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Many people who are using solvent based printer ink cartridges may not know they are doing so. Chances are good if you are printing on various types of media, you are using solvent based inks. The reason for this simple: solvent based ink cartridges do a much better job than other types of ink when it comes to multi-media printing. So, what is solvent based ink and how does this process work? Are there advantages and disadvantages of using solvent ink? Let's answer these questions.

To begin, solvent based ink cartridges are normally defined as any type of ink that is dissolved within some other substance. This other substance is usually not water, but rather glycol ether esters or glycol esters and some of their derivatives. Within the printing world, solvent ink is generally categorized based on the level of heat that is used to dry the solvent once the ink is applied to a medium. They can be either mild or aggressive.

A mild solvent will use a lot more heat because the included solvent used is slow-drying. With this type of printer ink cartridge solvent, the printer normally has many heaters inside it that it uses for drying the ink. Generally speaking, these printers are used for fast printing jobs because the faster the printer operates, the more heat the process requires in order to dry the ink.

On the other hand, aggressive solvent ink uses a smaller amount of heat in order to dry the ink because this type of ink solvent dries quickly. This type of application is often used for media that will be exposed to the weather, especially to the Sun. This type of application stands up better to the elements far better than mild applications.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Keep in mind that the words "mild" and "aggressive" have nothing to do with safety. Each type has safer formulations as well as toxic formulations. This means that a mild ink solvent can be toxic! Always read the product information sheet to learn what its hazards are before using the ink cartridge.

The product information sheet will tell you how to use the ink as well as how to handle it and how to clean equipment. It will also detail how to clean up messes and what to do if someone comes into contact with the solvent. It will also tell you how to properly dispose of the used ink cartridge.

Another piece of important information that you can find on the product safety sheet is what effects prolonged exposure to the product can have on a person. This should details both the short term effects as well as the long term effects. If you do not a safety sheet, you can probably get one online by doing a search for the brand and product.

Using solvent based printer cartridges is safe however as long as the user does so according to the product instructions. With more and more people needing access to reliable multi-media printing inks, the use of solvent based ink cartridges is only going to increase.

About the Author: 
Andrew Yeung is president of CompAndSave, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including remanufactured and compatible printer ink cartridges. With deals every month and a 1-year guarantee of quality, CompandSave provides an easy way for people and businesses to purchase printer ink and accessories.

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