View Full Version : Aqueous vs. eco-solvent dye

Brad Monson
08-09-2007, 2:43 PM
I am researching purchasing a used printer for printing graphics/letters for sign making. The printer is a water-based (aqueous) dye printer. The manufacturer suggests (as any good saleman would) that it is obsolete (only 2 years old) and to buy a new eco-solvent style printer since they produce more durable graphics, especially for outdoor use.

I was wondering what is the most common type of dye in use and what has been the experience of some sawmill creek members.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Tim Morton
09-18-2007, 7:41 PM
water based dye printers like the HP's and epson's can often times run pigmented ink which is outdoor durable when laminated properly. That being said I would not trade my new roland eco-sol for the world!!!

Spencer Hochstetler
09-18-2007, 10:40 PM
The problem with most dyes is that they are not as UV stable as pigments. For long term stability (photo and oxidative stability), I use pigmented inks in my photography. (Epson R2400 with "K" inks) Dyes can be stabilized, but the substrate chemistry is absolutely critical. My old HP printer used dyes, but they stressed that longevity would very likely be compromised if the proper paper chemistry wasn't used (HP knows their dye chemistry, thus they know how to stabilize it well, thus they recommend their paper, typical proprietary strategy).

A disclaimer here is that I don't print signage, nor do I know what the marketing term "eco-solvent" really means on a chemical basis. It most likely means a non-VOC solvent as defined by some government. I would focus on the coloring agent moreso than the carrier solvent.