Flaxseed, Linseed, Soy – What’s the difference?
Not sure what type of printing ink you should be using on your printing projects and marketing materials? Looking to get the most from your printed piece? Maybe you want to know which inks are better for the environment? Well, here’s how to determine the differences between printing inks.
Lithographic printing inks are composed of pigments, vehicles and additives, such as waxes and driers. The vehicle aspect of these inks requires resistance to fountain solutions while on the printing press.
They have to allow drying in a sufficient time frame but not dry while on the press. Drying to a hard, rub resistant image is imperative while maintaining a sufficient gloss sheen to add interest to the imagery.
To achieve these properties, the vehicles require a combination of vegetable oil,
vegetable oil alkyds (modified and thickened), resins for hardness and gloss as well as mineral distillates to give the setting characteristics.
Traditional mineral based inks have larger proportions of mineral distillate and LESS of the vegetable oil component. These inks do not perform well with popular alcohol based solutions on press and do not dry to the hardness of vegetable base ink.
Linseed Oil, aka Flaxseed, is derived from the Flax plant seed. It has excellent drying properties and water or solution resistance while on press. It dries rapidly and reacts quickly to resins to produce vehicles that offer the best all round properties.
Soya Oil based inks are derived from soy beans. It is less expensive than Linseed oil.
It also has similar qualities to that of linseed oil but it does NOT dry as well nor give
as good of a rub resistance on paper.
CRW Graphics located in Pennsauken, NJ is an eco-friendly, commercial printing company that specializes in high color printing reproductions.
The Linseed oil or Flax based ink used at CRW is a substitution of petroleum distillates by vegetable oils, a renewable resource that will conserve our non-renewable resources. Due to a larger ratio of the Linseed oil in CRW’s process inks, there are fewer chemicals emitted into the atmosphere.
This Flax based ink also dries faster, harder, and has a higher rub resistance than the soy based counterpart.
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