how "eco" is ecosolvent ink?


New Member
We have very little airflow in the space our owner wants to install a
Roland XJ 740. Does anyone have any suggestions on needed

Just cause it doesn't smell bad doesn't mean it's good for you



New Member
We have no ventilation and it doesnt bother us. Every once in a while you get a wiff of it, but i dont think you can tell


we run 2 roland versa camms with the ecosol ink
everyday and we aaa i um i think eevaryaneiiiiis ok
had them almost 3 years and other than hair fall out no health problems here
and i have been working around silk screen inks for about 19 years so the ecosol ink is like drinking water


New Member
Eco-solvent, which if i was told right by the gentleman who set up our Mutoh 1604, means economy, not ecological.

Tim Aucoin

New Member
No problems with ecosol fumes/smell here (running the 540V). Then again, my sniffer is probably damaged beyond repair from sniffing printers ink, wash-up solvent and isopropyl alcohol for over 20 years! :rolleyes:

Tim Aucoin

New Member
Eco-solvent, which if i was told right by the gentleman who set up our Mutoh 1604, means economy, not ecological.

Pssst... yeah, but don't my customers that, okay... they think I run a "green" shop when I tell them I use EcoSolvent inks... :ROFLMAO:


Premium Subscriber
I'm not sure of the details, but the same crap that's in the true solvent is in the mild solvent or eco-solvent inks, but just not as much and the odors are covered up somewhat.

Not being able to smell something doesn't take the evil out of it. Otherwise, I would imagine they would say it's 100% safe to use in UNventilated areas. I've never seen that statement, so one could only assume they are safe.

If your machine is in a wide open area and you are near a window that you can crack open, you're in much better shape than keeping it cooped up in a small confinement with little to no air flow.


New Member
the solvent is alcohol. There are hundreds of alcohols.
Some are deadly some make changes to our reproductive organs and some just make us ill.
Which one do you want to breath?


Premium Subscriber
Try this on for size..................

The recent introduction of lower-cost solvent, wide-format printers has opened up the market for inkjet printing in outdoor applications. These systems are selling in increasing numbers and many new machine and ink vendors are appearing on the scene. However, popularity doesn’t equate to understanding the features and benefits of the many different inks available.

Confusion Abounds
Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines solvent as "a substance, usually a liquid, which dissolves another substance." This can describe any liquid – including water. But in the inkjet world, the term is used to describe any ink that is not water-based. On top of this, the terms the industry uses to describe inks include soft, mild, safe and green, as well as hard, real, true and strong. No wonder people are confused.

One of the more intriguing terms used is eco-solvent ink. To most people, "eco" means ecological. But these inks generally contain glycol esters or glycol ether esters – both derived from mineral oil – hardly a renewable resource or an ecologically sound process. Perhaps the terms mild and aggressive might best be suited to describe the two groups that include solvent inks.

To Work, It Has To Stick
The vast majority of images for outdoor display are printed on nonabsorbent, uncoated materials, such as self-adhesive vinyl and scrim banner. The resulting print has to be weatherproof, fade-proof and largely scratch-resistant. In order to meet these performance criteria, the inks use a colorant in the form of a pigment – a very fine powder – and as the media is nonabsorbent, a resin or glue literally is used to stick the pigment onto the surface.

The solvent is really a carrier fluid to keep the ink in liquid form for jetting, and once the ink has been applied, the solvent evaporates. Most printers use forced drying in the form of heat to speed up the process. Non-aqueous liquids are used for the carrier fluid or solvent, as it is easier to produce a waterproof image using resins that are not water-soluble.

Two Choices: Mild or Aggressive
A mild-solvent ink – also known as soft or eco-solvent – generally uses very slow-drying liquids as the carrier fluid. Therefore, printers that use these inks have several heaters fitted to aid with ink drying. The faster the machine prints, the more heat is needed. One of the main benefits of slow-drying carrier fluids is that they make it easier to design and manufacture a reliable printer.

On the other hand, aggressive solvent inks – hard or true solvent – generally dry faster and need fewer heaters in the system. Because of this lower heat requirement, media that is prone to pucker under heat can be used more successfully than in a mild-solvent ink system. Aggressive solvents also have the benefit of softening up the media surface, which helps pigments to bond.

