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Topographical micro-changes on corrugated board liners: A comparison between laboratory and full-scale effects
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Graphic Arts, Media.
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts, TAGA, 2007, 367-382 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Printing on corrugated board is a complex process; many input variables affect the results to a varying extent. Not only the printing process itself has an influence on print quality; the pre-conditions of the substrate affect it as well. The topography of the liner surface is one of many important influence factors. As a first step, laboratory tests concerning the influence of the corrugated board production process on the liner surface topography were carried out (Rehberger et al., 2006). The result was that the movement of the liner on a hot plate, as compared to unmoved sheets, is the major criteria in surface roughness changes on coated and uncoated liners. Pilot trials have been carried out, since laboratory tests cannot be scaled up to real conditions. The first pilot trial with an uncoated liner did not result in any surface topography changes in conjunction with gloss, even though the corrugator was set to extreme temperature, pressure and speed conditions. These settings were adjusted to the pre-heater and double facer of the corrugator. The second pilot trial with coated liners, though, showed a clear impact on the topography of the liner surface. Using STF1-MicroGloss meter, the visually perceivable gloss lines have been analyzed and, as result, the average gloss line values computed. The results showed that production speed has the highest influence. The topographical measurements with AFM, FRT-MicroProf® and CLSM disclosed that these glossy stripes have a much lower nano-scale surface roughness as compared to the raw material. An extreme condition occurs when the corrugator is restarted after a full-stop. One collected sample from the start-up showed longish bubbles across the flute. Not only low-speed causes gloss lines, so do also the standard settings set by the operator for optimum corrugated board quality. Finally, printing trials in flexography and ink-jet were performed to determine the gloss influence of the substrate and whether the gloss lines still appear in the print. The print images were measured with the STFI-MicroGloss. The result for the flexographic printed images is that none of the gloss lines from the substrate appears in the print. The same is valid for the ink-jet printed images. Only the gloss from the print is recognizable. Further trials are necessary to shed light on the interrelation between substrate, gloss and print quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 367-382 p.
Keyword [en]
Gloss, Liner, Roughness, Surface
National Category
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7841Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-52349089510OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-7841DiVA: diva2:12981
Conference
59th Annual Technical Conference on Technical Association of the Graphic Arts, TAGA; Pittsburgh, PA; 18 March 2007 through 21 March 2007
Note
QC 20101115Available from: 2007-12-14 Created: 2007-12-14 Last updated: 2010-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Topographical micro-changes in corrugated board production: effects on flexographic post-print quality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Topographical micro-changes in corrugated board production: effects on flexographic post-print quality
2007 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The appearance and design of a package are key properties to attract and to focus the attention of a customer. Print quality contributes to a great degree to achieve these requirements. Most critical perceived in terms of quality are print defects like mottling, gloss and stripiness, which all appear in the printing of corrugated board. Stripiness is especially critical because it is a defect directly caused by the corrugated board construction. A further cause can be generated by the production process of corrugated board. Pre-studies by Odeberg Glasenapp (2004) revealed a difference in surface micro-roughness between the regions on the peak line of the liner and the regions in the valley between two peaks of the corrugation. This knowledge was the basis for the work described in this thesis.

In a first stage, laboratory trials were conducted with sets of coated and uncoated samples of various grammages. The trial was set-up in order to simulate the conditions in the corrugator as closely as possible. In the evaluations, it was found out that the settings were too high. For that reason, the coated samples were influenced to a too high degree and needed to be excluded from further evaluations. With the uncoated samples, on the other hand, a change in micro surface roughness was detectable. The roughness is decreased on the peaks and the gloss appearance was the conclusion. The analysis of the printed samples focused on shifts in colour and print density. It is unclear if both are affected only surface roughness changes and/or by the typical corrugated board effect of washboarding.

