Sappi North America strengthens coating testing capabilities with the ACA AX-100 Capillary Viscometer

ACA’s next generation ultra-high capillary viscometer AX-100 improves coating color quality control and speeds coating development processes.

Coating color rheology is an important aspect of an industrial coating process. Viscosity, resistance to flow, is a key rheological parameter to follow to attain good coating color runnability.  Many quality and runnability problems originate from the ultra-high shear viscosity region, at shear rates from 100,000 1/s to 2,000,000 1/s

ACA AX-100 is a modern, user-friendly capillary viscometer for measuring coating color ultra-high shear viscosity. It is suitable for production quality control or coating development. It shows the viscosity at various shear rates up to 1,500,000 1/s with the 10mm capillary. Furthermore, the instrument detects and displays pseudoplastic, Newtonian or dilatant type of viscosity curves in real-time.

“Coating material quality control is more important than ever as materials are actively developed and evaluated to make them suitable for new applications, like replacing plastic packaging,” said Vesa Kukkamo, CEO, ACA Systems Oy.

“ACA Systems has been dedicated to coating material rheological testing for over 30 years, and we have a long history with Sappi North America. We’re excited to further support Sappi’s world-class scientists as they continue research and development in the coatings space with the modern and easy-to-use AX-100 ultra-high capillary viscometer.”

Water-based barrier coating recipes are more complicated than those for traditional graphical papers, requiring intensive rheological testing to optimize their runnability on graphics producing coaters. Sappi North America will be using the ultra-high shear AX-100 viscometer to evaluate and optimize new paper product coatings at bench scale, allowing for optimization and redesign prior to running them at pilot and mill scale.

This new technology will streamline knowledge around suitability for their designed use. The small amount of coating needed (200 cc – 300 cc) and ease of cleaning allows for this test to be used for most coating experiments on bench scale. The new AX-100 requires much smaller coating sample and less time to run the test and clean than ACA’s older ACAV rheometer, thus a much better cost in use proposition.

Sappi North America’s Westbrook Technology Center is the heart of Sappi North America’s R&D efforts, discovering new ways to better utilize renewable paper resources.  Since 1929, the scientists at the Technology Center have developed many innovative products and processes to better serve the graphics, packaging and specialty pulp and paper markets. The Technology Center is part of Sappi’s global research and development network which includes seven technology centers around the world working together to bring value-added renewable solutions to market.