The science behind ColorLok Technology results in more saturated colors, bolder blacks, and faster drying times.
During the papermaking process, a chemical additive is incorporated into the paper to “lock” pigments at the surface. Without this technology, paper acts more like a sponge, absorbing black and color pigments deep into the paper and away from the surface.
Watch: How ColorLok Technology works, John Stoffel, Head Chemist at HP
How does it Work?
The ColorLok additive is incorporated into the paper during the papermaking process and produces a chemical interaction with the pigment in the ink. This helps hold the colorant near the surface of the paper, while the water absorbs deep into the paper fibers. What results is a highly absorptive and fast-drying product.
Pigment particles are the colorant used in many inkjet inks for home and office printers. Pigments are suspended in a colorless liquid, called the ink vehicle, which rapidly immobilizes pigments at the paper surface.
The Printing Applications Laboratory at RIT performs ColorLok Qualification on submitted media. As an independent third-party testing facility, PAL has been exclusively chosen to ensure and validate compliance with ColorLok specifications. PAL has the technology, management, and the established infrastructure required for worldwide-class testing programs required by the ColorLok Technology Initiative, as well as broad experience in handling long-term global testing and qualification programs.
When ink touches the surface of ordinary paper, pigment particles are absorbed deep into the porous sheet, thereby reducing optical density.
When ink touches the surface of ordinary paper it spreads along the paper fibers causing a ‘feathering’ effect.
Black text appears grey because much of the ink has saturated deep into the paper fiber, leaving less intensity on the surface.
With ColorLok Technology, the ink vehicle penetrates the surface of the paper without transporting the pigment particles into the paper.
Color appears richer, more saturated and vibrant because the ink particles separate from the vehicle, before they are absorbed into the paper.
Black pigments are removed from the ink vehicle and remain concentrated on the paper surface, resulting in denser blacks with sharper edges.