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8 Astonishing Truths About Printer Ink

8 Astonishing Truths About Printer Ink

Posted By: John Published: 30/12/2015 Times Read: 125 Comments: 0

Let’s discuss the weird and altogether wonderful world of printer ink. If you’re inclined to close this page upon hearing this – stick with us, as we guarantee the realm of ink and toner isn’t as dull as you might think.

To prove it – here are 8 weird, wonderful and outright astonishing facts about printer ink for your reading pleasure. Prepare to be flabbergasted. 

1. Soy Based Inks Were Developed For Newspapers

While you’d expect the developer of soy ink to be an out-and-out eco-warrior – the truth tells a different story. Developed in 1979, soy ink was originally used in newspaper printing, and was highly regarded for its crisp colour and first-rate page retention.

2. Inkjets Spray at Around 30mph 

If you’ve ever wondered just how fast ink is fired at a page, the answer is around 30mph – the same speed as inner-city traffic. Inkjet printers use a printhead to control and release ink as and when it is required, before discharging it rapidly onto the page. 

3. Toner Is Heated to 150°C During the Print Process

To ensure toner fuses to a sheet of paper, it is heated to around 150°C inside the printer. During this process, toner turns from a powder to a liquid, before cooling to a solid again once it comes in contact with the outside world. 

4. Inkjets Spray 36,000 Droplets of Ink Per Second

During one second of printing, an inkjet will emit around 36,000 droplets of ink – which is impressive, given the accuracy at which it does this. Should a print job last 1 minute, your cartridges will be 2.1 million droplets lighter by the end of it. 

5. Edible Printer Ink is Actually a Thing

That’s right – a restaurant owner in Chicago has famously developed a type of edible printer ink, which along with a modified Canon i560 inkjet printer, is used to create a range of edible paper dishes – including Sushi Maki and a special Champagne seafood dish. 

6. Ink Is Forced Through A Hole A Third of the Size of a Human Hair

Ink travels through a hole exactly one third of the diameter of a human hair, before passing through a pressure chamber which helps the ink strike the page more accurately. During the process, the ink is heated to around 150°C – to ensure it is thin enough to pass through the tiny space. 

7. In the UK Alone, Over 30 Million Ink Cartridges Are Dumped in Landfill Each Year

Despite constant reminders of the importance of recycling, over 30 million ink cartridges end up in landfill each year in the UK alone. When you consider that each cartridge contains all manner of harmful chemicals, it puts this figure into harsh perspective. 

8. The Cost of Single Litre of Ink Is Around £1,000

That makes it one of the most expensive chemicals on the planet – way above alcohol, oil, petrol and even shuttle fuel. Why the high price? Nearly a gallon of oil is used to create one ink cartridge – more than any other liquid on earth. 


Astonished? Bewildered? We thought so. For even more surprises, why not check out the Printhead homepage, where we feature a comprehensive range of compatible ink and toner cartridges at perplexingly low prices. Need help finding a cartridge? Give us a call on 0845 519 5405.

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