Water based ink and plastisol ink are two of the most commonly used types of ink in the screen printing industry. While both can produce high-quality prints, there are some key differences between the two that can affect which one is the best choice for a particular project.
One of the main differences between water based ink and plastisol ink is the composition of the ink itself. Water based ink is made from water-based pigments, while plastisol ink is made from a mixture of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and plasticizer. This gives water based ink a thinner, more transparent appearance, while plastisol ink is thicker and more opaque.
Another key difference is the way the inks are cured. Water based ink dries and cures through evaporation, so it requires more time to cure and may be more sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. Plastisol ink, on the other hand, is cured through heat, so it can be cured more quickly and consistently.
In terms of print quality, water based ink is known for producing softer, more natural-feeling prints on lighter fabrics. It is also easier to clean up and is more environmentally friendly, as it does not contain harmful solvents. Plastisol ink, on the other hand, is more durable and long-lasting, making it a good choice for printing on heavier fabrics or for designs that will be subjected to a lot of wear and tear. It is also easier to print with and is more forgiving of printing errors.
When deciding between water based ink and plastisol ink for a screen printing project, it's important to consider the specific needs of the project. Water based ink is a good choice for lighter, softer prints on lighter fabrics, while plastisol is better suited for heavier fabrics and more durable prints. Both have their advantages, and the right choice will depend on the unique characteristics of the project.