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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Ink (disambiguation).

Bottles of ink from Germany.
Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce
an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing or writing with a pen, brush, or quill. Thicker inks, in
paste form, are used extensively in letterpress and lithographic printing.
Ink can be a complex medium, composed of solvents, pigments,
dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, particulate matter,fluorescers, and other materials.
The components of inks serve many purposes; the inks carrier, colorants, and other additives affect
the flow and thickness of the ink and its appearance when dry.

Magnified line drawn by a fountain pen.
Ink formulas vary, but commonly involve four components:
Vehicles (binders)
Carrier substances
Inks generally fall into four classes:

Pigment inks are used more frequently than dyes because they are more color-fast, but they are
also more expensive, less consistent in color, and have less of a color range than dyes.

Main article: Pigment
Pigments are solid, opaque particles suspended in ink to provide color.
Pigment molecules
typically link together in crystalline structures that are 0.12 m in size and comprise 530 percent of
the ink volume.
Qualities such as hue, saturation, and lightness vary depending on the source and
type of pigment.
Main article: Dye
Dye-based inks are generally much stronger than pigment-based inks and can produce much more
color of a given density per unit of mass. However, because dyes are dissolved in the liquid phase,
they have a tendency to soak into paper, making the ink less efficient and potentially allowing the ink
to bleed at the edges of an image.
To circumvent this problem, dye-based inks are made with solvents that dry rapidly or are used with
quick-drying methods of printing, such as blowing hot air on the fresh print. Other methods include
harder paper sizing and more specialized paper coatings. The latter is particularly suited to inks
used in non-industrial settings (which must conform to tighter toxicity and emission controls), such
as inkjet printer inks. Another technique involves coating the paper with a charged coating. If the dye
has the opposite charge, it is attracted to and retained by this coating, while the solvent soaks into
the paper. Cellulose, the wood-derived material most paper is made of, is naturally charged, and so
a compound that complexes with both the dye and the paper's surface aids retention at the surface.
Such a compound is commonly used in ink-jet printing inks.
An additional advantage of dye-based ink systems is that the dye molecules can interact with other
ink ingredients, potentially allowing greater benefit as compared to pigmented inks from optical
brighteners and color-enhancing agents designed to increase the intensity and appearance of dyes.
A more recent development in dye-based inks are dyes that react with cellulose to permanently color
the paper. Such inks are not affected by water, alcohol, and other solvents.
[citation needed]
As such, their
use is recommended to prevent frauds that involve removing signatures, such as check washing.
This kind of ink is most commonly found in gel inks and in certain fountain pen inks.
[citation needed]


Ink drawing of Ganesha under an umbrella (early 19th century). Ink, calledmasi, an admixture of several chemical
components, has been used in India since at least the 4th century BC.
The practice of writing with ink and a sharp
pointed needle was common in early South India.
SeveralJain sutras in India were compiled in ink.

Many ancient cultures around the world have independently discovered and formulated inks for the
purposes of writing and drawing. The knowledge of the inks, their recipes and the techniques for
their production comes from archaeological analysis or from written text itself.
The history of Chinese inks can be traced back to the 23rd century BC, with the utilization of natural
plant (plant dyes), animal, and mineral inks based on such materials as graphite that were ground
with water and applied with ink brushes. Evidence for the earliest Chinese inks, similar to
modern inksticks, is around 256 BC in the end of the Warring States period and produced
from soot andanimal glue.
The best inks for drawing or painting on paper or silk are produced from
the resin of the pine tree. They must be between 50 and 100 years old. The Chinese inkstick is
produced with a fish glue, whereas Japanese glue ( "nikawa") is from cow or stag.

The India ink used in ancient India since at least the 4th century BC was called masi, and was made
of burnt bones, tar, pitch, and other substances.
Indian documents written in Kharosthi with ink
have been unearthed in Chinese Turkestan.
The practice of writing with ink and a sharp pointed
needle was common in early South India.
Several Buddhist and Jain sutras in India were compiled
in ink.

In ancient Rome, atramentum was used. In an article for the Christian Science Monitor, Sharon J.
Huntington describes these other historical inks:
About 1,600 years ago, a popular ink recipe was created. The recipe was used for centuries. Iron
salts, such as ferrous sulfate (made by treating iron with sulfuric acid), were mixed with tannin
from gallnuts (they grow on trees) and a thickener. When first put to paper, this ink is bluish-black.
Over time it fades to a dull brown.
Scribes in medieval Europe (about AD 800 to 1500) wrote principally on parchment or vellum. One
12th century ink recipe called for hawthorn branches to be cut in the spring and left to dry. Then the
bark was pounded from the branches and soaked in water for eight days. The water was boiled until
it thickened and turned black. Wine was added during boiling. The ink was poured into special bags
and hung in the sun. Once dried, the mixture was mixed with wine and iron salt over a fire to make
the final ink.

