Technical Information

TI/P 3171e
April 2000
Dyes for Inkjet Inks
Dyes for ink-jet inks
Contents page
Description of processes
- Bubble jet 3
- Piezoelectric 3
- Continuous 3
Requirements for inks 3
Choice of dyes 4
Technical data 5
Composition of inks 5
Safety 7
Liability 7
Description of Ink-jet printing consists of ejecting black or coloured streams of microscopic droplets through a nozzle by
processes means of electronically controlled pulses produced thermally (bubble jet process) or mechanically
(piezoelectric and continuous jet processes). The most common processes are
- drop-on-demand (DOD)
piezoelectric activated
heat activated
- continuous
Hertz process.
In the thermally controlled bubble jet process, the ink droplets are sputtered by the pressure brought about
by the selective evaporation of ink that results from heating a thermocouple integrated in the ink channel of
the nozzle.
In the piezoelectric process, a piezoelectric crystal is set into oscillation by an electronic signal, and the ink is
thus ejected. The continuous process is mostly adopted in industrial ink-jet printing. A continuous train of
droplets is charged by special electrodes and guided through electric fields. Excess ink and uncharged
particles are recycled.
The DOD processes are predominantly adopted for printing paper or board for packaging. Bubble jet
printers are mainly encountered in offices and make sole use of water-based inks.
Both water-based and solvent-type inks are suitable for the continuous process. Depending on the system,
the inscriptions are formed either by the electrostatically charged or the uncharged droplets - as in the Hertz
Requirements Very extensive demands are imposed on inks for ink-jet processes. The following properties are demanded
for inks from ink intended for office use.
High contrast
Resistance to heat (applies only to bubble jet)
Good lightfastness
Good fastness to water
Low viscosity
Neutral pH
High surface tension
Rapid drying on paper
No drying in marker head
Analogous demands are imposed on the dyes and are supplemented by the following:
Ready solubility
High colour strength
Low salt content
High surface tension
Choice of dyes The main criteria adopted in selecting the dyes are the shade and the solvent to be used.
Dyes for water-based inks
Table 1
Colour Index
Product Part 1 Part 2
Basovit Yellow 133 E Acid Yellow 23 19140
Fastusol Yellow 30 L Direct Yellow 5 47035
Basacid Red 495 Liquid Reactive Red 24:1 -
Basacid Red 510 Liquid Reactive Red 120 25810
Basacid Blue 762 Liquid Direct Blue 199 74190*
Basacid Black X34 Liquid Direct Black -
Basacid Black X38 Liquid Direct Black -
Basacid Black X40 Liquid Acid Black 194 -
* Different cation
Basacid Black X34 Liquid has very successfully established a sound position on the market for the most
important shade, i.e. black. If more severe demands are imposed on the fastness to water, we recommend
Basacid Black X38 Liquid. For both light and waterfastness, we recommend Basacid Black X40 Liquid.
These black dyes can be shaded with the chromatic dyes to increase jetness.
Dyes for alcohol or MEK inks for the continuous process
Table 2
Colour Index
Dye Part 1 Part 2 Solvent phase
Neozapon Red 365 Solvent Red 160 - MEK/Alcohol
Neozapon Blue 807 Solvent Blue 70 74400* MEK/Alcohol
Neozapon Black X55 Solvent Black 29 - MEK/Alcohol
Basonyl Red 540 Basic Violet 10 45170 Alcohol
Basonyl Violet 610 Basic Violet 3 42555 Alcohol
Neptun Yellow 075 Solvent Yellow 162 - MEK
Neptun Red Base 543 Solvent Red 49 45170:1 MEK/Alcohol
* Different cation
Technical data
Solubility (g/I) or miscibility of liquid dyes
Table 3
Dye Water Diglycol NMP Ethanol 96% MEK
Basovit Yellow 133 E 160 300 < 1 < 1 < 1
Fastusol Yellow 30 L >100 >100 > 500 < 10 < 1
Basacid Red 495 Liq. >100 50 > 500 < 10 < 1
Basacid Blue 510 Liq. >100 >100 > 100 < 25 < 1
Basacid Blue 762 Liq. >100 >100 > 500 < 10 < 1
Basacid Black X34 Liq. >100 >100 > 500 < 10 < 1
Basacid Black X38 Liq. >100 >100 > 100 < 10 > 1
Basacid Black X40 Liq. >100 >100 > 100 10 < 1
Neozapon Red 365 < 1 > 150 500 > 300 > 300
Neozapon Blue 807 < 1 < 50 500 80 200
Neozapon Black X55 < 1 > 150 300 > 300 > 300
Basonyl Red 540 15 200 10 80 < 50
