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  •  Ink was already in use for printing (from wooded blocks) at the time of Gutenberg developed his movable type system. Early inks consisted of lampblack or soot mixed with animal glue or vegetable oils. Ink making became a highly developed art among the Chinese.
  • Much of the success of Gutenberg’s invention of printing is due to the special ink he developed for transfer to and from the cast metal type.


  • The ink"varnish" or vehicle is generally cooked in large kettles at 200 to 600°F (93 to 315°C) for an average of 8 to 12 hours in much the same way that regular varnish is made.
  • Mixing of the pigment and vehicle is done in dough mixers or in large agitated tanks. Grinding is most often carried out in 3-roller or 5-roller horizontal or vertical mills.
  • Varnish or vehicle preparation by heating is by far the largest source of ink manufacturing emissions.


  • Printing ink from vegetable oils is a good replacement for the mineral-based ink used currently. “It will reduce the organic compounds released during printing,”.It dries faster and gives a good image quality.
  • Colouring dyes and additives such as aluminium chelate were then added to the mixture. A similar experiment was carried out with mineral oils as well, it was found that the products using vegetable oils—rice bran oil and palm oil—produced better results in terms of stability, and quality of print.


  • The growth of the printing ink sector has been very fast. The production of printing ink had increased from around 7300 tonnes from the beginning and to nearly 20,000 tonnes.
  • Market growth for vegetable inks is quite encouraging. Although the cost of the ink will be 8-10 per cent more than mineral oil-based product, it will avoid a lot of occupational problems, including improving the health of printing workers.


  • PRINTING ink industry is seen augmenting its turnover on the back of a strong growth in its user industries such as newspaper, flexible packaging and publishing
  • Printing ink requirement from these sectors has been expanding on account of the buoyant growth and the overall economic upturn.
  • Newspaper ink recycling as it exists today - where waste ink is processed by a machine at the newspaper printing plant, and then used by that newspaper again.


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