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Sappi North America Strengthens Coating Testing Capabilities by Investing in ACA AX-100 Capillary Viscometer

Sappi ACA Systems ultra high-capillary-viscometer modern analytics

AX-100 improves coating color quality control and speeds coating development

ACA’s next generation ultra-high capillary viscometer AX-100 improves coating color quality control and speeds coating development processes.

Coating color rheology is an important aspect of an industrial coating process. Viscosity, resistance to flow, is a key rheological parameter to follow to attain good coating color runnability.  Many quality and runnability problems originate from the ultra-high shear viscosity region, at shear rates from 100,000 1/s to 2,000,000 1/s.

ACA AX-100 is a modern, user-friendly capillary viscometer for measuring coating color ultra-high shear viscosity. It is suitable for production quality control or coating development. It shows the viscosity at various shear rates up to 1,500,000 1/s with the 10mm capillary. Furthermore, the instrument detects and displays pseudoplastic, Newtonian or dilatant type of viscosity curves in real-time.


AX-100 ultra-high capillary viscometer
ACA AX-100 is a modern, user-friendly capillary viscometer.


“Coating material quality control is more important than ever as materials are actively developed and evaluated to make them suitable for new applications, like replacing plastic packaging,” said Vesa Kukkamo, CEO, ACA Systems Oy.

“ACA Systems has been dedicated to coating material rheological testing for over 30 years, and we have a long history with Sappi North America. We’re excited to further support Sappi’s world-class scientists as they continue research and development in the coatings space with the modern and easy-to-use AX-100 ultra-high capillary viscometer.”

Water-based barrier coating recipes are more complicated than those for traditional graphical papers, requiring intensive rheological testing to optimize their runnability on graphics producing coaters. Sappi North America will be using the ultra-high shear AX-100 viscometer to evaluate and optimize new paper product coatings at bench scale, allowing for optimization and redesign prior to running them at pilot and mill scale.

This new technology will streamline knowledge around suitability for their designed use. The small amount of coating needed (200 cc – 300 cc) and ease of cleaning allows for this test to be used for most coating experiments on bench scale. The new AX-100 requires much smaller coating sample and less time to run the test and clean than ACA’s older ACAV rheometer, thus a much better cost in use proposition.

Sappi North America’s Westbrook Technology Center is the heart of Sappi North America’s R&D efforts, discovering new ways to better utilize renewable paper resources.  Since 1929, the scientists at the Technology Center have developed many innovative products and processes to better serve the graphics, packaging and specialty pulp and paper markets. The Technology Center is part of Sappi’s global research and development network which includes seven technology centers around the world working together to bring value-added renewable solutions to market.

More information:

Vesa Kukkamo, CEO ACA Systems Oy,

Al Osgood, Research Fellow Coatings, Sappi North America,

Read more about AX-100


About Sappi North America, Inc.

Sappi North America, Inc., headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our three diversified businesses – high-quality graphic papers, pulp, and packaging and speciality papers – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high-quality graphic papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset, and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books, direct mail and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of dissolving pulp with our Verve brand, a sustainable fiber, which is used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods. We deliver sustainable packaging and specialty papers for luxury packaging and folding carton applications with our single-ply packaging brands, Spectro and Proto, and for the food and label industries with our specialty papers, LusterPrint and LusterCote. We are also one of the world’s leading suppliers of casting and release papers with our Ultracast, PolyEx and Classics lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.

Sappi North America, Inc. is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries.


About ACA Systems Oy

ACA Systems Oy, a privately-owned technology company founded 1986 in Polvijärvi Finland, is specialized in developing, manufacturing and selling high technology instrumentation for the paper, board and other industries globally.

Today we offer from manufacturers to finishing converters comprehensive services, high quality measuring equipment solutions as well as modern data handling platforms. Our heritage has been always to provide information that can lead to more stable processes and better product quality as well as production cost reduction. Our people are dedicated to support customers and develop new instrumentation based on the needs of the industry.

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