Combining simulation and on-line measurements to determine moisture transport dynamics throughout the heatset offset printing process

Carl-Mikael Tåg (Corresponding Author), Pasi Rajala, Maunu Toiviainen, Mikko Juuti, Patrick A.C. Gane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to explain the transportation of liquid (fountain solution) during transfer to coated paper in the heatset offset printing process, together with the subsequent drying of the printed paper, by using statistical and experimental methods.

A coating dispersion, applied as a single coating onto a fine paper substrate, was formulated using a narrow fine particle size distribution natural ground calcium carbonate pigment and a styrene acrylic binder. The moisture variation in the paper during printing was monitored by using online multipoint sensors based on near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Based on the results, a simulation model was created to determine the transfer of liquid thin films in the printing units, the evaporation in the printing units, followed by liquid absorption and evaporation in the heatset offset drying process. An accurate simulation depends on precise determination of the different process parameters that influence these factors.

The absolute liquid/moisture amount transferred to the paper showed an increased trend as the paper passed through the application nips, though the proportion varied due to limited capillary absorption capacity properties of the paper. The background evaporation in the printing nips was evaluated with the simulation model as well as the drying stages in the dryer including surface and bulk condensation followed by rapid evaporation and cooling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1028
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • Absorption
  • drying of porous media
  • evaporation
  • heatset offset printing
  • moisture measurement

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