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Color measurements on prints containing fluorescent whitening agents
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Paper Abstract

Papers with a slightly blue shade are, at least among a majority of observers being perceived as whiter than papers having a more neutral color1. Therefore, practically all commercially available printing papers contain bluish dyes and fluorescent whitening agents (FWA) to give the paper a whiter appearance. Furthermore, in the paper industry, the most frequently used measure for paper whiteness is the CIE-whiteness. The CIE Whiteness formula, does in turn, also favor slightly bluish papers. Excessive examples of high CIE-whiteness values can be observed in the office-paper segment where a high CIE-whiteness value is an important sales argument. As an effect of the FWA, spectrophotometer measurements of optical properties such as paper whiteness are sensitive to the ultraviolet (UV) content of the light source used in the instrument. To address this, the standard spectrophotometers used in the paper industry are equipped with an adjustable filter for calibrating the UV-content of the illumination. In the paper industry, spectrophotometers with d/0 measurement geometry and a light source of type C are used. The graphical arts industry on the other hand, typically measures with spectrophotometers having 45/0 geometry and a light source of type A. Moreover, these instruments have only limited possibilities to adjust the UV-content by the use of different weighting filters. The standard for color measurements in the paper industry governs that measurements should be carried out using D65 standard illumination and the 10o standard observer. The corresponding standard for the graphic arts industry specify D50 standard illumination and the 2o standard observer. In both cases, the standard illuminants are simulated from the original light source by spectral weighting functions. However, the activation of FWA, which will impact the measured spectral reflectance, depends on the actual UV-content of the illumination used. Therefore, comparisons between measurements on substrates containing FWA from two instruments having light sources with different UV-content are complicated. In this study, the effect of FWA content in paper on color reproduction has been quantified for an officetype paper. Furthermore, examples are given on how color measurement instruments give different readings when FWA is present. For the purpose of this study and in order to ensure that only the effect of FWA was observed, a set of papers with varying additions of FWA otherwise identical, were produced on a small-scale experimental paper machine. The pilot papers were printed in three different printers. Two spectrophotometers representative to the instruments used in the Graphical Art Industry and the Paper Industry respectively where used to measure the printed papers. The results demonstrate how the use of spectral weighting functions for simulating standard illuminants works properly on nonfluorescent material. However, when FWA is present, disparities in UV content between the light source and the simulated illuminant will result in color differences. Finally, in many printing processes, some of the used inks are UVblocking, this further complicates the effect of FWA in printed material. An example is shown on how different color differences are obtained for different process ink combinations when the amount of FWA added to the paper is varied.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 January 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6493, Color Imaging XII: Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications, 64930Q (29 January 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.704196
Show Author Affiliations
Mattias Andersson, Mid Sweden Univ. (Sweden)
Ole Norberg, Mid Sweden Univ. (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6493:
Color Imaging XII: Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications
Reiner Eschbach; Gabriel G. Marcu, Editor(s)

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