In this paper we describe the various printing technologies, both digital and analog, that are currently being used for commercial printing applications, and the unique aspects of the various marking materials, substrates, and printing systems that influence the resultant permanence and durability of the printed output. The concept of image durability is defined as the combination of image permanence (environmental stability) and print durability (physical stability). Image durability can be thought of as the resistance to degradation of the original image quality of a print or image over time and/or in response to a wide variety of environmental and physical stress factors, individually or in combination. Ultimately, the overall durability of a commercial print will be a function of the ink, the substrate, and any pre- or post-processing steps, all of which need to be carefully co-optimized for the specific handling and other conditions that the print is expected to endure. There are a wide variety of test methods that are available to evaluate the various aspects of image durability. The specific test method and/or test conditions need to be selected with the product-intent application in mind, including any post-printing production processes, as well as final end-use scenarios, in order for the results to be useful for assessing the overall fitness-for-use of the printing technology. Several commercial printing applications will be highlighted as examples of the types of testing that should be carried out in the context of both the expected stress factors and fitness for use for each application.
Douglas E. Bugner, Stuart T. Gordon, "Factors to Consider in the Design and Evaluation of Commercial Printing Inks and Substrates for Permanence and Durability" in Proc. Int'l Symp.on Technologies for Digital Photo Fulfillment, 2013, pp 25 - 30, https://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2169-4672.2013.4.1.art00009