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Pigmented Inks vs. Dye Based Inks

What is the difference between pigmented ink and dye based inks ?

All ink jet printer inks used in home and most businesses use similar formulation of inks. The basic make-up of ink jet inks is de-ionized water as the solvent, isopropyl alcohol or glycol as the drying agent, and dye base to provide the color. These materials as well as proprietary ingredients are mixed in various proppotions to form ink jet inks. Depending on the page speed, print head design and color capabilities, the actual proportion of ingredients will vary. All dye-based ink jet ink formations have the same problem, they lack water resistance.

The introduction of pigmented black inks changed this, instead of using water soluble dye to provide color, pigmented inks use small particles suspended in the base solution to provide the color. To keep the particles from setting out of the solution the pigment particles are coated with a polymer material to generate a static charge around the particle, thereby keeping the particles from clumping. The main advantage of pigmented inks: Once they set up fully on the print media they are virtually water proof. Also the small particle size allows sharper image detail on even low grade paper as the ink is less susceptible to bleeding and wicking on the paper fibers. The disadvantages: Pigmented ink in black tend to have a charcoal appearance and so far color inks are very expensive to produce, costing 2 to 4 times the cost of dye based inks.

Currently only hewlett packard, lexmark, and epson offer water resistant inks in the original cartridges for their printers, and only for black inks. Hewlett Packard offers water resistant formulas in their 51629A, 51640A, 51545A cartridges.


This page is from my printed archives, the web site now, no longer provides any information just ink.

Info from another source found in my archives of 8 binders:)

Pigmented colors tend to be more vibrant than dye-based colors. And pigmented black inks tend to be slightly darker than dye-based inks.

Dye-based inks tend to fade quicker. If exposed to sunlight may fade visibly in 6 to 12 months.

Pigmented inks will usually last for many years before fading becomes noticeable.

Canon BC-23 cartridges must use pigmented ink. All other Canon based cartridges use dye-based inks.

HP cartridges 51629 and 51645 can be filled with either dye-based or pigmented ink.

HP cartridge 51626A and other HP Black cartridges are only available with dye-based inks.

Epson cartridges only have a single ink available. The WJ-190 ink used in most newer Epson cartridges is a pigmented black ink which is priced as a standard dye-based ink.

Lexmark cartridges of xxxx620 part numbers use a dye-based ink. Lexmark cartridges of the 12A1970 or xxxx400 part numbers use a pigmented ink.



This info is from 1999 so check if it is still current.

I do not re-fill, so I cannot say go to one web site and buy from them, BUT http://www.oddparts.com provides most excellent information, if that is a reflection of their quality???