Aqueous Ink | A Beginner's Guide

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Aqueous Ink | Large Format Print | Beginner's Guide |

What is Aqueous Ink?

Aqueous inks are water-based inks that mainly consist of :

  • Water as the primary solvent/carrier combined with
  • Dyes or pigments.
Aqueous inks may also contain organic co-solvents, dispersion agents and binding agents. This guide dives into the characteristics of Aqueous dye ink mainly.


Aqueous Ink Print Process

The Aqueous ink flows through the inkjet print heads and is applied directly to the substrate.

The ink is then introduced to heat or convection air flow to assist with the evaporation of the water-based components leaving the pigment or dye behind on the paper or canvas.

Due to the polarity of  the water-based content, the aqueous inks absorb well into other polar substrates such as paper.

Aqueous prints are then laminated with thermal or pressure-sensitive adhesive laminates to increase their longevity.


Aqueous Ink Applications

Aqueous Inks can produce vivid colors and extremely detailed images and are commonly used indoors to create:

  • Canvases
  • Photographs, fine art prints, film positive and negatives
  • Backlit prints
  • Store and point of sale (POS) displays
  • CAD and GIS for construction and mapping details.
  • Indoor signage and posters.
  • Indoor proofing and quick prints. 


Aqueous Ink Facts


Aqueous Ink Types

  • Aqueous inks can be divided into two types: Dye based, or Pigment based Aqueous Inks.
  • Dye-based aqueous inks consist of colored dyes mixed with water. These inks stain the page when applied, and dry on the medium as the water evaporates. The tiny dots of color can produce bright colors and provide high quality prints.
  • Pigment-based aqueous inks combine a powdered substance with water. These inks sit on top of the canvas instead of staining it. Pigment inks disperses light and results in relatively more muted colors than dye-based inks. These inks also tend to be waterproof and resistant to UV light.


Aqueous Ink Characteristics

  • Aqueous inks provide notable photographic quality due to its very small dot size being able to create a detailed result.
  • Presently, this ink is mostly utilized in the CAD and GIS industries. UV, Solvent  and Latex Ink is currently the ink of choice in the sign and graphics industry.
  • Aqueous inks can still be printed on non-porous media like plastic however the process requires that the media is coated with a porous substance such as giclee inkjet coating. This option however can be  expensive.


Aqueous Ink Environmental Impact 

  • Aqueous Ink is considered non-toxic and safe for general domestic, retail and office use. This ink has little to no odor during or after the printing process. 
  • Aqueous ink is ideal for indoor application for homes, schools, retail stores and other businesses in general. 


Aqueous Ink General Considerations

  • Print speeds can be slow due to the required drying time needed. As a result, this must be factored into turnaround times for print jobs.
  • It's normally more expensive than solvent based inks.
  • As the ink is water-based the finished products can be easily scratched and susceptible to moisture. This limits the outdoor life of some products to about 6 months without lamination.


The Best Media for Aqueous Ink

Since aqueous inks contains water as its main solvent it is best paired with other porous materials like cardboard and paper.

It is strongly recommended that these media be laminated to lengthen their print life.


Common questions about Aqueous Ink

Q: Which printers use Aqueous Ink?

A: Here are a few popular Large Format Printers that use Aqueous Ink


Hi-Fi Jet FJ-40,Hi-Fi Jet FJ-42,Hi-Fi Jet FJ-50,Hi-Fi Jet FJ-52,CammJet CJ 400,CammJet CJ 500,CammJet PRO II CJ 540.


Ultrachrome 74xx, 76xx, 78xx, 94xx, 96xx, 98xx, 10600 & 11880; Colourfast 75xx, 95xx & 1000.


IPF Series 6000, 8000, 9000 & 9100; W Series 6400, 7200, 8200 & 8400.


Q: When to use Aqueous Ink?

A: Aqueous Ink prints are best used for brightly colored and detailed indoor displays and signage. Aqueous Printers may be the preferred options for retail spaces and small office spaces that need quick prints and are unable to provide install proper ventilation systems.


Q: Where can I buy Aqueous Ink?

A: currently provides High Quality Aqueous Ink compatible with Roland* Large Format/Wide Format Printers at competitive prices!!

Our Aqueous Dye and Aqueous Pigment ink is compatible with the following Roland* Printers:

Hi-Fi Jet FJ-40,Hi-Fi Jet FJ-42,Hi-Fi Jet FJ-50,Hi-Fi Jet FJ-52,CammJet CJ 400,CammJet CJ 500,CammJet PRO II CJ 540

Stock up on your Roland* Large Format Aqueous Ink at the best prices today!



Q: Is Aqueous Ink Safe?

A: Aqueous Ink is print safe. It is non-toxic and does not release VOC unlike its competition. It does not produce toxic odors and does not require ventilation.


Q: How long do Aqueous Ink prints last

A: Aqueous Ink prints tend to last up to 6 months. The life of these prints can be extended depending on the kind of Aqueous Ink being used and the finishing and lamination methods utilized.


Did you Learn something New?

Let us know in the comments below!!

Also let us know if you have any questions about Aqueous Ink and our Ink experts at will answer them for you.


Check out our Best Selling Aqueous Inks!

   Roland Aqueous Dye 220ml Ink Replacement on                   Roland Aqueous Pigment Ink 220ml Replacment


About InXave: is a one stop shop for all your Large Format/Wide Format ink  needs. We offer a huge selection of replacement inks for all major brand name manufacturers such as Mimaki*Roland*HP*Mutoh*Epson*Oce*Seiko*Canon* and more. Our quality and prices can't be beat. Try us out today!


Why InXave is the ideal choice:

Times are hard for print shop owners. understands this and strongly believes that you should not have to choose between quality and price.

We promise our customers:

  • Only High Quality inks made in the USA.
  • World Class Customer Service follow up.
  • Technical Support and Assistance they can rely on.


*DISCLAIMER: All logos and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Their use does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them

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