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DURABrite Ultra Ink: Technical Brief

DURABrite Ultra ink is the latest formulation in the DURABrite Ink family and is currently featured in the Epson Stylus C67 and C87 printers and the Epson Stylus CX3700, CX4100, CX4700, CX5700F multi function printers. These products are designed for the consumer and SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) customer who is looking for versatility and durable quality prints on plain or photo paper.

This technical brief will focus on the following key advantages of the 4-colour, pigment-based DURABrite Ultra ink:

  • Enhanced support for glossy papers
  • Ideal for printing everyday documents
  • Durable output
  • Wide media support
  • Convenient individual ink cartridges

Advantages of DURABrite Ultra Ink– Enhanced Support for Glossy Papers

Many consumers are looking for a printer that can produce great everyday text documents and photos. With the new DURABrite Ultra ink, customers get high quality glossy photos without compromising the text and graphic printing quality on plain paper that DURABrite Ink has been known for. DURABrite Ultra pigment ink offers these new advantages when printing photos on glossy papers:

Better glossiness: Where previous formulations of DURABrite Ink were optimised mostly for plain and matte papers and produced good quality photos on glossy papers, the DURABrite Ultra pigment ink now produces excellent output on even the best Epson glossy photo papers:

  • Epson Ultra Glossy Photo Paper: This superior glossy photo paper has a heavier, professional weight with a smooth, high-gloss finish.
  • Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper: This high-gloss paper makes prints look and feel like a traditional photograph.
  • Epson Premium Semigloss Photo Paper: This media has the look and feel of true photographic paper, and is ideal for printing displays or scenic colour images. The semigloss finish delivers beautiful results.
  • Epson Glossy Photo Paper: This glossy photo paper delivers a smooth, glossy finish for everyday photos.
  • Reduced gloss differential: Gloss differential occurs when the gloss of the paper is different from the gloss of the ink. By using a new resin formulation, gloss differential with DURABrite Ultra ink is reduced and the colour gamut is improved.
  • Reduced metamerism: Metamerism is an effect where colours appear to be different under dissimilar lighting conditions (such as natural light and fluorescent light). With the new ink formulation, metamerism is reduced.

Advantages of DURABrite Ultra Pigment Ink– Wide Media Selection

DURABrite Ultra pigment ink is optimised for plain and matte papers, yet also produces excellent results on glossy papers. The ink set is compatible with the following media:

Plain Papers Matte Surface Papers Glossy Surface Papers
Epson Bright White Inkjet Paper Epson Enhanced Matte Paper Epson Ultra Glossy Photo Paper
Other plain paper Epson Matte Paper Heavyweight Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper
  Epson Double-Sided Matte Paper Epson Premium Semigloss Photo Paper
  Epson Photo Quality Ink Jet Paper Epson Glossy Photo Paper

Advantages of DURABrite Ultra Ink– Convenient Individual Ink Cartridges

DURABrite Ultra ink was designed for the consumer and small office/home office (SOHO) customer. This customer generally prints text documents, web pages, homework/reports, labels and may also own a digital camera and wants to print high quality photos.

DURABrite Ultra pigment ink offers convenience to this customer by offering:

  • Individual Intellidge™ ink cartridges - for exceptionally high levels on ink utilisation. Each Intellidge™ ink cartridge contains sophisticated circuitry that maintains an accurate record of how much ink has been used and the amount remining.
    Each Intellidge™ ink cartridge tracks its own ink levels and maintains that information even when removed from the printer. It's the best possible system for using full cartridges for continuous large print jobs whilst partly used cartridges can be used for other smaller jobs maximum ink usuage, maximum benefits
  • Excellent output on plain papers - because you don't have to use specialty papers to obtain the best print quality for text documents, DURABrite Ultra ink offers added convenience.

Comparison of DURABrite Ultra Pigment Ink and Dye–Based Ink

DURABrite Ultra is the only consumer-class 4-colour ink set that uses all pigment-based ink; some competitive printers use pigment-based black with dye-based colour, and others use all dye-based ink. The key advantage of Epson DURABrite Ultra pigment ink is its ability to produce the highest quality text and photos, offering colour qualities similar to dye-based ink with the durability qualities of pigment ink. The key differences between conventional dye ink and DURABrite Ultra pigment ink are:

