While summer is not yet over, I find it fitting to give you guys another nifty project that you can surely do over and over not only for this season, but for so many occasions as well. Our project this time requires some tinkering skills and a few basic knowledge about the materials we will be using so as to avoid hazards. Aside from recycled printer toner cartridges and ink cartridges, we'll also use this special powder called zinc sulfide. It is a chemical inorganic compound specially use to produce glow in dark powder that creates electroluminescent light effect.

Luminous Ink With Zinc Sulfide

To further explain, zinc sulfide is commonly in a transparent form and has been used as a pigment for years. When this powder is combined with an activator (another chemical), it can produce glows in different colors. Through several applications resulting to various chemical reactions, zinc sulfide became a widely used powder for luminescent materials.

Back to our project, in order to create glowing printouts you need to make your own glow in the dark inks. Please be reminded that I'm not promoting ink refilling with this post, just do this at your own risk. Since I already mentioned it, yes you'll be doing the dirty job of refilling ink cartridges, sounds fun isn't it? But before anything else, start mixing your glowing ink. Here's the ratio, for every 3 tsp of formulated ink, add 1/4 tsp of luminous zinc sulfide, stir until the mixture is even and heat it inside a microwave 20-sec at the least.

Fill The Cartridge With Luminous Ink

Now prepare the cartridge and syringe, also cover your hands with gloves to protect yourself from skin contact with the mixture. In order to refill the empty cartridge, you have to remove the label on top to reveal the holes from where you can pump inks. Fill the syringe until halfway full with the glowing ink you prepared, then inject the needle inside the refill hole and push the ink inside. This can messy and tricky, don't make yourself used to it, just be sure you do it properly. I reckon that once you find it easy to refill a cartridge, you'll soon do it with the print supplies you have thinking that it's much cost-efficient. Again, let me remind you that I'm not promoting such thing, it's just that the process is part of our project.

Testing The Result

Once you're done filling the cartridge with the glowing ink, you may or may not place the sticker/label back on top, but I suggest you try to, such that it may avoid the ink from drying up quickly. Then re-install the cartridge to the printer you intend to use, and run a test page to see if the result is fine enough. Images are good samples to print, wait for the printout and if it's pleasing enough expose it to a very bright light for more than 1 minute or so. After that, take the image to a dark room where you'll be able to see how wonderful your images glow in the dark. If I may add, you may also use black light if you have one, it works best.

Take note that the glowing effect will not last for quite a long time, it depends on the light source where you exposed it. But basically once the glow runs out, just charge it back to a bright light for a minute and your image will soon glow.


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    Fiel Mori Promotes Eco Friendly stuffs and creating environment friendly articles for everyone @PrintGreen


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