Difference between dye ink and pigment ink

Digital printing inks are similar to other inks and paints. All of these products consist of two basic components:  a colorant (dye or pigment) and a liquid carrier or vehicle.  The varieties of digital printing inks include aqueous inks, Eco-solvent inks, latex inks and UV-curable inks.  With so many choices available in wide format printing, considerations in ink selection include compatibility with the substrates, application, durability, brightness of color and cost.
If an application requires longevity, pigment inks are much more durable than dye-based inks. Those pigments that that fade after a short period of time are referred to as “fugitive colors”. While pigments are viewed a producing less vibrant images, improvements in ink technology has expanded the color gamut. For outdoor applications, such as vehicle graphics and outdoor advertising, pigmented inks are usually preferred.

In the digital printing field, pigment inks, however, have been associated with metameric color shifts. Advances in ink formulation have reduced many of the problems associated with metamerism. Dye-based inks, by comparison are less metameric.
The advantage of a dye-based ink is its bright colors. For this reason, these inks were selected for indoor applications, such as P.O.P. posters and displays and photographic prints. The downside of dye-based ink was that you sacrificed durability. While fade resistance has improved greatly with new color formulations, the more vibrant dye-based inks generally exhibit a much lower resistance to UV light.
Dye-based ink uses colour substances that are dissolved in a liquid while pigmented ink uses small colour particles that are held in a suspension.  Supplies-Label The water soluble dye can be seen as sugar that dissolves in water and the pigments as sand mixed in water.
Dye based inks are able to provide a wider color space for more vibrant and colorful prints, but will come off when getting in contact with water unless printed on special coated label material. The print is water-resistant as long as the label does not rub against any-thing disturbing.
While pigments tend to be lighter in color than dye they are more UV resistant. Therefore, dye-based ink fades in daylight within months, pigmented ink withstands for years.

In more industrial applications, where the need for lasting labels beats the wish for nice labels, the use of pigmented ink is preferred.
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