Basonyl Violet 610 15 450 40 150 > 50
Neptun Yellow 075 < 1 < 50 500 10 > 300
Neptun Red Base 543 < 1 35 400 80 300
Salt content (ppm) of the dyes and the surface tension and pH of their 5 % aqueous solutions
Table 4
Dye CI
Surface tension pH
Basovit Yellow 133 E - - >50 mN/m 7
Fastusol Yellow 30 L < 50 2500 >30 mN/m 9
Basacid Red 495 Liq. 600 1000 >40 mN/m 7
Basacid Red 510 Liq. 1000 750 >30 mN/m 8
Basacid Blue 755 Liq. 800 6700 >40 mN/m 2
Basacid Black X34 Liq. < 300 2000 >50 mN/m 7
Basacid Black X38 Liq. < 50 1500 >50 mN/m 8
Remarks The figures for the salt contents were derived from analyses on random
samples and are submitted solely as a guide. Exceptions are those for
Basacid Black X34 Liquid and Basacid Black X38 Liquid, the chloride
content of which is less than 300 ppm. The figures for the surface tension
represent minimum requirements.
Composition Water-based inks for office use contain about 3 % of dye and no binders.
of the inks
It is essential to ensure that the ink-jet inks are carefully brought into line with the system/process and paper
concerned. The made-up inks must be ultrafiltered. A few simple typical formulations are submitted below.
They are intended solely as a basis for experiment on the part of the ink manufacturer.
Piezoelectric systems
3.0% Dye (Basacid types)
53.0% distilled water
10.0% Pluriol
E 400
30.0% other solvents, e.g. diethylene glycol and N-methylpyrrolidone
3.0% Luviskol
K 30
1.0% additives (bactericides; pH buffer)
Bubble jet
3.0 % Dye (Basacid liquid dyes, expressed in terms of solids content) 87.0 % distilled water
5.0 % other solvents, e.g. diethylene glycol or glycerol
5.0 % N-methylpyrrolidone
The choice of solvent depends on the type of paper. If it is uncoated and only slightly sized, the proportions
of diethylene glycol and N-methylpyrrolidone must not be too high, as otherwise the inks will penetrate the
paper too much. As a result, the prints will have poor contrast and the edges will not be sharply defined,
although they may well be fast to water (this applies particularly to N-methylpyrrolidone).
Colored ink-jet prints are mostly on coated paper. Thus the individual dots can be fixed due to an interaction
with the coating and give rise to optimum colour fidelity. Likewise, ink drying is accelerated.
Inks for industrial applications usually contain binders as well as dyes. Since the printing speed in continuous
techniques is higher than that in DOD, water-based inks of low viscosity are required. The conductivity of
solvent-type inks must be at least 100 µS/cm and is generally attained by adding inorganic salts containing an
organic solvent.
Water-based inks
5.0 % Dye (Basacid types) 85.0 % distilled water
5.0 % Pluriol E 400
4.5 % diethylene glycol
1.0 % additives (Trilon B, bactericides and buffer)
Solvent-type inks
5.0 % Dye (Neopen products)
90.0 % methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
4.0 % binder
1.0 % additives (conductive salts)
We have never heard of any ill effects that could have resulted from using the Basovit, Basacid, Neopen,
Basonyl and Neptun dyes for the purpose for which they are intended and from processing them in
accordance with current practice.
According to the experience that we have gained and other information at our disposal, the dyes mentioned
above do not exert any harmful effects on health, provided that they are used properly, due attention is given
to the safety and industrial hygiene precautions necessary in handling chemicals, and the information and
advice given in our Safety Data Sheets are observed.
The information submitted in this publication is based on our current knowledge and experience. In view of
the many factors that may affect processing and application, these data do not relieve processors of the
responsibility of carrying out their own tests and experiments; neither do they imply any legally binding
assurance of certain properties or of suitability for a specific purpose. It is the responsibility of those to whom
we supply our products to ensure that any proprietary rights and existing laws and legislation are observed.
Printed in West Germany
BASF Aktiengesellschaft
Farbmittel und Prozeßchemikalien
D-6700 Ludwigshaften, Germany