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Ink Testing: Methods and Analysis

Want to be confident your packaging stays un-smudged and instructions readable? Need a product with sharp detailing and clearly defined images? Then ink testing is a vital part of your QA process.

Ink can behave in vastly different ways depending on the surface it is applied to – that’s why there are a variety of different ink testing solutions out there. Wrap your head around some of the most popular testing methods in our handy guide.

Popular ink tests

There are a few ink tests that are sure to be helpful during your QA process.

Abrasion testing

Abrasion testing is a way to find out how your ink will fare against rubbing or scuffing. This can be really helpful in working out whether packaging print and instructions will remain intact during transit or throughout shelf life, for example. Wash and abrasion testing machines can put inks through their paces, giving you the data you need. Check out more information about abrasion testing for more insight into the principles.

Viscosity testing

Your ink viscosity can affect everything from how quickly it dries on the plate to how well it transfers to your surface. It can also have consequences when it comes to longevity. Viscosity testing lets you determine how your ink will behave and there are a few common methods for getting those results, including rotational viscosity testing and cups viscosity testing.

For more insight into how these tests work, be sure to check out our guide to viscosity testing.

Essential information for ink testing

When testing inks, as with many other samples, cleanliness is hugely important. It is difficult to judge surface tension or adhesion if the surface the ink is being tested on is not completely clear of dust or debris. Particle contamination may cause dotting in the ink application.

Ink analysis

You may also need to analyze ink for its suitability in certain settings. For example, if it is being used in the food and beverage industry or for any kind of medical packaging supplies or products.

Get some great insights into what is going on in the ink sector, in our evolution of inks and coatings guidebook

Ink testing at Industrial Physics

We have a huge range of testing options for inks and coatings, from viscometers to abrasion testing machines suitable for paper and cardboard. You can find out more about all of the ink testing machines available in our range on our inks and coatings test and inspect products.

Help getting the right ink testing solution

If you’re not sure exactly what machines or equipment you need to fit your setup, we’ll be happy to help. Working across several industries and global locations, our experienced engineers have a wealth of knowledge that they’re happy to share. Whether you need to test ink viscosity for a new line of flexible packaging or you’re manufacturing medical equipment with printed aspects, we have the solution. Check out our guidebook for more exclusive insights!