Instructions for Use of Dyne Solution/Ink

A material’s surface energy can be measured by using standard wetting tension solution, also called dyne ink. Under the guidance of ASTM D2578, standard dyne ink solution provides quick results regarding the surface tension of a substrate.

Directions: Wet the tip of the applicator brush with the test solution from the calibrated bottle. A minimum amount of solution should be used since excess can distort the reading. Spread the solution over approximately one square inch of the material to be tested.

For maximum accuracy when testing materials, a wetting tension solution from the middle of the range should first be applied (i.e. 38 dynes/cm). If the solution wets the surface within two seconds without forming globules or beading, the treatment level of the material is either higher than or exactly that of the liquid. Do not repeat the test on the same area of material.

A second test using a solution of the next higher value (in this case 40 dynes/cm) should then be performed. The process should be repeated using solutions of increasing values until the solution beads within two seconds of application.

However, if the first application of solution beads up within two seconds, then the same test should be repeated but using the next lower value.

In this way, one is able to pinpoint the treatment level measurement through two tests. For example, it can be established that the level of treatment of the tested material is between the values of two solutions (i.e. 36-38 dynes/cm). With a certain amount of practice, it can be accurately estimated whether the level lies closer to 36 or 38 dynes/cm.

These test solutions are designed to assist personnel with routine testing. The tests provide useful insight as to whether the material has had sufficient treatment.

Since the solutions are made up of liquids with varying surface tensions and are also hygroscopic, it is imperative that the lids be firmly replaced immediately after use.

The surface tension is a definite criteria for the adhesions of ink onto PE and PP. There are, however, other factors such as migration of slip additives that influence the adhesion of inks quite negatively. These other factors do not necessarily register while conducting surface tension tests. Consequently, even though good surface tension results were found, the ink adhesion can be poor. It is also possible that polymer plastics with the same surface tension can give varying degrees of print adhesion.

In most cases, however, one can disregard these exceptions and get best possible results of adhesion using the above-described procedures. A low surface tension value almost always results in poor adhesion.


Instructions for 38 Dyne Pen Use

1. APPLICATION: The 38 dynes/cm test pen is a quick method of testing a material’s surface energy. The test pen is used as any other normal felt tipped pen.

If the line drawn on the plastic surface to be tested is continuous, the material has been pre-treated with NOT LESS THAN 38 dynes/cm and can be printed.  If the structure of the line is dotted, the material has either been poorly pre-treated or not treated at all.

The test pen is not suitable as a systematic means of measuring varying surface energy and should not be used on printed, lacquered or coated surfaces.

Replace the cap immediately after every use to prevent drying out. Contamination of the felt tip will produce false test results and render the test pen unusable.

2. SHELF LIFE: Under proper conditions, the shelf life of a test pen is 12 months, and should be disposed of after this period.  Proper conditions of storage include keeping the pens from direct sunlight, having the cap firmly closed, and stored at room temperature.

3. TERMS OF USE: Maximum usage of the test pen after first use is three months.

4. SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS: The solution in the test pen is a mixture of ethanol dyed with a basic colorant.

5. DISPOSAL CONSIDERATIONS: Empty or partially used test pens are to be disposed of according to local regulations.

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