Gilsonite in Paint and Ink
Gilsonite is used in ink manufacture principally as a carbon black dispersing agent or wetting agent. It performs this function at concentrations of 2% to 5% of the finished ink recipe.
Gilsonite itself is a hard, high softening point resin, and it could be used in the finished ink formula for its resinous abilities to offset the hydrocarbon and other resins. However, this requires a concentration on 10% to 15% Gilsonite in the finished ink recipe before it performs this function. This is possible, but difficult, because of dealing with Gilsonite's ash and aromatic contents at such high concentrations. At such high concentrations, there is too much as to filter, the viscosities start too high and increase even higher, etc. Therefore, most ink makers use Gilsonite at low concentrations for carbon black dispersing only and use other resins such as "C5/C9" hydrocarbons or modified rosin phenolics for the ink's resinous ingredients.