What Do These Two Items Have In Common?

Vanilla Frosting and Pepsi Max

What do these two items have in common? Vanilla Frosting and a DTG print? The answer might surprise you.

  • 9 Million metric tons of it are produced each year (estimated)
  • It can be found in hydro-thermal veins
  • It is odorless
  • The exterior of the Saturn V rocket was covered in it
  • It is resistant to discoloration under ultraviolet light
  • It is used in skin care and cosmetic products
  • It can often be found in most red candy
  • It is used to create superhydrophilicity…think self cleaning glass – where water is incapable of sitting on it.
  • It is also used in sunscreen
  • It is not flammable
  • You’ve eaten it and used it in many various forms
  • It is used in pigments, paints, inks, and many other items
  • It is white…

Fun Facts - Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide. It’s what gives white frosting its white color… AND your white DTG ink. Titanium Dioxide is used extensively in paints, inks, and even food products. It is very versatile and makes your job of printing black shirts easier.

Do NOT try eating your inks. That would be bad. We just thought you’d like a Fun Fact about DTG.

What Happened Over the Weekend?

What-Happened-to-my-white-ink-over-the-weekendI thought this would be prudent to post for people to understand the physics of the inks, especially after a long weekend or several days of no white ink printing.

The photo to the left shows what I saw this morning after 2 1/2 days of no printing. I shook the ink in the bottles and the carts, but it was a little more difficult to “shake” the ink in the lines and the actual printhead, so the ink in those components was not able to get “back into solution”.

The issue is that as the inks will start to “soft settle” over the weekend. This means that the heavier titanium dioxide, what makes the ink white, is heavier than the solution it is suspended in. So, as it sits, it will want to settle out. This is easily put back into solution simple by shaking and getting it mixed back into the solution and is a normal function of the white ink.

You can see at the top of the picture what the ink looks like when it is printed when it is somewhat out of solution. It appears blotchy and the opacity is not good. As the print moves down the shirt and the inks in the lines are moving and the print head expels the ink in it that has not been able to be shaken is purged, the ink starts to gain opacity again. Then at the bottom of the photo you can definitely see the results of the ink printed as it is back into solution. It is a nice, solid white ink with great opacity – what you would expect when everything is printing correctly.

The tip for the day is to make sure you shake the white ink up daily before using it and really shake it up after several days of no printing. You might consider just printing a solid block of white a couple inches high to “purge” the non-homogenous ink and get your printer back into white printing shape.