A full-scale test was performed in order to confirm the results of the laboratory test. A test series was chosen with coated and uncoated outer liners. Contrary to the lab-test results, the uncoated grades showed no surface roughness changes. Instead, the coated samples were affected to a great extent. The changes in surface roughness and gloss appearance were similar to the lab-test. This confirms that the lab-test samples were exposed to heat, pressure and shear to a too high degree. The print analysis of the full-scale test did not agree with the laboratory test. Gloss lines were visually detectable, but they were difficult to measure. A reason could be that the ink is capable on forming an ink film layer on top of the surface of the paper. This would cover the micro roughness of the matt parts thereby creating an almost homogeneous glossy appearance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2007. ix, 55 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2007:21
Keyword
corrugated board, liner, double-facer, double-backer, gloss, surface roughness, micro structure, wear, paper metal friction, flexo, ink-jet, print quality
National Category
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4583 (URN)978-91-7178-824-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2007-12-14, Sal D41, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 17, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101116Available from: 2007-12-14 Created: 2007-12-14 Last updated: 2010-11-16Bibliographically approved
2. Hybrid printing on fibre-based packaging: Performance, Quality and Market
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hybrid printing on fibre-based packaging: Performance, Quality and Market
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Variable data will play a decisive role in the future of packaging and product promotion. Variable data printing (VDP) is a technique whereby certain information can be altered in an otherwise static layout with the help of a digital printing system, and in the packaging industry a wide range of applications is possible. Inkjet printing, due to its non-impact printing (NIP) principle, is the most suitable technology to use when applying variable data on packaging and to offer customized and even personalized prints for the industry and the end-consumer (van Daele, 2005).

The aim of the work described in this thesis was to evaluate the practicability of attaining high quality variable data print (VDP) at high speed. The thesis is divided into three major parts. Part one focussed on the surface topography of corrugated board and applicable analytical methods to describe the printability of the substrate. In the second part the performance of inkjet on corrugated board liners printed at high speed was investigated and how to achieve maximum printing resolution. The final part of the thesis is devoted to a market survey of variable data printing on the North American and European markets.

Part 1 concentrated on corrugated board as substrate and its pre-conditions regarding surface topography before the printing operation. Most critical for the quality are print defects such as mottling, gloss and stripiness, all of which occur in the printing of corrugated board. Stripiness is especially critical because it is one of the most disturbing print defects on corrugated board since it is periodical and more easily perceived than random print defects (Netz, 1996). Part 1 revealed that there is a difference in surface micro-roughness between the regions on the peak line of the fluting and the regions in the valley between two peaks of the corrugation which leads to glossy lines on the peak areas.

The aim of the second part was to assess the practicability of attaining high quality VDP at high speed on a variety of liners for corrugated board production. The trial was conducted on a Kodak Versamark DP5240 press in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, in cooperation with the Mid-Sweden University - Digital Printing Centre (DPC). Nine different substrates were printed at speeds between 0.5 and 5 m/s. The results revealed that the paper type rather than the printing speed has the greatest influence on the print quality. Speed, however, is the most important technical factor for inline implementation of inkjet.

To obtain a picture of the industries’ view of variable data print on fibre-based packaging, a market survey was initiated and was addressed to people in the development, marketing and decision-making sectors of the packaging and printing industry, including manufacturers of machinery, producers of packaging and prints, and print buyers. The goal was to draw an overview map covering the people’s view of their market, trends in their fields and how they envision the future of VDP on fibre-based packaging. The conclusion was that inkjet technology has to prove itself first and to increase its technical capability, and the printing industry will then start investing more in this technology and in applications such as VDP.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. xi, 73 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2010:16
Keyword
packaging, corrugated board, surface topography, print quality, variable data printing, hybrid printing, flexography, inkjet, print quality, market survey
National Category
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-27022 (URN)978-91-7415-818-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-17, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101206Available from: 2010-12-06 Created: 2010-12-03 Last updated: 2010-12-06Bibliographically approved

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