How HP Maintains Ink Quality

In the second of our series of videos, HP’s resident “inkologist” Thom Brown explains how HP’s unique ink technology helps it achieve the best possible quality with its prints. This comes from HP using the most advanced materials in its inks for the highest performance. Cheaper inks might be available, but these will use inferior materials that can’t stand up to the many situations ink will encounter. How the ink interacts with the paper needs to be taken into consideration, as well as the fact that it gets heated to 300C and shot through a nozzle about one third the width of a human hair at around 30mph.

However, most important of all is the way the ink interacts with itself, because dots are layered on top of each other as the image is built up. If these layers affect each other unduly, they might cause a blurring of the image and alteration in colour. In this video, Thom Brown demonstrates conclusively what can happen with cheaper inks when one ink colour is layered on top of another. The second layer of HP ink stays in one integrated blob on top of the first layer. But with the cheaper ink, it’s very clear that the second layer of ink immediately begins to feather out on top of the first layer in a random and unsightly fashion. The end result is a blend of the two layers, which reduces sharpness and the definition between the two colours.

In conclusion, whilst it is possible to save money with cheaper ink, there are obvious compromises with this strategy. In particular, the materials used are likely to provide inferior sharpness and colour due to the materials used interacting in a negative fashion on the page. This makes cheap ink a false economy if you want the best quality from your printing.

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