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FT-IR MB3000, ABB Infrared Spectrometer

Using infrared radiation, this technology allows us to determine the chemical signature of a material (ink, varnish, substrate, etc.). This allows qualitative analysis and the review of the similarity between the chemical composition of a sample and a reference by using comparative analysis.

  • Measuring Method: absorption, Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR)
  • IR wavelength range: between 4,000 and 550 cm-1 (2,500 to 18,181 nm)

Datacolor 650 Spectrometer

Thanks to a spherical optical geometry, the Datacolor 650 gives an accurate spectral fingerprint of the colour. The ICI uses it to assess the pigment strength of inks (mixed with a reference white).

  • Spectrometer d/8o pulsed Xenon illuminant approximating D65
  • Measure by reflectance or transmittance
  • Wavelength range: between 360 and 700 nm (intervals of 10 nm), automatic filtering of UV to measure fluorescent materials

ATS Rheometer 5.0, Reologica Instruments

With various measurement geometries and an accurate control of the temperature of the samples, this unit allows a complete analysis of the rheological behaviour of inks and the assessment of their ability to meet various criteria for their use in a printing system (pumping, transfer, spreading).

  • Available measures: viscometry, viscoelasticity (oscillations), thixotropy, creep and recovery
  • Measurement geometries: cone/plate, 2 or 4 degrees, plate/plate and concentric cylinders

Mastersizer M3000, Malvern

This particle size analyser uses laser diffraction to measure the statistical distribution of the size of the dispersed particles in a sample. It can be used in aqueous and solvent media to characterize or control the efficiency of grinding and dispersion of the particles during ink formulation.

  • Measurable particle sizes: between 0.01 and 3500 µm
  • Stirring unit in liquid medium with a sonication probe, for beakers of 600 or 1000 ml
  • Compatible with a wide range of organic and inorganic dispersing agents

Inkometer, 101-B, Thwing-Albert Instrument Company

Measures the tack of an offset ink (an oil or a varnish). The tack is the strength necessary to split an ink film in two. The tests are done under controlled temperatures and speeds.

Other Available Equipment

  • Ink-Water Emulsification Tester D-10A, TMI to measure the water pickup of an offset ink: also used to detect incompatibilities between a dampening solution and an ink by measuring pH and conductivity changes.
  • NPIRI-A-9728 grind gauge: used to assess the grinding precision of inks.
  • Calibrated cups WG-SS-8.32 Gardco for pasty inks and WG-SS-83.2 for liquid inks: used to measure the density of inks.
  • Zahn viscosity cups: used for fast measurements of the viscosity of liquid inks.

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