The use of water-based inks places greater demands than ever on the printer components, in particularly the pumps. These pumps ensure a readily available supply of ink through a system of vacuum and pressure.
Unlike oil-based inks, water-based inks do not provide lubrication within the pump. Therefore, all pump types with moving mechanical seals, such as gear pumps and piston, could be damaged by transporting water-based ink. With a lack of lubrication, abrasion and heat build-up, the pump starts leaking and may stop working. The pump malfunction may cause the properties of the precisely “formulated” ink to change and due to the heat generated, the curing process may even be triggered early. In a diaphragm pump, all these risks are reduced. Its functionality does not require a mechanical seal and it can therefore be safely run dry without creating dangerous abrasive materials.
Although called water-based inks, many inks still contain chemicals required to improve the curing process. Engineers consider the chemical resistance of the available pump material combinations to achieve the best pump configuration for the inks available on the market. Extensive testing and customer knowledge contribute to the creation of the best pump for the specific application.