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What are Bamp;W Inks?
Where can I find the B&W inks in cartridges?
Will the B&W inks work in a 6 color photo printer?
What paper should I use with the MIS B&W Inks?
What kind of ink is this? Is it Lysonic?
Will it clog my printer?
How do you know it is archival?
Do I have to use a head cleaning fluid or flushing fluid?
Is this a waterproof ink?
Have you had any problems so far?

What are B&W Inks?

Our Original B&W Inkset is a set of 4 archival black inks in which 3 have been diluted with a clear base stock to produce 3 shades of gray and 1 black. The three shades of gray can be loaded into an Epson color cartridge to produce beautiful, dot free, black and white prints. We have a 25% black, a 50% black and a 75% black plus the original 100% black. The 25% goes in the cyan chamber, the 50% in the yellow chamber and the 75% in the magenta chamber. The 100% black goes in the black cartridge. When used in conjunction with the Chris Brandin workflow, the results are spectacular. You can find our product offerings on our B&W Page.
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Where can I find the B&W inks in cartridges?

The prefilled B&W cartridges are now available on our B&W Cartridges page.
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Will the B&W inks work in a 6 color photo printer?

Yes, but 2 additional inks are required, one to replace the light cyan and one to replace the light magenta. The 6 color photo printers will make beautiful black and white prints, just like the 4 color printers as long a the paper being used is coated.
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What paper should I use with the MIS B&W Inks?

A coated media is required when using a six color printer (700/EX/750/1200/1270/1280). When printing B&W inks from a 4 color printer, the watercolor (uncoated) media and the coated media both work fine. For a watercolor look, we recommend Legion West Somerset Enhanced (new 9/99) for the 6 color printers and Legion West Concord Rag for the 4 color printers. The pigment in the B&W inks is not suitable for use with glossy paper. Most of the following papers can be found on our INKJET PAPER page.

Preferred papers for making B&W prints include....

Papers that we know do not work....

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What kind of ink is this? Is it Lysonic?

No it is not Lysonic. This ink is totally different. It is a pigment ink. The pigment provides the archival properties.
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Will it clog my printer?

No, it will not clog the Epson printers. The maximum particle size in the pigments is 0.19 microns and the Epson print head nozzles are 25 microns plus or minus 5 microns. The ink is filtered to 0.45 microns and does not cause clogging. It stays in suspension. It is rare for an Epson print head to clog, 99% of the so called clogs are air/foam related problems. Since we introduced it in October of 1998, there have been no reports of blockage due to the pigment.
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How do you know it is archival?

Because none of us are going to live long enough to know if the ink lasts 100 years, we have to depend on some accelerated testing methods. The Rochester Institute of Technology's Image Permanence Institute and Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. are the most well know testers of archival materials. Our ink has been permanence tested by the RIT Image Permanence Institute. Prior to the RIT tests, we duplicated the test methods in our own lab to assure ourselves that the ink is definitely archival. We have done comparison testing with inks and papers that have been certified by Wilhelm by using our internal fade test method. With our inks and other certified inks, side by side, we have seen that the MIS inks significantly out lasts the 50 year certified inks.

In addition to the Wilhelm type of testing, we have done outdoor tests, UV chamber tests and sun chamber testing. In all cases our inks have out performed other inks that have been certified as 50 year plus by a wide margin. This gives us great confidence that indeed, we do have an archival ink.

There is no guarantee on how many years the inks will last, because we do not know how much direct sunlight they will encounter. Please do not create any liability for yourself or for us by making promises to customers or clients. You can view the results of the RIT fade testing here. We will furnish test samples on request that you can evaluate your self or you can purchase the ink, make your own prints and determine the suitability of our archivalness for yourself.
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Do I have to use a head cleaning fluid or flushing fluid?

Yes and No, our archival inks are chemically compatible with Epson's ink. They are both water based and the pH values are very close. They will mix together without any negative effects. It is not like some of the other archival inks on the market which can react with Epson ink to form sludge. For these reactive or non compatible inks, a flushing fluid is mandatory. We do not have this problem. However, when you first install our archival inks there will be a mixture of Epson and our ink in the print head. This mixture is not archival and must be purged from the print head. The smaller printers (not the wide format printers) should be purged by printing some bar charts of each color that cover 80% of the page. After several pages of each color (CMYK) the output will be pure archival. See our page on how to purge your printer. The wide format printers should be flushed out with a compatible flushing fluid before the MIS ink is introduced.

We offer cleaning/flushing cartridges filled with a clear cleaning solution. This can be used to make sure that all of the older ink has been removed from the printer. We have discovered on wide format printers, that if the purging is not 100 percent complete, that very minor banding can occur. This minor banding is not noticeable on all images. Running the cleaning cartridges until no trace of color is present is a positive technique for eliminating this problem.
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Is this a waterproof ink?

This is a tough question because there is not a universal definition of "waterproof". When we print with the archival ink on a paper with waterproof coating, the result is extremely waterproof. We put some archival prints done on Somerset Velvet outdoors and they ran. So on uncoated paper we must say that the ink is not waterproof. On a coated paper, with a water resistant coating, the inks can be waterproof, it depends on the coating. On our glossy photo paper (GP206) the prints do not bleed or run when exposed to water for short periods of time. When exposed repeatedly for several days, some running occurs.

The pigment in the inks gives them their water resistant characteristics, but weather they are totally waterproof is highly dependent on the paper being used. We can say with high confidence that the water resistance of the archival inks is better than the original Epson inks.
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Have you had any problems so far?

Yes, we learned early on that the black ink was not black enough. In November of 1999 we introduced a deeper black archival ink call Double Density Black. It performs very similar to the Epson black, but does not fade or shift. In January of 99, we added gamut to the color inks. Now that we completed the permanence testing, no further changes are planned.

If you have a prefilled cartridge that is not working properly, let us know and we will send you a replacement.
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MIS Associates, Inc.
www.inksupply.com
1735 W. Highwood
Pontiac, MI 48340
Email: support@inksupply.com

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