The permanence of printed documents and books appears to be primarily dependent on paper stability. Other researchers implicate pH as a major factor in the deterioration rate of paper and acidity as major the cause of this deterioration. During the lithographic printing process, ink is in direct contact with fountain solution, which can be acidic or alkaline. Fountain solution is a mixture of water and chemicals used to keep the non-image areas of a lithographic plate moist. On press the intimate contact of ink with fountain solution creates a fountain solution-in-ink emulsion. The emulsion used here is a stable suspension of fountain solution droplets within the ink. The objective of this study was to determine if ink/fountain solution emulsion, which is printed on paper during lithographic printing, affects the rate of deterioration of paper. The stability of four commonly available papers was observed. These paper types were groundwood, publication grade, coated book, and uncoated book. Samples of the four paper groups were printed with four different ink formulations. The ink formulations were ink, ink and distilled water, ink and acidic fountain solution, and ink and alkaline fountain solution. Samples of the unprinted and printed paper were subjected to an accelerated - aging process by heating the samples for 72 hours at 100 C. The properties of unaged and aged papers were evaluated by pH determination, folding endurance, and tearing resistance. On the basis of statistical analysis of the data, inferences were made about the effect of the ink formulations on the paper properties. This experiment indicates that ink/fountain solution emulsion did affect the paper pH, but this effect is due to the ink with little change in pH due to the addition of acidic or alkaline fountain solution to the ink. The results of folding endurance and tearing resistance tests after accelerated aging established no clear pattern of variance that would indicate the differences observed in these properties were due to the pH change associated with the ink/fountain solution emulsions. Several unexpected occurrences were exhibited by this experiment. These include: groundwood was the paper least affected by the aging process; the pH of coated paper increased with the application of ink/fountain solution emulsion; a decrease in tearing resistance was associated with alkaline fountain solution.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Paper--Deterioration--Testing; Paper--Printing properties
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
Spotts, Thomas H., "The effect of ink/fountain solution emulsion of paper permanence" (1982). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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