Petroleum-based ink is one of the most utilized inks in the packaging industry. It is favored thanks to its flexibility and colorfastness. In modern life, the birth of many types of ink still cannot exclude petroleum-based ink from industry. In this article, r-pac Vietnam will give you a general view of petroleum-based ink and its role in producing packaging.   

What is petroleum-based ink? 

Petroleum-based ink, also called oil-based ink, is made from petroleum, and has a distinct oily odor. There are different types of oil-based oil. The smell can be strong or light, depending on the content. There are two popular inks with origin from petroleum applied in the packaging market today, plastisol ink and pigment UV ink.  

Why is ink made from crude oil popular?  

Today, oil-based ink still holds its own in the challenging ink market. Petroleum-based ink is compatible with many modern printing technologies: Flexo, Offset, and Digital. Besides, this type of ink has good adhesion. The time for drying is shorter, enhancing printing quality effectively. Products after printing are brighter and more vivid than using water ink.  

Petroleum is the popular resource to produce printing ink

It is the top choice for printers who are looking for cost-efficient solutions. The production cost of conventional ink is lower than others, making it more affordable.   

Some types of oil-based printing ink  

Plastisol ink (light oil-based)   

Identifying the oil content in plastisol ink through smell alone can be challenging. It may require cleaning the plate or using a solvent for accurate detection. Its great benefit is that it creates a sharp outlook and beautiful surface. Light oil-based ink has better tenacity and a glossier surface than water ink. Besides, manufacturers can adjust the blur level to the vendor’s demand.    

This type of ink is a good choice for many printing textures (shirt, fabric, paper), offering a wide range of packaging solutions like labels with various unique visual effects and stable quality.    

Pigment UV ink   

Pigment UV ink is an oil-based ink with the ability of water resistance. UV enhanced reinforces color fastness against ultraviolet rays, making printed pieces durable and long-lasting. Impressive ink conductivity allows this ink to work effectively on different paper materials. The output is less affected by environmental conditions.   

UV pigment ink is suitable for various contemporary printing technologies: Flexo printing and Offset printing. However, the thing printing shops need to notice when using this type of ink is that the nozzle of the inkjet printer gets clogged easily if not used regularly.    

UV pigment is a favoured ink option because its adaptation to different printing technologies

Petroleum-based ink and the environment   

For many years, packaging businesses have relied on petroleum-based ink. However, with the rise of environmental consciousness, it is no longer the preferred choice. The first reason is that the base of this ink is oil, an unrenewable natural resource. As a result, widely using petroleum-based ink for a long time can deplete this resource, leading to its forever disappearance in the future. 

Furthermore, conventional ink made from oil has been proven to have a significant environmental impact. This ink has a significant amount of volatile organic compounds or VOCs, like toluene, benzene, and xylene. When the ink dries, these chemicals are released into the atmosphere, contributing to air pollution, and possibly resulting in ozone pollution. VOCs also make a health hazard to animals and humans. Press and print workers in the printing industry are at risk of respiratory irritation due to the emissions they are exposed to.

Oil-based ink is no longer the first choice of sustainable printing shop

There is a growing awareness in society about the impact of humans on the environment. Innovations about sustainability emerge and are applied widely. The packaging industry is embracing bio-based materials as a replacement for petroleum-based materials. This is the reason why there are currently many different types of ink available that are high-quality, affordable, and environmentally friendly.

If you would like to learn more about creative products, please reach out to r-pac Vietnam for further information. We are honored to partner with you with leading sustainable packaging solutions. 

  • 11/08/2023