Effect of the paper surface properties on the ink transfer parameters in offset printing

Paper has a crucial impact on the qualitative properties of printed product as properties of the paper’s surface directly impact the ink transfer, consequently, basic optical properties of the print. Although same ISO paper type, papers possess variable surface properties leading to different influence on the ink transfer. The aim of this research was to analyse influence of the surface properties of the paper, including surface free energy, smoothness and gloss of some standard papers used in lithography on the ink transfer while matching the colorimetric values defined by ISO 12647-2:2013. Determination of amount of the ink transfer, optical density, mottling and colour difference of prints were performed to evaluate paper-ink interactions. Results have shown that produced prints differ in the investigated properties. Furthermore, there are significant correlations between the surface free energy of the paper and paper smoothness and the ink transfer. In addition, amount of ink used to produce a standardized print varies for different paper types (even in the same ISO paper classification), meaning difference in ink costs. This research proved the high influence of paper’s certain parameters on the ink transfer by strong correlation coefficients. This enables better process control and optimization of the printing.
colour deviation; ink transfer; mottling; offset printing; surface free energy