Ultrasonic Dispersion of Tattoo Ink

  • Tattoo inks are specialty inks used for the artificial pigmentation of the skin. Pre-dispersed inks are commonly due to their safe and easy use.
  • For color-intensive results, an even and stable dispersion of the pigments is required.
  • Power ultrasound is a proven tool to disperse all kind of inks resulting in a stable and reliable pigment suspension.

Tattoo Inks

Tattoos are a popular form of artificial body adornment and are considered as cosmetic. During the tattooing, the ink, consisting in pigments and a carrier liquid, is inserted via a needle into the dermis, the middle layer of the skin. Most tattooists work with pre-dispersed (pre-mixed) inks. Pre-dispersed inks are convenient for the tattoo artist and ensure a safe and even application. The pre-dispersed ink is a ready-to-use solution, where the pigments are dispersed the carrier liquid. Since the pigment gives the tattoo ink a certain color and makes the tattoo permanent, the pigment particles or crystals must be evenly mixed. The particle size can vary from micro to nano range. The pigment particle size is an important factor for the color expression of the ink. Ultrasonic homogenizer are a well-known and proven tool for the reliable particle breakage and dispersion. The ultrasonic dispersion process can be precisely controlled and produces a stable fine-size ink product.

Ultrasonic Dispersion

Whether for smaller production of specialty colors and inks or for the industrial manufacturing of large pigment suspensions – Hielscher Ultrasonics offers you the ideal ultrasonic disperser for your requirement. A small lab disperser such as the UP100H or UP200Ht are suitable for the treatment of small to mid-size volumes and therefore recommended for the production of customized pigment mixtures and specialty inks. A industrial ultrasonic device like the UI1500hdT or UIP2000hdT give you the capacity for producing larger volumes of paints and pigment suspensions. For the commercial manufacturing of very large throughputs, Hielscher ultrasonic systems such as the UIP16000 are recommended. The table below gives you an overview over the most suitable ultrasonic device for a specific volume range. Click on the device type to get more information on each ultrasonicator.

Batch Volume Flow Rate Recommended Devices
0.5 to 1.5mL n.a. VialTweeter
1 to 250mL 10 to 50mL/min UP50H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP1000hd, UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000hdT
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

Hielscher ultrasonic devices give you convenience by reducing the process time and by improving the product quality. Our ultrasonic systems are very robust, easy to use and require hardly maintenance.

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Please use the form below, if you wish to request additional information about ultrasonic homogenization. We will be glad to offer you an ultrasonic system meeting your requirements.

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Ultrasonic dispersing for tattoo inks

Tattoo ink

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Ultrasonic disperser for of specialty inks (Click to enlarge!)

Ultrasonic device UP50H

1.5kW ultrasound power for dispersing applications (Click to enlarge!)

Ultrasonic disperser UIP1500hdT (1500W)

Facts Worth Knowing


Color pigments used in tattoo ink can be sourced from different materials such as metal oxides, heavy metals, organic chemicals and plant-based colorants.
Black is the mostly used tattoo ink. To achieve a strong black coloration, carbon black and logwood pigments are beside iron oxides the main coloring ingredients of the ink.
White pigments are the secondly most used ones which are applied alone or to dilute other colors for a lighter shade. Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, barium sulfate and lead carbonate are the pigments that give the ink its white color.
Heavy metals used for colors include mercury (red); lead (yellow, green, white); cadmium (red, orange, yellow); nickel (black); zinc (yellow, white); chromium (green); cobalt (blue); aluminium (green, violet); titanium dioxide (white); copper (blue, green); iron (brown, red, black); and barium (white). Metal oxides used include ferrocyanide and ferricyanide (yellow, red, green, blue). Organic chemicals used include azo-chemicals (orange, brown, yellow, green, violet) and naptha-derived chemicals (red). Other elements used as pigments include antimony, arsenic, beryllium, calcium, lithium, selenium, and sulphur.


Commonly used ingredients of the carrier solution are purified water, glycerine, ethanol, ethyl alcohol, witch hazel, and glycerin. Less frequently denatured alcohols, methanol, rubbing alcohol, and propylene glycol are found as ingredients.


The dispersing agent or dissolvent functions as a stabilizer and ensures that the pigments in the tattoo ink maintain in an evenly dissolved or suspended status. The stabilizers are important for the consistency of the tattoo ink.


Additives are chemical substances which are added to achieve specific characteristics e.g. for preservation, improved shelf-life or to adjust the viscosity.

Coating agents

Coating agents are chemical substances used to modify and functionalize the pigments in the tattoo ink. By the modification / functionalization, the ink particles obtain specific characteristics.