Latex inkjet prints are produced with water-based inks onto various receptive latex substrates. These include: photo paper, polyester, and vinyls. These water-based (aqueous) inks are considered eco-friendly; and this should be an important feature to consider.
Most companies requesting “true” photo prints based on the knowledge of their archival properties and sharpness. Black and white paper prints can last up to 100 years or more, and do not off-gas. Worth considering are that inkjet prints can last up to 108 years for color and over 200 years for black and white under rigorous testing.
HP, the manufacturer of Latex inks, makes the bold claim that indoor latex print displays will resist fading, up to 200 years, and outdoor latex prints can achieve up to 5 years of display permanence, un-laminated. HP Lab also states that unless under intense UV light exposure, that neither UV rays in sunlight nor ozone will dramatically affect print permanence in latex inks. Prints produced with pigments, such as is the case with latex prints, will last longer (than those produced with dyes). All testing was performed by the HP Image Permanence Lab and/or by Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. on a range of HP media. Latex prints are also non-combustible and nonflammable, according to HP data. They are odorless prints. No hazard warning labels are required when handling. They require no special ventilation, even when being printed. They have received the UL label of the ECOLOGO and the GREENGUARD ratings. Check here for specific test results. (It should be noted, that HP Labs claim that these results are only meant to be used as guidance, and that due to the high number of media available on the market, they are unable to provide true warranties.)
The exact components are: pigments to form the image, latex particles for the durability, and the ink vehicle is made of water and additives. An ink droplet dries on the surface of the substrate when the water evaporates. The benefits to this efficient technology are the inks are water-based. HP claims to have developed a proprietary polymer to work with the pigments to give these pigment inks a high durability. HP latex inks are a breakthrough in technology, as they does not produce VOC’s nor the former solvent odor; latex wins over solvent for indoor printing. Latex prints are scratch resistant. Laminating the print will increase the durability of the print. This also allows one to modify the look of the print (glossy or matte); as well as it increases the rigidity of the print.