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All About Using Your Inkjet Printer and Ink Cartridges

Sep 17, 2008
If you are like the many other people in the country, you will most likely find that you need to use an inkjet printer for one reason or another (or many reasons). It can be very helpful to understand how these types of printers work.

Inkjet printers propel different sized drops of liquid ink onto almost any material - most of the time, these printers are used with paper. There are many different companies that manufacture these types of printers, but they all have similar operation.

There are three types of inkjets: thermal, piezoelectric, and continuous. Thermal inkjets use ink cartridges that employ the heat as the energy to propel the drops of ink. Most consumer inkjet printers use this type of technology.

Piezoelectric inkjets use piezoelectric material in the ink chamber to print. When electricity is run through the piezoelectric substance, its shape changes, forcing droplets of ink out of the nozzle.

Continuous inkjet printers is typically used commercially for coding products. This technology has been around since the 19th century and uses a high-pressure pump to propel ink droplets onto the paper or other material that is being printed on.

Just as there are different types of inkjet printers, there are also different types of inks that can be used in these printers: solvent, UV-curable, dye sublimation, and aqueous. Solvent inks are fairly inexpensive and are used by large format businesses to print onto vinyl.

UV-curable inks are exposed to strong UV light after they are printed. This type of ink dries as soon as it is exposed to the light and can be used on a wide variety of materials.

Dye sublimation inks contain sublimation dye that can be applied to fabrics that consist of a high percentage of polyester.

Aqueous inks are, by far, the most popular and are used in the workplace or at home. The ink is inexpensive to produce and is a mixture of glycol, dyes and water.

The main issue that can cause problems with your inkjet printer is due to ink clogging the printhead's nozzles by drying up. There are many different things you can do to prevent this clogging, however. Some printers cover the printhead nozzles with rubber caps when not using the printer.

The majority of inkjet printers include a feature that reapplies moisture to the printhead, preventing excessive drying out. Regularly using the cleaning feature that is included on your printer's software is another way to prevent any clogging from occurring.

If you do run into issues with your printer, always remember to refer to the instruction manual and check your ink cartridges!
About the Author
Wendy Moyer is an independent journalist. Prink.co.uk is a trusted resource that offers consumers the chance to purchase high quality ink cartridges -further information can be found on the Prink.co.uk website.
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