Latex inks, or resin inks, use a unique type of polymer to encapsulate pigments of color. Water acts as a carrier, allowing the pigments to jet through the printheads. Heat evaporates the water and activates the polymers, a process that binds the pigments to the media. It is evaluated in contrast to solvent ink. Both types of ink appeal to those using flexible roll-fed materials for banners, posters, or vehicle wraps. However, latex inks are gaining traction as the preferred type of ink, and here’s why:
1. Latex inks are dry as soon as they leave the printer so there is no need to set them aside for degassing. Solvent inks take 24-48 hours to set and degas. They retain a distinct odor which makes them unsuitable for indoor retails units, particularly food retailers or schools.
2. Latex inks last three years not laminated and five years laminated.
3. Latex is more environmentally friendly. Sixty percent of the ink is composed of water. Also HP notes that solvent ink penetrates the media while latex sits on top of the media, making it much more suitable to be recycled once it is no longer in use.