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Optical Characterization

Spectrophotometer eXact Advanced, XRite

An instrument that measures light reflected on the visible spectrum (from 400 to 700nm at 10 nm intervals) to produce a fingerprint of a color to be tested. Firmware embedded in the instrument can then be used to simulate a human visual response to provide efficient quality control and color matching performance. The instrument also provides color density data and advanced tools to measure certain optical properties of paper substrates.

  • Measuring geometry: 45°/0°, opening: 2 mm
  • Color spaces: CIE L*a*b*, CIE L*C*h°, CIE XYZ, Yxy
  • Illuminants available (gives the ability to assess metamerism): A, C, D50, D55, D65, D75, F2, F7, F11, F12
  • Color difference dE: CIE ∆E* (1976), ∆ECMC, CIE ∆E* (2000), CIE ∆E* (1994)
  • Density standards: Status A, E, I, T and G
  • Paper rating: Yellowness E313 and D1925, Whiteness E313, Berger and Stensby, Tint, Brightness

Technibrite, TB-C1 micro, Technidyne

Spectrophotometer with spherical geometry (standard in the paper industry) for an analysis of the optical and colorimetric properties of papers, such as ISO brightness, yellowness, scattering and light absorption coefficient, and opacity.

Novogloss 60 Glossmeter, MG6-F1

Analyses the specular gloss of the surface of papers of printed copies at a 60° angle.

Verity Scanner and Image Analysis Software

Different image analysis options of the Verity software are available to assess mottling on the surface of a paper sample or to quantify the show-through on printed copies.

Physical Characterization

Contour GT-K Manual Optical Profilometer, Bruker

Profilometry can measure very small thickness changes to precisely assess the roughness profile of a surface. The Contour GT-K optical profilometer also uses a scan method with image-processing software to create a 3D map of the analyzed surfaces.

  • Max. thickness of substrates: 100 mm
  • Length of single scan: 10 mm (measures greater distances with stitching)
  • Scanning speed: up to 47 µm/s
  • Substrates up to 150 x 150 mm
  • Accuracy of 0.75% for step height of 8 mm or more
  • RMS repeatability inferior to 0.03 nm
  • Works on clear or opaque substrates as well as reflective surfaces

Micrometer 49-86-00-0001, TMI

Unit used to measure the thickness of fine substrates (printed or not), such as paper, plastic, multi-layer films, cardboard.

  • Measurable thicknesses range: 0 to 1.27 mm, accuracy of +/- 1 µm
  • Drop speed: 1 mm/s and 2 mm/s, measurement duration: 100 m/s to 6 s
  • Diameter of measurment head: 16 mm, pressure of measurement head:
    50 kPa (compliant to the TAPPI 411 standard)

Other Equipment Available

  • Bendtsen Porosity and Roughness Tester, TMI
  • Stiffness Tester, Taber V-5: to measure the stiffness of the substrates
  • Measurement of the basis weight of substrates
  • Cobb Tester: to measure the absorption of water by paper
  • Lint filtration system: to analyze the accumulated lint after a test on an offset press

Durability tests

Our durability tests are customized to simulate relevant end-use conditions for your printed products. Various devices are available at the ICI to assess physical, thermal and chemical strength.

Ink Rub Tester 10-18-01-0001, TMI

Device used to assess the friction resistance of printed samples. It can be used to verify the drying and resistance of the coldset newspaper inks. The resistance can then be assessed in a qualitative (visual) or quantitative (densitometric) methods.

  • Speed: 21, 42, 85 or 100 cycles/min, number rubbing cycles adjustable
  • Applicable weights to determine the rubbing intensity: 0.9 kg (2 lbs) or 1.8 kg (4 lbs)
  • Rubbing material (counterpart): to be determined by the test requirements

Taber Abraser 5135 (abrasion resistance)

Assess the abrasion resistance of substrates (paper, plastic carboard, fabric) or samples printed by abrasive wheels. The resistance can then be assessed in two ways: qualitative (visual) or quantitative (gravimetric analysis).

  • Size of samples: 100 x 100 mm
  • Speed: 60 or 72 cycles/min, adjustable number of abrasion cycles
  • Applicable weights to increase abrasion: 250, 500 or 750 g
  • Abrasive wheels: Calibrase CS-10 (other abrasives can be used on request)

MKF56 Climate Chamber, Binder

This instrument may test the resistance of samples to various controlled temperatures or relative humidities under constant or variable conditions, according to predetermined cycles. The chamber is equipped with an external port to monitor the samples during the conditioning cycle.

  • Chamber volume: 60 L (inner dimensions: 400 x 420 x 348 mm)
  • Temperature tests: range -40oC to +180oC (fluctuations: up to +/- 1.5oC)
  • Average speed for temperature change: 5oC/min (heating and cooling)
  • Climatic tests: temperature range: 10oC to 95oC, relative humidity range:
    10 to 98 % (fluctuations: up to +/- 2.5 %)

Other available unit

  • Folding Endurance Tester: to measure the folding resistance
  • Elmendorf Tearing Tester: to measure the tearing resistance

Printed Electronics Characterization

ICI has equipment dedicated to the measurement of the performance of printed electronics developed in a lab and tested on industrial presses. The measurements are done directly following printing tests and allow rapid adjustments of consumables or press parameters to optimize the performance.

4 Point Resistivity Measurement System, Pro 440N, Lucas Signatone

Measures the electrical properties of a surface with a 4-point geometry. It is mainly used to measure films printed with conductive inks.

  • Measurement range: between 1 mΩ and 800 KΩ
  • Measurement accuracy: <1 %
  • Sample sizes: 10 to 150 mm

Potensiostat 8 Chanel Battery Analyzer, BST8-MA, MTI

Measures the capacity and profile of the voltage depending on a constant current put on a battery during an electrochemical discharge. It is mainly used for the characterization of batteries made in a lab or printed on a rotary press.

  • 8 available channels
  • Current range: 0.02 to 10 mA
  • Max. voltage: 5 V

Advanced Potensiostat SP 300 PSTAT/GSTAT/EIS, Biologic

Used for the characterization of the electro-chemical properties of a high-resolution system. Many electrochemical techniques are available: electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry, internal resistance measurement. It can be used for the characterization of electrochromic units, biosensors and flexible batteries.

  • Set up with an impedance path of 7 MHz
  • Frequency range (impedance): 10 m Hz to 7 MHz
  • High-resolution of voltage: 1 m V
  • High-resolution of current: 0.8 pA
  • Max. rateable current: ±500 mA

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