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ink, pigmented fluid used for writing and drawing, or a viscous compound used for printing, both of various colors but most frequently black. The oldest known variety, India ink or China ink, is still used in China and Japan for writing with small brushes instead of pens. All inks are composed of a colorant, a vehicle, a solvent, and additives; the colorant for India ink is carbon black, and the vehicle is water; various substances including glue and gum are used to stabilize suspension. Because of its rich blackness and permanence, India ink is used extensively by architects, engineers, and artists. In many early civilizations dyes obtained from plants, and sepia from the squid, octopus, and cuttlefish, were used as ink. The black and blue-black inks used today, composed of copperas (ferrous sulfate), gallic and tannic acids, and a preservative, were probably known as early as the 2d cent., the acids then being derived from oak or nut galls. Numerous master drawings made with ink containing the acids of gallnuts have been corroded by the ink itself. These inks, and also the colored inks used today, contain aniline and other soluble dyes instead of holding their pigments in suspension; they are accordingly filterable and flow easily even through ball-point pens. Felt-tip markers contain organic compounds in solution. The glutinous inks used by printers owe their various viscosities to such ingredients as linseed oil, synthetics of the alkyd type, mineral oil, and petroleum fractions. This reliance on hydrocarbons has raised concern about pollution, and led to the development of several alternatives: vegetable–based inks; toluene–based inks so that the solvent can be recovered; and water–solvent inks. Marking inks used to mark linen are composed of a salt of silver. Indelible or incorrodible ink is used for writing that is exposed to the weather or to strong acids or alkaline solutions. Fluorescent inks are used in printing maps to be read at night. The liquid in the ink used in newspaper printing is absorbed into the paper, while in many other sorts of ink the liquid evaporates leaving the pigment above the paper surface.
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A dispersion of a pigment or a solution of a dye in a carrier vehicle, yielding a fluid, paste, or powder to be applied to and dried on a substrate; writing, marking, drawing, and printing inks are applied by several methods to paper, metal, plastic, wood, glass, fabric, or other substrate.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
a dark brown fluid ejected into the water for self-concealment by an octopus or related mollusc from a gland (ink sac) near the anus
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
ink coverageThe amount of ink used by a laser-class or inkjet printer depends on the type of document printed. A vendor's estimate of ink cost is typically based on a business document with a rather low 3 to 5% coverage. If you print full pages, the estimates are not going to be accurate. As you can see from the sample pages below, the costs can vary greatly.
|Ink Coverage Percentages|
|Although the cost-per-page estimates for these Tektronix printers are in 1999 U.S. dollars, the comparisons are still valid. The more graphics and color, the higher the cost. The Phaser 840, a solid ink printer, was the least costly. The 740 and 780 were laser printers. Tektronix color printers were later acquired by Xerox. (Image courtesy of Tektronix, Inc.)|
inkjet printerA printer that propels droplets of ink directly onto the medium. Today, most inkjet printers are color printers that use four inks packaged in separate cartridges: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK. The four "CMYK" cartridges are individually replaced, but beware single CMY cartridges, because when any one color runs out, the entire cartridge must be replaced. Inkjet printers run the gamut from less than a hundred to a couple hundred dollars for home use to thousands of dollars for commercial poster printers. See inkjet cartridge.
Consumables Add Up
Low-cost inkjet printers wind up costing more than many people realize because the cost of ink cartridges add up over time. It is prudent to purchase the extra-large cartridges if available.
For resolution quality, look at a text sample, not graphics. Graphics always look better than text. For color quality, be sure that samples from different models are printed on the same kind of paper. Coated specialty papers, although costly, greatly improve the printed results because they do not absorb the ink like regular copy paper. See solid ink printer, IRIS printer, printer and ink coverage.
|First Inkjet Technology|
|The nozzle sprayed continuous droplets onto the paper or into the gutter. The nozzle synchronized the ink from the pump, while the charging tunnel selectively charged the ink into the gutter. The uncharged ink reached the paper.|
|Drop on Demand Printheads|
|In the thermal drop on demand method used by HP and Canon, ink droplets are forced out of the nozzle by heating a resistor, which causes an air bubble to expand. Epson uses a piezoelectric technique that charges crystals and expands the bubble.|
|The majority of desktop inkjet printers support standard letter-size or legal-size paper; however, printers that handle larger paper are widely available. This is one of HP's earlier DeskJets, which popularized the inkjet printer and helped bring prices down for the home and small business. (Image courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company.)|
|Inkjet printers like these in VUTEk's datacenter have revolutionized the printing industry, enabling large, attractive graphics to be created one at a time. Such machines support up to eight colors and can print on a variety of media, including vinyl and textiles. (Image courtesy of VUTEK, a division of Electronics for Imaging, Inc., www.vutek.com)|
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