Center for Printing and Coating Research

Sasha Pekarovicova, director
Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering
A108, A109 Floyd Hall, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5462 USA
Phone: (269) 276-3521
Fax: (269) 276-3501

The demand for high quality graphics and printing has led to an increasing need for high performance inks and papers. The printing and paper industries must meet these challenges in addition to addressing environmental concerns.


The Center For Ink and Printability's mission is to educate students in the formulation, manufacture, and evaluation of printing inks, along with their interactions with and to do research in the formulation, manufacture, and evaluation of new printing inks and the relationship of the properties of inks to performance on different printing devices and to print quality. Pollution prevention through the development of printing inks, which are non-polluting and safe, is emphasized in our education and research. The center can develop inks for all printing processes (including nonimpact methods). The faculty associated with the center have extensive industrial experience and can provide practical insight into ink/paper interactions. Seminars and short courses are planned for the industrial and government community in the areas of ink technology and printability.

Available facilities and equipment

Ink Manufacturing: A facility is available for making color dispersions and inks. This facility includes a high shear mixer and two bead mills. Up to 15 gallons of ink at a time can be manufactured. Four color sets of inks can be manufactured and tested on presses to evaluate performance on press and print quality.

Ink properties

Equipment is available to measure the rheological and surface energy properties of printing inks. A stress rheometer and a high shear viscometer are available to measure and study ink rheology. A dynamic surface tensiometer and a dynamic contact angle goniometer are available to study the surface energies of inks and their wetting properties on selected substrates.


Small one-unit test presses are available to print gravure, flexographic, offset, ink jet and screen printing inks. Larger presses are available for printing multicolor. These include a three unit Comco Commander flexographic press hot air dryers and ultraviolet cure systems, and a 4-color Cerutti Packaging Gravure Press. Printing on paper, paperboard, plastic films, metal foils, and laminates can be done on these presses.

Print quality

Print quality analyses of the printed inks on substrates may be performed, including image analysis. Hence, inks can be studied from formulation through manufacture and their measured physical and chemical properties related to their performance on press and the print quality with which they print.