The reservoir pen, which may have been the first fountain pen, dates back to 953, when Ma'd al-
Mu'izz, the caliph of Egypt, demanded a pen that would not stain his hands or clothes, and was
provided with a pen that held ink in a reservoir.

In the 15th century, a new type of ink had to be developed in Europe for the printing
press by Johannes Gutenberg. Two types of ink were prevalent at the time: the Greek and Roman
writing ink (soot, glue, and water) and the 12th century variety composed of ferrous sulfate, gall,
gum, and water.
Neither of these handwriting inks could adhere to printing surfaces without
creating blurs. Eventually an oily, varnish-like ink made of soot, turpentine, and walnut oil was
created specifically for the printing press.
In 2011 worldwide consumption of printing inks generated revenues of more than 20 billion US-
dollars. Demand by traditional print media is shrinking, on the other hand more and more printing
inks are consumed for packagings.

Health and environmental aspects[edit]
See also: Environmental issues with paper
There is a misconception that ink is non-toxic even if swallowed. Once ingested, ink can be
hazardous to one's health. Certain inks, such as those used in digital printers, and even those found
in a common pen can be harmful. Though ink does not easily cause death, inappropriate contact can
cause effects such as severe headaches, skin irritation, or nervous system damage. These effects
can be caused by solvents, or by pigment ingredients such as p-Anisidine, which helps create some
inks' color and shine.
Three main environmental issues with ink are:
Heavy metals
Non-renewable oils
Volatile organic compounds
Some regulatory bodies have set standards for the amount of heavy metals in ink.
There is a
trend toward vegetable oils rather than petroleum oils in recent years in response to a demand for
better environmental sustainability.
Writing and preservation[edit]
The two most used black writing inks in history are carbon inks and iron gall inks. Both types create
problems for preservationists.

Chinese inkstick; carbon-based and made from soot and animal glue.
Carbon inks were commonly made from lampblack or soot and a binding agent such as gum
arabic or animal glue. The binding agent keeps the carbon particles in suspension and adhered to
paper. The carbon particles do not fade over time even when in sunlight or when bleached. One
benefit of carbon ink is that it is not harmful to the paper. Over time, the ink is chemically stable and
therefore does not threaten the strength of the paper. Despite these benefits, carbon ink is not ideal
for permanence and ease of preservation. Carbon ink has a tendency to smudge in humid
environments and can be washed off a surface. The best method of preserving a document written
in carbon ink is to ensure it is stored in a dry environment (Barrow 1972).
Recently, carbon inks made from carbon nanotubes have been successfully created. They are
similar in composition to the traditional inks in that they use a polymer to suspend the carbon
nanotubes. These inks can be used in inkjet printers and produce electrically conductive patterns.

Iron gall[edit]
Iron gall inks became prominent in the early 12th century; they were used for centuries and were
widely thought to be the best type of ink. However, iron gall ink is corrosive and damages the paper
it is on (Waters 1940). Items containing this ink can become brittle and the writing fades to brown.
The original scores of Johann Sebastian Bach are threatened by the destructive properties of iron
gall ink. The majority of his works are held by the German State Library, and about 25% of those are
in advanced stages of decay (American Libraries 2000). The rate at which the writing fades is based
on several factors, such as proportions of ink ingredients, amount deposited on the paper, and paper
composition (Barrow 1972:16). Corrosion is caused by acid catalysed hydrolysis and iron(II)-
catalysed oxidation of cellulose (Rouchon-Quillet 2004:389).
Treatment is a controversial subject. No treatment undoes damage already caused by acidic ink.
Deterioration can only be stopped or slowed. Some
think it best not to treat the item at all for
fear of the consequences. Others believe that non-aqueous procedures are the best solution. Yet
others think an aqueous procedure may preserve items written with iron gall ink. Aqueous
treatments include distilled water at different temperatures, calcium hydroxide, calcium bicarbonate,
magnesium carbonate, magnesium bicarbonate, and calcium phytate. There are many possible side
effects from these treatments. There can be mechanical damage, which further weakens the paper.
Paper color or ink color may change, and ink may bleed. Other consequences of aqueous treatment
are a change of ink texture or formation of plaque on the surface of the ink (Reibland & de Groot
Iron gall inks require storage in a stable environment, because fluctuating relative humidity increases
the rate that formic acid, acetic acid, and furan derivatives form in the material the ink was used on.
Sulfuric acid acts as a catalyst to cellulose hydrolysis, and iron (II) sulfate acts as a catalyst to
cellulose oxidation. These chemical reactions physically weaken the paper, causing brittleness.