Hence, aggressive solvent inks tend to be more scratch- and weather-resistant, and work on a wider range of materials. The types of resins and additives that can be used with aggressive solvents also make it easier to produce an ink that is glossy when dry, so colors appear to have more "pop."

The running cost for both ink types are remarkably similar when purchased in cartridge form, although aggressive-solvent machines tend to use about 10 percent more ink due to the increased head-maintenance cycles required. However, most aggressive solvent printers now come with bulk ink-delivery systems as standard or an option. This reduces running costs considerably over cartridge-fed solvent machines. It remains to be seen if the mild-solvent machine vendors introduce bulk ink at a competitive cost.

A factor that sometimes is overlooked when selecting an ink is its resistance to other solvents. Finished prints often come into contact with harsh chemicals, particularly in cleaning agents. Glass cleaner or specialty vinyl-cleaning products can remove mild and less expensive aggressive-solvent-based inks.

Bad Reputation
Solvents have received a lot of bad press recently. However, the fact remains that there are equally as many "safe" aggressive solvents as there are toxic mild solvents. In addition, many commonly held myths about solvents confuse the issue: "If it don’t smell, then it is safe," and "The more aggressive a solvent, the more poisonous it is." For instance, dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether is a commonly used material in many low-odor mild-solvent inks with an exposure limit set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health agency at 100 parts per million in the work place. Compare this to some of the lactates used by aggressive-ink manufacturers that actually are food additives, are easily metabolized and have no set exposure limits.

Before using any ink, request a Material Safety Data Sheet from the supplier. By law, a supplier must provide this. A well-written MSDS provides specific information about exposure limits and ventilation-extraction requirements. It also should list the components in the ink, along with the Chemical Abstracts Service number of each item. A quick Web search using the CAS numbers will provide you with a wealth of health and safety information. Good resources also include OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency sites at and

Once you’re aware of the safe exposure limit for the ink you are using, don’t ignore this. If it’s recommended for use in a well-ventilated area or that fumes be extracted, then do it. The health effects of exposure to more noxious solvents, such as ketones, may not be immediately apparent, and long-term exposure may be harmful. One such problem appears when a person becomes sensitized and symptoms such as nausea, headaches and skin rashes occur. As long as simple ground rules are observed, solvent inkjet printing is a safe and environmentally sound process.


New Member
Excellent Find Gino!!!!!!!!!

I have never, ever heard it said so completely and thoroughly.

As someone who has been in this industry for almost 20 years, I have even wondered and questioned some of these terms and differences in these items myself. I highly recommend that this be put into our library or knowledge base in someway with proper citation and possibly the original link(s). As much as this question comes up, especially by those new to the industry, I think this could go a long way to serve as a sort of benchmark of information on this topic.



New Member
Well there used to be a reason that Pure Solvent was Cheaper than ECO... Then They realized they were killing people so they made ECO... Now ECO is every bit as deadly as the Pure stuff... There are horror story's out there with people getting liver cancer because they didn't have ventilation and so on... I have been printing with 2 Solvent machines for about 6 years and well... Knock on wood no issues yet. I think The smell is only bad when a Heavy Scrim Block Out solid color banner is printing anything else seems to be cool. All I can say is if you cant handle printing and making the money then I think Printing isn't the career you should be in. But that's just my opinion Good Luck JMDW... and KUDOS to GINO! Nice reading material!


New Member
Eco solvent usually is for Epson DX4 print heads, most of eco printers like Roland, Mimaki, Motuh,that others. Eco-solvent as some guys said less smell. So it is environmental friendly ink. This is the first reason why it is better than solvent ink. Secondly, Epson DX 4 can print high resolution up to 1440dpix1440dpi due to its dot is very small.


New Member
Eco solvent usually is for Epson DX4 print heads, most of eco printers like Roland, Mimaki, Motuh,that others. Eco-solvent as some guys said less smell. So it is environmental friendly ink. This is the first reason why it is better than solvent ink. Secondly, Epson DX 4 can print high resolution up to 1440dpix1440dpi due to its dot is very small.

Let the fun begin with this guy:help

Maybe then again.. i wont fall for it this time:doh:

Darn he almost had d d d d d d m m m m m m e(epson head ink with its small dot getting to my variable dot nervous system............):popcorn:

Good Post Gino! as always well researched


New Member
Thankfully all of this information doesn't worry me.
Since I started working in the same room as the printer my attention span is ....mmm cookies!