If you’re one of those using or considering issuing solvent inks for your business printing – and perhaps choosing the so-called ‘eco-solvent’ option to ease the guilt and limit your contribution to environmental damage – you’re in for a rude shock!
There’s a YouTube clip doing the rounds that spells it out in easy-to-understand lay person’s language – and if you’d like to view the video, here’s the link:
There’s a YouTube clip doing the rounds that spells it out in easy-to-understand lay person’s language – you should take a look at it.
You will see that the comparative test includes three distinct ink offerings and puts them through the proverbial ringer in what is termed the ‘Glove Test’. There’s latex ink in the left corner, eco-solvent ink in the middle and mild solvent ink on the right.
The respected test is carried out on three identical silicon rubber gloves, with the ‘wrist’ of each of the gloves secured around the rim of a glass beaker. The middle finger of each is then injected with one of the three ink options – and at the exact same time.
A timer is set in motion and all looks good until we reach the 50-second mark, when the mild solvent ink’s properties start to degrade the finger of the silicon rubber glove to such an extent that the rubber perforates, the ink breaks through the membrane and spills into the beaker below.
The next to follow the perforation path is the silicon rubber glove holding the eco-solvent ink, although the damage occurs nearly four minutes later, at the four-minute 30-second mark.
At the 10-minute 15-second mark, the glove holding the latex ink is removed from the beaker, with all the ink content in the middle finger and no damage to the silicone glove. The experimenter goes further, pulling and tugging the middle finger to extreme lengths. Regardless of how he manhandles it, not a single drop is shed.
That’s because, despite the phrase ‘eco-solvent’ filling our heads with thoughts of an environmentally sensitive product, the only ink to do no harm, the only one that is truly green and free of the damaging toxins found in all solvent inks, and the sole option that ticks all the boxes and contributes to the health of our fragile planet, is latex ink.
If you’re still not convinced, you’re hanging onto your Doubting Thomas persona and need more proof, there’s another laboratory test of a similar nature.
This one chooses plastic cups in place of silicon gloves, but that’s where the difference starts and ends.
The three inks go into the three cups in the exact same quantity and at precisely the same time. Again, the mild solvent ink performs worst, taking six minutes and 43 seconds to eat its way through the base of the cup.
The eco-solvent ink hangs in for almost double the time, pushing through the 12-minute 39-second barrier before it’s supposedly ‘eco’ properties have the bottom falling out of its world, so to speak!
And the cup holding the latex ink, you ask?
A week later – that’s right, seven long days and nights later, every drop of latex ink remained in the cup and the cup itself was still in showroom conditions.
That’s why we at VitrineMedia have invested in a latex printer. We now offer our customers environmentally friendly latex prints to complement a product range that, through painstaking research and development efforts, is made from materials of which 97 percent are recyclable and thus carry a minuscule small carbon footprint.
I’d say these experiments prompt us to all think about more than just our business but the delicate environment we all call home – and give solvent inks what they deserve.
The middle finger!