Key Differences Conventional Dye Ink DURABrite Ultra Ink
Characteristics Formed from colour-forming, water-soluble molecules Comprised of insoluble pigment particles
Colour Gamut Best
Colouring is high because ink dyes the fibre of the paper. Light reflects evenly off the surface.
Excellent on Plain and Matte Papers; Very Good on glossy photo papers
Ink remains near the surface of the paper so there is even light reflection
Fade-resistance Fair to Good
The dye inks are dependent on special paper to resist fading.
DURABrite Ultra ink has fade resistance beyond photo lab prints-up to 120 years
Water-Resistance Fair to Good
Inks are water resistant on many glossy photo papers but not on matte
Inks are water-resistant on all supported media, including plain paper.
Plain Paper Printing Good
Feathering occurs as ink is absorbed into the plain paper fibres
Sharp, clear text and graphics without bleeding
Media Selection Best
Widest media compatibility of any ink set: Plain , Matte, RC (Resin Coated) Photo and High Gloss papers, and specialty media (including photo stickers and iron-on transfers)
Wide media selection: Plain, matte, and glossy papers

Advantages of DURABrite Ultra Ink– Ideal for Printing Everyday Documents

DURABrite Ultra pigment ink uses an exclusive Micro-encapsulation technology where each pigment particle is encased in a resin. A unique polymer pulls the particles apart so they are suspended in the solution and never coagulate. The ink base then helps the DURABrite Ultra ink pigment particles to penetrate into the paper.

Using this technology, DURABrite Ultra pigment ink offers these printing advantages:

  1. Extra-sharp text and graphics on plain paper: Because conventional dye-based ink acts much like a watercolour paint, its molecules are absorbed into plain paper. The spreading of ink into plain papers fibres is referred to as feathering. DURABrite Ultra ink particles "rest" near the surface of the paper and are not absorbed into the fibres like conventional dye inks. DURABrite Ultra ink produces a much smaller spot size than dye-based ink, resulting in sharper output on plain paper. This applies to both text and graphics.
  2. Double-Sided prints without bleed-through: DURABrite Ultra ink uses a special technology that controls the penetration level of the ink and keeps the colourant near the surface. Additionally, output on plain and matte papers is optimised with a higher optical density, which means your customers will get darker blacks.
  3. Brighter colours: DURABrite Ultra ink uses an innovative formulation of colour inks, producing brighter output on plain, matte, and glossy paper.

With these advantages, DURABrite Ultra ink is an ideal solution for consumers who generally print everyday documents. Customers can achieve outstanding output, even on plain paper, when printing greeting cards, reports, labels, web pages, resumes, menus, and more.

With the added improvements for printing on glossy papers, DURABrite Ultra ink is the ideal solution for customers who want one printer to produce everyday documents and photos: it combines the best of both in one ink set.

Advantages of DURABrite Ultra Ink – Durable Output

DURABrite Ultra ink offers smudge, fade, and water-resistance on all supported papers, including plain paper.

  1. Smudge-Resistant Prints: Many competitors dye-based inks are not smudge-resistant, especially immediately after printing, thus most prints need several minutes of drying time before they can be touched.
    All Epson ink solutions, including the DURABrite Ultra ink, use a quick drying formula. Epson prints can be touched, without fear of causing smudges, right after printing and beyond. Customers can handle prints without fear of damaging them.

  2. Fade-Resistant Prints: DURABrite Ultra ink has fade-resistant properties that exceed those of photo lab prints and won't fade as quickly as many competitor's prints – even on plain paper. With DURABrite Ultra ink, cherished photos and important documents will last for generations

    Tests have shown that DURABrite Ultra has a Lightfastness of 120 years* on Epson Matte Paper Heavyweight.

    *see for further details

  3. Water-Resistant Prints: Dye-based inks are molecules dissolved in water. These molecules are then absorbed into the paper. If the paper were to get wet, the dye molecules will again dissolve and move from their original position, causing smearing. Pigment inks such as DURABrite Ultra are comprised of pigment particles suspended in the ink, and once applied to paper do not dissolve if they get wet and do not smear.

    The water-resistant properties of DURABrite Ultra ink prevent accidental damage caused by moisture and spills. Many competitive printers use a water-resistant pigment black, but dye-based colour inks. DURABrite Ultra ink uses pigment-based black and colour inks and offers water-resistant properties on all supported papers, including plain paper.


DURABrite Ultra ink provides the best combination of features to the consumer/SOHO customer:

  • Versatility and flexibility (with the ability to print exceptional text documents and photos)
  • Excellent image quality on plain and photo paper
  • Image durability (smudge, fade, and water-resistance)

DURABrite Ultra ink offers:

  • Improved printing on Glossy Photo Papers
  • Excellent output for everyday text documents, especially on plain paper
  • Smudge, fade and water resistance, even on plain paper
  • Wide media support, including plain, matte, and glossy papers
  • Convenient individual ink cartridges

DURABrite Ultra ink is the ideal solution for printing reports, web pages, greeting cards, presentations, report covers, resumes, menus and photos.

DURABrite Ultra ink is currently used by the following Epson single and multi functional printers:

Epson Stylus C67

Epson Stylus C87

Epson Stylus CX3700

Epson Stylus CX4100

Epson Stylus CX4700

Epson Stylus CX5700F