How to Make Stabilized Ink With Gilsonite Powder? 

With its unique properties and versatility, gilsonite powder revolutionizes the ink industry. This naturally occurring hydrocarbon resin, known for its exceptional solubility and binding capabilities, is transforming the way high-quality inks are manufactured. 

Gilsonite powder, with its robust carbon black dispersion characteristics, offers a cost-effective yet superior alternative to traditional ink additives. Its versatility extends to various ink types and makes it a go-to choice for industry professionals seeking to enhance the quality and durability of their printing products.

The Potential of Gilsonite Powder in Ink Industry

Gilsonite powder, a key ingredient in the ink manufacturing industry, stands out for its exceptional properties and versatility. Used primarily as a carbon black wetting agent, it enhances the quality of black news ink, heat set, and gravure ink. What makes Gilsonite a game-changer is its superb solubility in a range of solvents like Xylene, Toluene, Benzene, and various chlorinated solvents, all without the need for heating. This makes it highly adaptable to different printing processes and ink formulations.

In ink production, Gilsonite powder is typically used in concentrations of 2% to 5% but can be increased in certain inks like offset printing to substitute more expensive resins. Its blend with tall oil fatty acids and carbon black pigment results in ink that offers adjustable viscosity, crucial for diverse printing requirements, and ensures superior flow and penetration on paper.

Moreover, Gilsonite ink powder maintains its consistency over time, with the developed films showing a dark color and minimal bronzing effect. Its compatibility with various oils, resins, and additives further extends its applicability in specialized ink formulations. As a cost-effective and high-quality ingredient, gilsonite powder is integral in advancing the printing ink industry. In addition, it brings together efficiency, adaptability, and exceptional printing quality.

The Steps for Stabilized Ink Production with Gilsonite Powder

Manufacturing ink requires a detailed and nuanced process. In addition, gilsonite in ink enhances ink quality. The steps for this process can be summarized as follows: 

Component Ratios: The primary components for this type of ink are:

  • Carbon black, ranging from 10% to 27.8%. Carbon black is crucial for the ink’s pigmentation.
  • Asphalt powder, in the range of 17.6% to 23.5%. This component improves printability by enhancing dispersibility and fluidity.
  • Tall oil fatty acid, between 50.1% to 54.9%. This ingredient is vital for adjusting the ink’s viscosity and improving its flow and penetration characteristics.

Solubility of Gilsonite: Gilsonite powder is known for its excellent solubility without heating in aromatic solvents like Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and most chlorinated solvents. It’s also soluble in aliphatic and low aromatic solvents (e.g., VM&P, Naphthas, Ink Oils, and Mineral Spirits), although it requires a longer mixing time in these. The pulverized grade of Gilsonite is recommended for easier processing.


Ink Formulation: In ink formulations, Gilsonite ink properties typically comprise 2% to 5% of the total mixture. However, in certain inks like offset printing inks, refined Gilsonite resin can be used in higher concentrations (up to 15% or more) to replace more expensive resins.


Advantages of Using Gilsonite:

  • Superior binding properties that result in high-performance, rub-resistant inks.
  • Excellent for carbon black dispersion, vital for achieving jet black coloration in high-quality prints.
  • More cost-effective compared to hydrocarbon and phenolic resins which makes it an economically viable option for ink production.

Special Considerations:

  • Inks developed from Gilsonite powder have a dark color with minimal bronzing effect and do not thicken over time.
  • Compatible with various additives such as drying oils, vegetable oils, resins, hydrocarbon resins, elastomers, asphalts, and waxes, which are often used for specialty applications.

Adjustable Viscosity and Application: The proportions of Gilsonite powder and tall oil fatty acid can be varied according to the requirements of different printing presses and newsprint characteristics. This flexibility allows for inks with adjustable viscosity and enhances both flow and penetration characteristics.


Economic and Ecological Benefits: Gilsonite not only offers performance advantages but also comes with economic and ecological benefits. It serves as a cost-effective alternative in large-scale ink production without compromising on quality.


Applications of Ink Produced with Gilsonite Powder

Gilsonite powder offers a wide range of applications in the ink industry. In addition, the ink itself can be diversified in several industries where industry leaders have been using the material effectively. Some of the ink applications where powder gilsonite is used can be listed below: 

Newspaper Printing: Gilsonite of newspaper inks is extensively used in newspaper printing. Its ability to produce deep black colors and prevent rubbing off makes it ideal for the high-volume printing demands of newspapers. The ink’s fast-drying property ensures that the newspapers can be handled soon after printing without smudging.

Magazine and High-Quality Publications: Magazines often require inks that provide a high gloss and rich black tones. Gilsonite ink is perfect for this application, offering superior color depth and durability that enhances the visual appeal of magazines and other high-quality printed materials.

Offset Printing: Particularly for bulk and commercial printing, Gilsonite ink is highly valued. Its refined resin is used in higher concentrations to replace more expensive resins. It offers a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality.

Heat Set and Gravure Printing: Gilsonite ink is also used in heat set and gravure printing processes. These techniques are known for producing high-quality prints for various applications, including packaging, catalogs, and brochures. Gilsonite enhances the bonding of the ink to the paper and improves the overall print quality.

Packaging Industry: Due to its robust binding properties, Gilsonite ink is used in the packaging industry, especially where durability and resistance to rubbing are crucial. It ensures that the printed material on packaging remains intact and legible even under rough handling.

Specialty Printing Applications: Gilsonite ink is compatible with various additives which makes it suitable for specialty printing applications. This includes metallic effect inks and other specialized formulations where unique visual effects or enhanced durability are required.

Economical Printing Solutions: Gilsonite ink is a more cost-effective alternative to hydrocarbon and phenolic resins. This makes it a popular choice in settings where budget constraints are a factor, without compromising the quality of the print.

Eco-Friendly Printing Options: With an increasing focus on environmentally friendly printing solutions, Gilsonite ink serves as a sustainable choice. It is derived from natural sources and offers a greener alternative to traditional petroleum-based inks.


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