What is Rub and Abrasion Testing?

Abrasion/rub testing is used to evaluate the scuffing or rubbing resistance of the printed or coated surface of paper, paperboard, film, container board, corrugated board, and other materials. The test is used to assess what damage to printed materials can occur during shipment, storage, and handling.

Abrasion between materials during shipment, storage, and handling can cause product appearance issues that may result in a reduction of legibility to critical product information. The reduced legibility of print on labels or other materials can be detrimental on medical device and pharmaceutical products.

STERIS is accredited to perform rub and abrasion testing using the following methods:

  • Dry rub
  • Wet rub
  • Wet bleed or transfer
  • Wet smear
  • Functional rub

These tests are applicable to labels, folding cartons, corrugated boxes, inserts, circulars, and other packaging materials that have graphics applied on a flat substrate. The tests can be modified to measure the effects of the product (detergent powder, food, beverages, etc.) on abrasion resistance, as may occur in spillage or leakage in transit.

Guidance Documents/Standards:

ASTM D5264 – Standard Practice for Abrasion Resistance of Printed Materials by the Sutherland Rub Tester

Tappi T830 – Ink Rub Test of Container Board and Corrugated Board

ASTM F1319 – Standard Test Method for Determination of Abrasion and Smudge Resistance of Images Produced from Business Copy Products (Crockmeter Method)



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