Chemical Resistance

Testing Chemical Resistance of a Material

A sample of the material (usually 4”x6”) is laid on a flat surface, making sure it is smooth without creases or wrinkles. A cotton swab is saturated with the chemical to be used for the test and rubbed in a back-in-forth motion with light pressure. Each stroke is about 3”. The standard chemicals we test with include water, Formula 409, WD-40, non-acetone nail polish remover, and isopropyl alcohol. To report our results, we count the number of strokes the material can handle before failure; that is before the coating begins to smear, lighten, or transfer to the swab. This number of strokes is recorded and compared to our acceptable limit based on the intended application/end-use for the material.

Testing Chemical Resistance of an Ink/Toner/Thermal Transfer Ribbon

Before testing, several labels are printed using the ink, toner or thermal transfer ribbon (TTR) in question- usually blocks of pure cyan, magenta, yellow, and black as shown below [reference a picture]. The sample is laid on a flat surface, making sure it is smooth without creases or wrinkles. A cotton swab is saturated with the chemical to be used for the test and rubbed in a back-in-forth motion with light pressure. Each stroke is about 3”. The standard chemicals we test with include water, Formula 409, WD-49, non-acetone nail polish remover, and isopropyl alcohol. To report our results, we count the number of strokes the media can handle before failure; that is before it begins to smear, lighten, or transfer to the swab. This number of strokes is recorded and compared to our acceptable limit based on the intended application/end-use for the media.

We follow ASTM International Designation F2250 – 03: Standard Practice for Evaluation of Chemical Resistance of Printed Inks and Coatings on Flexible Packaging Materials as a guideline for our chemical resistance tests.