In this research, the effect of solvent types and pigment types on C-type ester-based gravure inks were studied. Three of the widely used solvent types and two of the pigment types were used in this study. The characteristics of the modified inks were investigated by measuring the most important physical properties of the inks: (i) surface energy, (ii) contact angle, (iii) viscosity and (iv) substrate adhesion. The experiment results showed that the ink properties changed significantly depending on the solvent type, while pigment type variation had a negligible effect on the ink properties. From this experiment, the most improved properties were obtained in the ethyl-acetate-based ink. In order to further improve the ink properties without suppressing the advantage of this solvent type, small amounts of various aqueous additives and surfactants were added to find suitable formulations. From this stage of study, three ink formulations with suitable printability and wetting properties were achieved. These formulations were C-type ethyl-acetate-based ink with one of the following surfactants; 0.8 percent of Zonyl FS-300, 0.1 percent of Zonyl FSJ, and 12 percent of hexane. The wetting and print performance characteristics of these formulations were tested by practically using them in the pilot press trials. The results from pilot press trials indicated that the new ink formulations with low concentration aqueous surfactants may be used to minimize printing problems such as pinholing and fish-eye effect. However, even the best performance formulation was found to have quite high temperature sensitivity and surface tension higher than the theoretical upper surface tension limit. These, unfortunately, lead to poor printing quality. Therefore, further study is needed to find a better ink formulation with superior properties that will overcome print quality difficulties and completely solve the printing problems.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Printing ink; Intaglio printing; Adhesion

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Print Media (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Media Sciences (CIAS)


Scott Williams

Advisor/Committee Member

Mary Evans


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes