Is Ink Flammable? What happens if you burn ink? - FlameVenge
February 2, 2023
is ink flammable

We can’t override the fact that ink is a substance we often come across or use almost every day.

Right from painting ink, printing ink, the ink in fountain pens, markers, and our regular biro, ink is indispensable in all spheres of life.

Today, we will walk you through everything you should know about ink and shed more light on a question you probably have in mind: “is ink flammable?”

Meet Ink.

Ink, which you can also describe as a “dye,” is a chemical fluid made up of dark colorants or pigments and an alcohol or water solvent. Ink is one brain behind every colored material or colorful paper we see out there.

Aside from being an essential instrument for enhancing calligraphy, inks can not be left out in an artist’s drawing kit. Thus, inks have several applications in our daily lives.

You can use ink to relay words and diagrams on a sheet, fabric, flat board, or even on your skin as tattoos. Ink leaves a deep imprint on materials. You can relate this to the duration of a skin tattoo or the lasting effect of Tempos on paper.

Moreso, since the ink is useful to everyone, it isn’t a bad idea to know more about it. And by the way, are you sure this worthwhile liquid isn’t putting you at a flame risk?

What ingredients can you find in ink? And lastly, are you safe with ink? Read on to find out the perfect answers to these questions.

So, Is Ink Flammable?

is pen ink flammable

Yes, and no… Ink is not entirely flammable. Some forms of inks can catch blaze while some can not. 

Water solvent inks don’t catch flames, however, chemical inks that employ alcohol as their solvent will catch fire readily. Non-water-based inks flame up majorly because they contain hydrocarbons (e.g., alcohols or ketones) and most hydrocarbons are flammable.

Inks that use water as their base solvent will not catch fire in any condition, but there’s an exception. If flammable supplements are mixed with water-based inks, then they can become flammable. This is a rare occurrence, though.

Is Octopus Ink Flammable?

Octopus ink is made of biological components. And even though these components are like carbon molecules, they are different.

Plus, octopus ink is not reactive, it doesn’t react with air or naked flames to catch fire. So, the short answer is no, octopus ink is not flammable.

Is India Ink Flammable?

Yes, India ink is flammable. India ink releases combustible vapors that are denser than air.

Likewise, India Ink ignites at a flash point of 116.6°F when exposed to open flames or sparks.

What About Black Ink?

Black ink produces extremely explosive vapors in the air. Thus, black ink is flammable.

Can You Burn Invisible Ink?

Invisible ink is a flammable fluid that gives off combustible vapors. This kind of ink burns when exposed to naked blaze and oxygen.

The smoke of burning invisible ink is also poisonous. When you breathe in this smoke for long periods, you can experience symptoms like eye irritation, dizziness, drowsiness, etc.

To ensure your utmost safety, keep invisible ink away from all sources of ignition.

Is Ink A Fire Risk?

Printers should be extra careful when they handle inks, because the bitter truth is, that most inks are flammable. There are more flammable inks than non-flammable ones.

This is because water-based inks are scarce. Most of the common inks found in the stationeries we use and even the printing ink are flammable.

Wet inks are likely to ignite rapidly when compared to dry inks. Hence, using dry ink does not fully pose a fire risk.

But with wet inks, make sure you use them far away from any sources of ignition.

Does Ink Burn?

Naturally, solids and liquids can not burn on their own. They would rather discharge vapors to the atmosphere, which might later become ignitable or non-flammable depending on the atmospheric temperature or conditions.

Inks are special, coloring liquids, you know. But one peculiar feature of inks is that they can indeed burn.

Now, it depends on the ink you’re using, whether it contains a water or alcohol base before you can determine if it will burn. Some inks’ solvents (alcohols or other hydrocarbons) are volatile and will burn under the right circumstances.

However, note that ink burns to release toxic fumes into the atmosphere.

Classes Of Ink

Ink has many applications in industries. Owing to this, there are different ink.

However, all the ink has been narrowed down to two major classes namely, water-based inks and chemical inks. A water-based ink uses water as its principal solvent to add color to a surface.

Chemical inks, otherwise known as “non-water-based inks” or “alcoholic inks” use chemicals as their solvent. These inks are highly rich in chemicals and, as a result, they have the potential to ignite.

Meanwhile, the chemicals in a non-water-based ink comprise hydrocarbons (compounds containing carbon and hydrogen). Combustion is a typical nature of hydrocarbons. This is more reason inks with chemical solvents are more likely to ignite than water-based ink.

You can find hydrocarbons such as hexane, naphtha, ketones, benzene, ethers, toluene, alcohols, esters, etc, in a non-water solvent ink. Ethyl ethanoate found in paraffin oil and nail polish remover is a good example of chemical inks.

Final Recommendations. 

We believe this guide has cleared your doubts about what inks can do, including their flammability nature. Inks are essential substances, but they can be dangerous when they instigate a fire.

Also, some categories of inks can burn (chemical inks) while some can not (water-based inks). To crown it all, not all inks are flammable.

You can visit here to read more about printing ink.

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