Ink mixing is critical to achieve a perfect print. Mixing the ink incorrectly, will drastically affect the printing process. This can get difficult and frustrating. This will in turn lead to reduced production time and wasted ink.

To mix ink, you must have the proper equipment. Use a digital scale to mix pad printing inks. We recommend a gram scale that has an accuracy of 0.1grams. Additional recommended supplies are: Unlined mixing cups (no wax), mixing sticks or spatula. Unlined cups are important to reduce the chance of the ink getting contaminated. Contaminated mixed inks will cause the ink to have poor adhesion. Lastly, you need personal protective equipment—gloves and goggles. These are highly recommended.

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After you have gathered all the necessary pad printing supplies and equipment, next is to make sure that you have the ink and the appropriate additives. These additives are hardener (catalyst) and the solvents for 2-component inks, and solvent for 1-component inks. 1-component inks do not use hardener.

  1. Open the Ink container and mix thoroughly.
  2. Make sure the scale is on a flat (level) surface. Place the mixing cup on the scale and then zero it.
  3. Add the ink into the mixing cup. Note the weight of the ink and Zero (tare) the scale. For 90mm pad printing ink cup we recommend a minimum of 60grams of ink.
  4. Skip this step for 1-component inks. Add the appropriate hardener (catalyst) into the ink. Mixing ratios are on the ink container. You can also check the TDS and ink mixing instructions for each ink series. For i-300X we recommend 10% of the inks weight.
  5. Mix the ink and hardener thoroughly. Note: The hardener activates the ink, which give the ink a pot life of 8-10 hours.
  6. Place the ink-hardener mixture onto the scale and zero out the scale. The add the appropriate solvent into the ink. Add solvent 5%-30% of the inks weight, and then re-mix. Add solvent until you achieve the desired ink viscosity. For most pad printing inks, use 20% of the inks weight. Let the mixed ink sit for 5 minutes once mixed before printing.


Also note that inks must re-thin every 2-3 hours in the ink cup. This helps to replace evaporated solvents. Our pad printing machines have an ink mixing feature which will help the inks stay wet. Please note that Natron™ Inks are highly pigmented and may take more solvent than other inks. High pigmentation leads to high opacity prints. Lastly, never add fresh ink into mixed ink.

These simple steps will help improve your printing process. If you still require assistance, please contact us (+1 (781)-281-2558 and we will be glad to help you.