Coating and Finishing

paper-1-1547494-1279x1065The PDC routinely works with clients to improve product properties and lower costs by formulating and applying coatings to their products. Coating a thin layer of material on the surface of paper, film, foil, or composites is a very effective method of adding functionality and value to a product. Printing papers, paper cups, grease-resistant food packaging, and high strength composites all benefit from quality coatings.

The PDC’s researchers can perform a number of different coating and finishing experiments, including testing for printability on a new paper product, determining the effectiveness of barrier coatings and evaluating fiber structure and interactions at the nano-scale.

Resources available for the use of clients include:


The PDC  has an advanced Faustel Laboratory Coater available on-site.  The coater can process webs up to 12 inches in width at speeds of up to 100 fpm.  It supports a variety of coating configurations.  

The Cylindrical Laboratory Coater (CLC 6000) is also availble in-house and provides an ideal means to evaluate coating formulations and substrates at commercial operating conditions. The CLC operates at speeds up to 6,000 fpm with pigmented coatings of up to 70% solids.

A new service includes an industrial scale High-Speed Pilot Web Coater that offers a wide range of coating applications. These include trailing blade or rod, speeds up to 4200 fpm, web width up to 28 inches, and in-line finishing capability. The web coater is capable of processing paper from commercial machines.  This web coater is located off-site.  


Calendering improves the printing properties of paper, and is controlled by base sheet moisture content, coating composition of coating, line speed, pressure and temperature. The PDC has an on-machine calender located prior to the reel of the paper machine, as well as an off-line, heated, soft-nip calender.


The PDC has a wide variety of print tests for paper and paperboard products, including a KRK Universal Printability Tester for testing of the pick, gloss and mottle and an IGT Printability Tester for evaluating surface strength.


  • Evaluation of base stock/coating interactions
  • Development and evaluation of innovative barrier coatings
  • Evaluation of coating additives, including bio-based polymers
  • Determination of coating structure/property relationships
  • Image analysis of paper and composite structures
  • Determination of physical-chemical interactions between paper surfaces and inks
  • Evaluation of variables affecting gloss development following calendering

Paper Surface Science Program

The Paper Surface Science Program (PSSP) is an industry consortium working under the direction of Dr. Douglas Bousfield. It seeks to develop fundamental and applied knowledge about paper surface treatment processes (sizing, coating, printing, gluing) and structure-performance relationships in manufactured products. Areas of research include fluid-paper interactions in surface treatments and physics and chemistry of paper surfaces.

To begin working with us, visit our Planning Your Project page.