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International Standards

ASTM F1571

Introducing ASTM F1571 - Industrial Physics  

ASTM F1571 is an ASTM international standard ink testing method. It’s used to determine ‘smudge’ levels - which is how much of an image is transferred from one place to another on a document. 

This ASTM test method is designed to simulate the type of damage resulting from paper rubbing against a printed image. It’s a useful ink abrasion test for both quality control and research and development purposes. 

The ASTM F1571 method is designed to evaluate the smudge resistance of printed images produced by typewriters and impact printers that use ribbons. But it can be modified to evaluate other types of business images - including non-impact printers and copiers, inkjet printers, and thermal transfer printers. 

The amount of smudge transferred from a printed image can be affected by the type of printer, the condition of the unit - or the environmental conditions. So, it’s important you control such variables through your ASTM smudge test 

Different types of smudge testing and abrasion testing

ASTM F1571 testing is typically carried out using a Sutherland ink rub tester - an ink testing instrument that first simulates the transfer. Then, with a reflectometer - or a densitometer - it measures any image change. Depending upon the objective of the test, comparison of either the image - or the area adjacent to the image - is evaluated before, and after, rubbing 

Another smudge testing method employed is to use a visual rating and establish a ranking order. This will reflect the performance characteristics, such as how much abrasion resistance exists, as you inspect how much the original image is altered upon rubbing. 

It’s up to you to choose the test equipment that’s appropriate for measuring the degree of abrasion to the samples you need to examine. In this test method product performance evaluations are optional. And at IP we have all of the machines and know-how to support you!  

Different organizations may find that using the crockmeter, taber abrader or gavarti testing approach is the best fit for their smudge and abrasion evaluation. But these methods don’t necessarily deliver the same results as the Sutherland ink rub test. 

ASTM F1571 testing equipment  

So, how can Industrial Physics improve your ASTM F1571 testing? 

Digital ink rub tester 10-20 

Our popular ink rub smudge testing machines measure scuffing or ink rub resistance to ASTM F1571 standards.  

The innovative technology allows you to perform multiple tests including:  

  • Dry rub 
  • Wet rub 
  • Wet bleed or transfer 
  • Wet smear and functional rub/wet rub. 

Your global test and inspection partner for ASTM F1571