Porperties etching ink.

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Ceesepe Engraving . Desiderio

The ink has a number of properties, falling from the standpoint of physics, chemistry and rheology. The latter refers to that part of physics that studies the deformation of bodies according to the applied stress and time of such action.

Highlight the first group optical qualities such as pitch, intensity, transparency and brightness that affect mainly to the aesthetics of the picture. The chemistry will walk always in the process, sometimes causing unwanted reactions with respect to color and warmth: I cite the example of color change that occurs in some pigments in contact with certain metals by applying heat when working in "chofereta" . The third group will excel viscosity (also called body) and the shot or biting, the first refers to the thickness of its consistency or fluidity, and second, the degree of adherence, quality of "sticky" or more technically, "glutinosa". These two features are closely interrelated and greatly influence the quality of the transfer.

The viscosity can be measured by a viscometer, a container with a hole of known size in the background. The speed with which the fluid exits the orifice is the measure of its viscosity. Moreover, the degree of tension of an ink on paper is assessed by a numbered wax applied to the sheet, thereby determining its strength (Deninnson waxes). Both the one and the other one is more typical tools of the art industrial area.

Finally, the thixotropy, also defined as false body, is the thinning of the ink by shaking, turning itself to the colloidal state when left standing. This is the reason why some stampers are beating a long time. The thixotropy from the Greek phthisis, touch, more troops, back-is a property of the gels be shaken or beaten to gain fluency, returning to the colloidal state autonomously when left at rest. A colloid is a body (pigment) which disintegrated in a fluid (oil) appears as dissolved due to the extreme smallness of their particles, but never spread to the solvent. Precede this word to which it reaches crystalloid solution with the medium in which is wrapped. Are terms more commonly known as an emulsion (or dispersion) and solution.

A corollary of these properties is the length of the ink, the flow or lift as he is known in the field of industrial printing. It is manifested by the resilience and the ability to form long threads or so when we collect it with the spatula, requiring that these threads sometimes short and the other the opposite. Generally speaking, one can say that higher viscosity is required (shorter wires) for embossing lithography or intaglio printing to, but this must be qualified for within the same technique variations arise depending on the type of drawing, if a spot or is laden with nuances or if the carvings are more shallow, to give some examples. We also find that what holds for a situation, consider a lithographic printing watery or a detailed woodcut (wires short to avoid slurring of the image) will be detrimental on the issue of absorption, as if the paper is very porous or grainy is better off with a fluid ink. Recall that the ideal pursued is to transmit the maximum ink ink in harmonious coordination with the art, the image and the type of paper, with less pain of the matrix and the most efficient way for the stamper.

[This description corresponds to oily inks recorded more extended time that the aqueous.]


Maria del Mar Bernal (professor of engraving at the School of Fine Arts, University of Seville)



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