When you do research on large format printing, you will definitely find the term "solvent ink." Solvent ink is a popular type of ink in the print service industry, often used for outdoor signage and banner advertising. You can even read about the bad press about solvents in your research.
What is solvent ink? Basically, solvent ink is any type of ink that does not have water as its base. There are many classifications called for this type of ink. You can also purchase used solvent printers online via http://www.inkjetmonkey.com/solvent-printers.
There is ink that is classified as mild or environmentally friendly, while there is categorized as aggressive. What makes solvent inks different from water-based inks? Apart from the fact that solvents are not based on water, they are pigment inks.
Conversely, water-based inks are coloring inks. Pigment ink is needed to ensure that the outside signage material to be printed is immune to the element, won't fade easily, and is resistant to scratches.
Solvent inks are most suitable for print media that are non-absorbent and uncoated, such as adhesive vinyl. Solvents in ink should keep pigments in liquid form when they are applied to print media using large format printers.
Because print media is uncoated and non-absorbent, the ink is usually formulated with adhesive resins or glues that should help the pigment bind with the print media. Bonding occurs when the solvent in the ink evaporates.