Which chemical is used in inkjet photo papers?
The answer varies from one Inkjet photo paper manufacturer to another paper manufacturer. All inkjet photo paper features a base coating that prevents the ink from wicking (penetrating) the paper fibers. Wicking leads to color distortion, dot gain, and image blur during the print process.
Once the base coating is applied, an overcoating may be applied that gives the paper its matte, satin, or glossy finish. The overcoating may be an emulsion polymer, resin, or refined clay that absorbs the ink and allows it to dry as quickly as possible. The composition of the overcoating also determines the color density (Dmax) and the color gamut of printed images.
Coating formulations will generally contain a range of commercial or non-commercial coating chemicals. Titanium dioxide, silicates and specialty carbonates may be used to color the coating. Binders such as amorphous silica, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl acetate or starches (oxidized potato starch) may be present. Some paper contains poly-DADMAC, ethyleneimine, or polyvinylamine to help ink bind to the coating.
Unfortunately, most paper manufacturers do not share the exact composition of their coatings on their paper. Sometimes the information may be found somewhere on their website, within a patent document, or listed in the material safety data sheet (MSDS). In the end, it’s up to the consumer to determine if knowledge of the chemical composition in the coating is more important than the quality of the final print.
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