How do you create the perfect Ink?


As a business, Diamond Dispersions have always had a simple philosophy -  ‘Creating the perfect dispersion to make the perfect ink.’

From their humble beginnings to the successful dispersion business, with an incredible list of significant OEMs and Ink customers that they now have, the owners Sue Wright and Peter Callahan always have had a vision that has clearly carried them forward in the last 6 or so years. It has continually been about producing a niche product, with emphasis on outstanding quality and speed to market. For them, dispersion design is an obsession, so each and every batch we make needs to meet our exceptionally high standards. They feel they always aim for perfection; ‘nothing else will do’ said Sue Wright, co-founding Director of Diamond.

Neither Sue nor Peter had a particular background in Inks or dispersions, but with entrepreneurial swagger and a bold leap they began in 2004 by ‘purchasing car tyre carbon char’ to used clever chemistry to recover the Carbon to use in dispersions for Inkjet cartridges in the growing demand of the inkjet Desktop world.

It was not long before they had employed a number of chemists – Inkologists, who really knew their stuff, but the desktop market was maturing and littered with patents and litigation and so they began to look towards new markets. With an ‘eye on the revolution’ occurring in Digital textile, they shifted emphasis onto dispersions for inks in Industrial and textile markets. 


But as Peter says ‘Digital Ink is difficult. You can drop a screen ink on the floor and put it back in the pot without much to worry about, but digital is more delicate’. You cannot put low grade fuel in a Ferrari and expect it perform at a high level, the same applies to the Ink in digital printers’.

We believe the perfect dispersion for digital inks comes a careful process, it starts with the milling and grinding. We use the best ingredients, the best chemicals, to get the best dispersion. Sublimation dispersions are not easy to make, they take 2 to 3 years to develop. The chemical make-up is different, it is a unique chemistry, it’s a dye that thinks it’s a pigment. It needs to be treated like a pigment.  And once you have learned how to mill it you have to develop the chemistry to keep the dye in suspension for at least a year.

Every batch that leaves the Diamond factory has a certificate of analysis, covering viscosity, surface tension, particle size, colour balance, PH and % solids it’s like a complex cooking recipe. We use this as the differentiator explains Peter Callahan, co-director at Diamond Dispersions: “Our focus has always been on enabling our customers to consistently achieve the very best results. In pursuit of this perfection the launch of our own Diamond range of filter cartridges and housings was a natural progression for us and underlines our commitment to delivering excellence“. Creating the perfect ink requires attention to detail. Careful filtering is key to achieving a ‘Diamond Standard’ ink. Our new products are some of the most advanced currently available in the marketplace and will help provide finished inks of an unrivalled quality.”

The result of this matchless passion and expertise gives clients vibrant and consistent colours and high optical density, with stability and excellent formulation space to allow them to create the very best possible inks.

The key markets at the moment are DTG Dispersions and Dye Sublimation for Textiles, for high quality inkjet and while the demand is still growing rapidly we always have to keep an eye on the future.   The market is always moving and the aim of the game is to stay ahead of the game. Diamond spends a large percentage of its income on R&D to help achieve this and being a supplier to the wider Industrial market helps them to observe the key trends and shift in demand.

Peter is certain the market is heading towards more Industrial packaging and labelling.  ‘We are seeing significant demand from OEM’s operating in the Digital Label and packaging arena. There are significant issues with quality standards in packaging and we believe we can respond to them. More and more OEMs are producing inkjet machines for this sector. So we have to be in there to respond to the demand’.

“This year Diamond have doubled in size and income and we fully intend to do the same next year,” said Sue.  “We are committed to growth.  By the end of this year we will have installed 6 new large scale bead mills, a capital investment of over £1.2m.  Diamond is a major player in the market with a brand that is synonymous with quality.  Ask anyone who knows us, we are proud to be Diamond.”

The Diamond Dispersions team will be mingling with Exhibitors at InPrint in Messe Munich on November 10th 2015, as they join the organisers in hosting the evening Exhibitor Party.