Rurou Mai

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Chemical and Paper Engineering


Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Pekarovicova

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming

Third Advisor

Dr. Margaret Joyce

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Water-based inks have been of more and more interest to the printing and ink industry. Compared with solvent-based inks, water-based inks have more complex formulations because of their higher surface tensions, lower drying speed, foaming problems, pH balance, and different rheological properties. This work explores the significant effects of various rheology modifiers, including non-associative and associative thickeners, on the rheological properties of a water-based rotogravure ink system. Particular emphasis is given to thickening efficiency, pH stability, particle size, system compatibility, temperature stability, and printability on vinyl substrates. Wire-wound lab rods and a Moser Sheet-fed Gravure Proofing Press were employed to produce printed samples for characterizing the performance of the formulated inks. The purpose of these investigations was to acquire a better understanding of the effect of rheology modifiers' on the water-based ink system, as well as to provide useful information for rheology modifiers selection in order to achieve better print quality for water-based ink systems.