Indelible ink[edit]
Indelible means "un-removable". Some types of indelible ink have a very short shelf life because of
the quickly evaporating solvents used. India, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia and other developing
countries have used indelible ink in the form of electoral stain to prevent electoral fraud. The Election
Commission in India has used indelible ink for many elections. Indonesia used it in their last election
in Aceh. In Mali, the ink is applied to the fingernail. Indelible ink itself is not infallible as it can be used
to commit electoral fraud by marking opponent party members before they have chances to cast
their votes. There are also reports of 'indelible' ink washing off voters' fingers.

Philippine Herbs Used in Small Animal Practice

Herb Indication
Preparation and
Active Ingredient Precaution
Sabila (Aloe

Wounds, burns,
abrasions, skin
J/ S: Strip off outer
skin and apply
mesophyll on
affected areas
Acemannan, allantoin,
glycoside, emonin,
Toxic when
ingested (due to
anthracoid present
in the latex skin);
not to be used in
pregnant or
lactating animals
Wounds, abscess,
J/ S: Bruise the roots
and immediately
apply topically; or Pt/
Fo: leaves,
Allantoin, tannin, mucous
Toxic when
ingested (due to
alkaloids and
Talong (Solanum
J/ S: leaves, bid x7d Alkaloid, tannin
Slight toxicity noted
when ingested
De/ S: leaves, and
irrigate affected area
tid x 3d
Tannin, saponin, volatile
oil, fixed oil


Surgical wound
(from castration,

Localized Mange
(S, D)

Tick infestation

Pt/ S: leaves mixed
w/ paminta, betel nut
and lime;

T/ S: 75 g tobacco
dust + 1 li H2O, filter
in gauze, + 20 ml
70% isopropyl
alcohol, apply bid x
3d; if moderate
infestation, apply od x
7d more;

Pw, I/ S: 75 gm
leaves, soak in 1 li
H2O (3d), filter, apply
on infected areas, dip
paws for 30 min and
rinse off with tap

Nicotine (causes
paralysis then death of
the parasite)
Toxic when

Aroma (Acacia
Skin disease
Pt/ C: Use fresh
leaves as rubbing

Atchuete (Bixa
Canine pyoderma,
infected wounds
I/ S: Atchuete dye
mixed with lime
Maslinic Acid (aka
crataegolic acid)
Toxic when
Tick infestation,
J/ S: leaves; or
T/ S: leaves in
ethanol at 1:3 (v/v)
Citral (an aldehyde in
essential oil)

Tick and flea
infestation, Mange
De/ S: 500 gm leaves
and young stalks in 1
li H2O apply within 24
hrs, weekly x 6 wks
Coumarin, tannin,
anthraquinone, sulfur

Manga (Mangifera
Mange (S)
/S: Mix the gum resin
with oil and apply
Saponin, tannin,
peroxidase, sulfur

Mange (S)
J/ S: young leaves
mixed with oil
Tannin, saponin, calcium
oxalate, glycosieds
Toxic when
ingested (due to
punicalagin, a
tannin, present)
Atis (Anona squamosa)
Mange (S) De/ S: leaves

Alkaloid, tannin
Toxic when
Kuchai (Allium
Mange (S),
De/ S: 500 gm leaves
in 1 li H2O + 0.5 gm
agar; after cooling, +
500 ml cooking oil,
shake vigorously and
apply to skin weekly x
Alliin, beta carotene
crispa, T. rumphii)
Mange (S)
J/ S: vine, may +
pounded coconut
palm leaves, use as
rubbing agent to
affected areas
cuniculi, eczema
Mange (D)
De/ S: leaves, apply
to the ears weekly x
Pt/ S: leaves
Alkaloids, tannin,
saponin, glycoside,
calcium oxalate
Slightly toxic when
Niyog (Cocos
Dermatophytes /S: Oil
T. simii)
De/ S: leaves
Alkaloids, tannin, sulfur,
Ingenol ester
(present in the
latex) causes skin
irritation & has