Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Chemical and Paper Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Pekarovicova

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Dan Fleming

Third Advisor

Dr. Veronika Husovska


Soy-water based flexo ink, soy protein, soy-vehicle formulation, acrylic ink

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Many printing inks use volatile solvents in the formulation, which are hazardous to the environment from emission of VOC’s and at the same time, synthetic resins in these inks are not biodegradable. These problems with the fluctuating and rising price of petroleum are main reasons to look for new resources for making more environmentally friendly printing inks. The majority of the commercially available water based inks are formulated based on using acrylic resins, synthetic colorants, solvents/water and additives, which are the common main components for formulating printing inks. In this research, soy proteins were tested for their suitability to partially or fully replace acrylic emulsion resins in water based packaging inks. The first step was formulating a water based ink based on fully acrylic solution and emulsion resins and the next step was formulating soy polymer using ProSoy7475 Protein powder to replace emulsion acrylic polymers as resins. The letdown portion of the ink was formulated with soy polymers, adding them in increments 20-40-60 up to 100% replacement of the corresponding acrylic emulsion portions of fluid packaging ink. A cyan process color ink was formulated, and its printability, rheology, and end use properties such as rub resistance, gloss, and adhesion were tested and compared to fully acrylic formulations. It was found that the soy polymer did not affect the final color of packaging ink, measured as Delta E (<Δ/>E). Delta E (<Δ/>E) (CMC2:1) for all soy formulations were less than 1.5, when the fully acrylic formulation was used as a standard.