Profiling Ecosolvent Inkjet Printers


Document ID: 
Richard M. Adams II and Mark Gundlach


Digital, Non-Member: 
Photo, Member: 
Photo, Non-Member: 


Since 2005, so-called ecosolvent printers have come to replace aqueous dye- and UV-based pigmented inkjet printers in the production of outdoor signs and banners. These printers use ethylene glycol-based ink on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other media. They produce graphics with superior fade-resistance and weatherability. However, unlike aqueous inkjet printers, they require that the media be heated to facilitate ink absorption and drying. Determining the optimum print heater settings adds another dimension to profiling these printers for color management. This paper presents a procedure for profiling ecosolvent printers. In addition to the steps that precede profiling of aqueous inkjet printers (determining optimum ink density, linearization of tone values, and setting total ink coverage), ecosolvent printer users must also determine the optimum heater settings. Too little heat prevents the ink from adhering adequately to the media and drying rapidly. Too much heat, on the other hand, causes the media to buckle. Buckling can cause the inkjet print heads to crash, ruining the print and possibly damaging the print heads. Data are presented correlating media temperature with color gamut.

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