Rheological Properties of Printing Inks and Correlations with Particle Size Distribution

Semi-finished printing ink samples from different stages of pigment dispersion were characterized and compared regarding their rheological properties and particle size distribution. Measurement results correlate well and show that both methods are complementary. However, discrimination between samples is much more distinct when using oscillatory measurements and 3iTT tests compared to rotational tests. In addition, concentric cylinder geometry proves to be well suited for characterizing printing inks that show extraordinary drying, oxidation and skin formation.


Printing inks are used for a wide range of applications, e.g. office printing on paper or marking and coding on various substrates. Such inks are complex dispersions or emulsions, typically containing pigments, dyes, fillers, dispersants and binders, and surfactants in a solvent. Between optimal appearance and permanence after application, they also need to meet distinct material properties to ensure an ideal printing process. Here, rheological behavior and surface tension play major roles.

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