OBAs (Optical Brightening Agents) in Inkjet Papers – An Overview

What are Optical Brightening Agent’s (OBA’s)?

Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs) are fluorescent chemicals that are added to some inkjet papers to make them appear whiter. OBAs absorb ultraviolet (UV) light and re-emit it as visible blue light. This makes the paper appear brighter and whiter, even under low-light conditions. As a general rule Digital Photo papers are more likely to have OBA’s and Fine Art papers are more likely to be manufactured without them.

What are the benefits of Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs) papers?

OBAs in Inkjet Papers have several benefits. They can make inkjet prints appear brighter and whiter, which can be desirable for some applications. OBAs can also help to improve the contrast of prints, making them more visually appealing. Additionally, OBAs can help to protect prints from fading, as they absorb UV light, which can cause paper to yellow over time.

What are the drawbacks of Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs) in Inkjet Papers?

However, OBAs also have some drawbacks. Some people find that OBAs give prints a blueish tint, which can be undesirable. Additionally, OBAs can be harmful to the environment, as they can release harmful chemicals into the air when they are burned.

In Summary

Paper with OBAsPaper without OBAs
Brighter and whiterMore archival
Can give prints a blueish tintMay not be as bright or white as paper with OBAs
Can release harmful chemicals into the air when burnedMore environmentally friendly

When choosing inkjet paper, it is important to consider your needs and preferences. If you want prints that are bright and white, then you may want to choose paper with OBAs. However, if you want prints that will last for a long time, then you may want to choose paper without OBAs.

Shop OBA Free Papers

Online Paper stock a full range of OBA free papers, perfect for archival quality prints that will have the longevity to last for 80+ years

Still confused?

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