What Exactly is Thermochromic Ink?

Thermochromic ink is a lot more complicated than the standard discount printer toner most of us have come to know every well. To understand what thermochromic ink is and how it works, we have to first understand the differences between ink and toner, and how we use both today.

The Difference between Ink and Toner

Simply put, ink is liquid and toner is powder. Laser printers use discount printer toner while inkjet printers need discount printer ink. The difference in quality caries as well, and most people will agree that laser printers create better quality images.

What is Thermochromic Ink?

Unlike the discount printer toner we know, thermochromic ink changes color when heat is applied. However, this doesn’t mean that the ink can be manipulated during the printing process to achieve different colors. The effects of thermochromic ink can only be seen after printing.

That means that the ink changes color after it’s in use, not during the printing process.

Examples of Thermochromic Ink

It may be best to list a few examples of thermochromic ink to understand how it works. The most common example of thermochromic ink today is the mood ring. Ink inside the ring is thermochromic, so when your body changes temperature, the ring changes colors.

There are also shirts and sports equipment that use thermochromic ink as either a style choice or to train athletes.

How is Thermochromic Ink Made?

By carefully mixing different colors of printer toner together, and also by combining liquid crystals and lueco dyes. These materials are sensitive to heat and the lack of heat, which makes them react by changing colors. By finding the right mixture proportions and infusing the ink into other materials like t-shirts, the magic of color changing ink can be seen by everyone!

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