The Technology of Printer Ink


Thirty years ago, it was unimaginable for the ordinary home consumer to have their very own inkjet printer at home. Inkjet printers back then were clunky and expensive things, thus making them impractical for the typical home consumer to have at home. Things have changed, however, and now, thirty years later, printers are commonplace items that you will find in any home office.

Have you ever wondered how inkjet printers and their respective printer inks work? It is fascinating how the  technology  of printers and printer inks has evolved over time. Understanding the  technology  of these machines will definitely help you understand how your printer works, which can help prevent any trouble whenever you use your printer.

Inkjet Printing Processes

There are two types of inkjet printing processes primarily used in inkjet printers today. One is called the thermal inkjet process while the other is referred to as the piezoelectric inkjet process. The thermal inkjet process is highly favored by manufacturers such as Canon and Hewlett-Packard, while the piezoelectric inkjet process is the one predominantly used by Epson.

In the thermal inkjet process, the printer generates heat in order to push the printer ink out of the nozzles on its cartridge. Bubbles are created inside the printer ink cartridge when the printer ink is heated, and these bubbles are forced out of the nozzles using pressure. The bubbles burst and then the ink comes into contact with the printer. The vacuum created by the bursting bubble draws out more ink from the cartridge, which in turn is exposed to more heat to create more bubbles.

In the piezoelectric inkjet process, the pressure that is used to push droplets of printer ink out of the nozzles of the printer cartridge is created by piezo crystals. These piezo crystals contract and expand when exposed to electric charges, and their movement pushes ink out of the ink cartridge nozzles as well as draws out more ink necessary to create the printouts.

Processing the Ink

An printer processes its printer ink using a method called dithering. In dithering, a color pixel is broken up into a series of dots that can form a spectrum of colors. The basic colors that inkjet printers use in this process are cyan, magenta and yellow.

It takes a lot of precision to produce a dot when printing. Quality of any printout is determined largely by the number of dots per inch that the inkjet printer can produce, which is called the printer resolution, as well as by the number of layers of color graduations that a printer can make per dot. Theoretically, the higher the resolution of the printer is and the higher the number of graduations it can create, the better its print quality.

With the use of printer resolution and color graduation, an inkjet printer can create printouts featuring millions of colors, more than what the human eye can recognize. The number of colors that a printer can produce depends on what kind of printer it is. Photo-centric printers are focused on reproducing colors while inkjet printers for everyday document printing emphasize printer resolution more than color graduation.

This is how an inkjet printer and printer ink works basically. When you understand how your machine works, you will be able to use it more properly and prevent any trouble from occurring while you are using your printer.

Source by John C Arkinn

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