Most consumers are quite aware that every product they use goes through some sort of testing. These tests may vary depending on the item and its intended use. For example and iron might have its cord tested to ensure that it can handle being wound up repeatedly around the handle. However, what most people do not know is that even the printing on the label of the iron will go through testing as well.
What is Ink Rub Testing
One of the easiest ways to understand what ink rub testing is to write something on a piece of paper in pencil or ink and rub it between your fingers. In a matter of minutes, the pencil or ink will begin to transfer from the paper your fingers and will leave smudges on the paper.
Using this primitive example, it is easy to understand why pencil or ink is not used to make labels for clothing or anything else. The same holds true for various types of ink on different materials or substances.
With that example in mind, an ink rub tester machine measures how well printed labels hold up during packing, distribution, and normal use. This is essential as product labels ensure that an item is not only used properly but also cared for in a way to ensure its continued functionality.
Accordingly, important information is printed on these labels, such as models and serial numbers, electrical requirements and even wash instructions can be found on labels.
This typically involves using standard equipment such as the ink rub testers RL-Rub-A or the QT-iRT.
How Is Ink Rub Testing Performed
It is relatively simple to administer an ink rub test. Simply submit the label to the proper equipment and program the number of cycles for it to go through. For example, a label submitted to the RL-Rub-A can run up to 106/minuet against the defined weight of 2-4 lbs. This particular piece of equipment can also be used with heated weights of up to 200 ºC or 392 °F.
While both pieces of equipment operate with the same working principle of establishing the resistance of printed materials to handle scuffing and smudging the QT-iRT offers the additional benefit of wet testing. Which is technically the same as a dry test, except the material happens to be wet. Now, the results of this testing are determined after an item has been saturated and is performed with either a bleed test or wet smear.
These tests are conducted on everything we use today. From graphic t-shirts to the labels on electrical cords. The ink used may be different and the process may vary, but the test is still conducted.
There are several different types of equipment that can administer an ink rub test. It is important to determine what material in which the test would be performed. Paper, ceramic, cardboard, lycra, polyester, etc. all have different requirements, consequently choosing the right equipment will ensure that the results are accurate and of use.
Performing an ink rub test is an essential function of the manufacturing process. Moreover, without it, not only would consumers be left without proper use instructions, but without proper care information as well.
If that information had become smudged during shipping many items would have long since been thrown out or worse caused many avoidable accidents. Quite a few of these instances have been circumvented by including language that warns against an item being near water.
Accordingly, it is through the ink testing process that our clothing stays nicely printed and warnings against misuse of household items stay prominently displayed.