Ink jet printer

Margaret K. Thayer mthayer at FIELDMUSEUM.ORG
Mon Mar 5 14:58:17 CST 2001

I don't know for sure if it's archival, but the Lexmark Z51 inkjet printer 
(now superseded by the Z52, using the same cartridges) has black ink that 
is insoluble in 70% ethanol (with or without 5% glacial acetic acid), 95% 
ethanol, acetone, and ethyl acetate within minutes after printing.  The 
print does get rubbed off some if labels in alcohol are subjected to 
ultrasonication with (rough) boiling chips on top of the printed surface, 
but this is far beyond the normal abrasion to which they are 
subjected.  François Génier of the Canadian Museum of Nature brought this 
printer to the attention of Entomo-l discussants last year, and said he had 
had labels in ethanol (I assume 70% or near) for two years with no apparent 

I have some tests running of labels in all the above-mentioned solvents, 
with no degradation visible after 5 months.  I know that isn't long enough 
to qualify as archival yet, but along with François Génier's experience it 
looks promising.

Margaret K. Thayer      mthayer at
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60605-2496, USA
PHONE: 312-665-7741 (direct-dial)
FAX: 312-665-7754

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