve items written with iron gall ink. Aqueous treatments include distilled water at different temperatures, calcium hydroxide, calcium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium bicarbonate, and calcium phytate. There are many possible side effects from these treatments. There can be mechanical damage, which further weakens the paper. Paper color or ink color may change, and ink may bleed. Other consequences of aqueous treatment are a change of ink texture or formation of plaque on the surface of the ink (Reibland & de Groot 1999).
Iron gall inks require storage in a stable environment, because fluctuating relative humidity increases the rate that formic acid, acetic acid, and furan derivatives form in the material the ink was used on. Sulfuric acid acts as a catalyst to cellulose hydrolysis, and iron (II) sulfate acts as a catalyst to cellulose oxidation. These chemical reactions physically weaken the paper, causing brittleness.
Indelible means "unremovable". Some types of indelible ink have a very short shelf life because of the quickly evaporating solvents used. India, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia and other developing countries have used indelible ink in the form of electoral stain to prevent electoral fraud. Election ink based on silver nitrate was first applied in the 1962 Indian general election, after being developed at the National Physical Laboratory of India.
The Election Commission in India has used indelible ink for many elections. Indonesia used it in its last election in Aceh. In Mali, the ink is applied to the fingernail. Indelible ink itself is not infallible as it can be used to commit electoral fraud by marking opponent party members before they have chances to cast their votes. There are also reports of "indelible" ink washing off voters' fingers in Afghanistan.
A dye is a colored substance that chemically bonds to the substrate to which it is being applied. This distinguishes dyes from pigments which do not chemically bind to the material they color. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and may require a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber.
Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, color, or provide texture to objects. Paint can be made or purchased in many colors—and in many different types, such as watercolor or synthetic. Paint is typically stored, sold, and applied as a liquid, but most types dry into a solid. Most paints are either oil-based or water-based and each have distinct characteristics. For one, it is illegal in most municipalities to discard oil based paint down household drains or sewers. Solvents for clean up are also different for water based paint than they are for oil based paint. Water-based paints and oil-based paints will cure differently based on the outside ambient temperature of the object being painted Usually the object being painted must be over 10 °C (50 °F), although some manufacturers of external paints/primers claim they can be applied when temperatures are as low as 2 °C (35 °F).
Inkjet printing is a type of computer printing that recreates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper and plastic substrates. Inkjet printers are the most commonly used type of printer, and range from small inexpensive consumer models to expensive professional machines.
Invisible ink, also known as security ink or sympathetic ink, is a substance used for writing, which is invisible either on application or soon thereafter, and can later be made visible by some means. Invisible ink is one form of steganography.
Carbon paper was originally paper coated on one side with a layer of a loosely bound dry ink or pigmented coating, bound with wax, used for making one or more copies simultaneously with the creation of an original document when using a typewriter or a ballpoint pen. The manufacture of carbon paper was formerly the largest consumer of montan wax. In 1954 the Columbia Ribbon & Carbon Manufacturing Company filed a patent for what became known in the trade as solvent carbon paper: the coating was changed from wax-based to polymer-based. The manufacturing process changed from a hot-melt method to a solvent-applied coating or set of coatings. It was then possible to use polyester or other plastic film as a substrate, instead of paper, although the name remained carbon paper.
Cellulose acetate refers to any acetate ester of cellulose, usually cellulose diacetate. It was first prepared in 1865. A bioplastic, cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, as a component in some coatings, and as a frame material for eyeglasses; it is also used as a synthetic fiber in the manufacture of cigarette filters and playing cards. In photographic film, cellulose acetate film replaced nitrate film in the 1950s, being far less flammable and cheaper to produce.
Phthalocyanine Blue BN, also called by many names, is a bright, crystalline, synthetic blue pigment from the group of phthalocyanine dyes. Its brilliant blue is frequently used in paints and dyes. It is highly valued for its superior properties such as light fastness, tinting strength, covering power and resistance to the effects of alkalis and acids. It has the appearance of a blue powder, insoluble in most solvents including water.
Iron gall ink is a purple-black or brown-black ink made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources. It was the standard ink formulation used in Europe for the fourteen-hundred-year period between the 5th and 19th centuries, remained in widespread use well into the 20th century, and is still sold today.
A carbon print is a photographic print with an image consisting of pigmented gelatin, rather than of silver or other metallic particles suspended in a uniform layer of gelatin, as in typical black-and-white prints, or of chromogenic dyes, as in typical photographic color prints.
Roller ball pens or roll pens are pens which use ball point writing mechanisms with water-based liquid or gelled ink, as opposed to the oil-based viscous inks found in ballpoint pens. These less viscous inks, which tend to saturate more deeply and more widely into paper than other types of ink, give roller ball pens their distinctive writing qualities. The writing point is a tiny ball, usually 0.5 or 0.7 mm in diameter, that transfers the ink from the reservoir onto the paper as the pen moves.
Wide format printers are generally accepted to be any computer-controlled printing machines (printers) that support a maximum print roll width of between 18" and 100". Printers with capacities over 100" wide are considered super-wide or grand format. Wide-format printers are used to print banners, posters, trade show graphics, wallpaper, murals, backlit film (duratrans), vehicle image wraps, electronic circuit schematics, architectural drawings, construction plans, backdrops for theatrical and media sets, and any other large format artwork or signage. Wide-format printers usually employ some variant of inkjet or toner-based technology to produce the printed image; and are more economical than other print methods such as screen printing for most short-run print projects, depending on print size, run length, and the type of substrate or print medium. Wide-format printers are usually designed for printing onto a roll of print media that feeds incrementally during the print process, rather than onto individual sheets.
Fountain pen ink is a water-based ink intended for use with fountain pens.
Thermal paper is a special fine paper that is coated with a material formulated to change color when exposed to heat. It is used in thermal printers, particularly in inexpensive or lightweight devices such as adding machines, cash registers, and credit card terminals.
Transfer paper is used in textiles and arts and crafts projects. Transfer paper is a thin piece of paper coated with wax and pigment. Often, an ink-jet or other printer is used to print the image on the transfer paper. A heat press can transfer the image onto clothing, canvas, or other surface. Transfer paper is used in creating iron-ons.
Tattoo inks consist of pigments combined with a carrier, and are used in tattooing.
India ink is a simple black or coloured ink once widely used for writing and printing and now more commonly used for drawing and outlining, especially when inking comic books and comic strips. India ink is also used in medical applications.
Digital textile printing is described as any ink jet based method of printing colorants onto fabric. Most notably, digital textile printing is referred to when identifying either printing smaller designs onto garments and printing larger designs onto large format rolls of textile. The latter is a growing trend in visual communication, where advertisement and corporate branding is printed onto polyester media. Examples are: flags, banners, signs, retail graphics.
Wet process engineering is one of the major streams in textile engineering which refers to the engineering of textile chemical processes and associated applied science. The other three streams in textile engineering are yarn engineering, fabric engineering, and apparel engineering. The processes of this stream are involved or carried out in an aqueous stage. Hence, it is called a wet process which usually covers pre-treatment, dyeing, printing, and finishing.
The surface chemistry of paper is responsible for many important paper properties, such as gloss, waterproofing, and printability. Many components are used in the paper-making process that affect the surface.
The conservation and restoration of frescoes is the process of caring for and maintaining frescos, and includes documentation, examination, research, and treatment to insure their long-term viability, when desired.
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