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1. (WO1998052759) METHOD FOR MEASURING THE AMOUNT OF FOUNTAIN SOLUTION IN OFFSET LITHOGRAPHY PRINTING
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A method of determining the amount of a fountain solution employed in an offset lithography printing system comprising:

a) adding a detectable quantity of at least one detectable substance into the fountain solution;

b) transferring a portion of the fountain solution to at least one target selected from ink rollers and the image and non-image areas of a printed paper;

c) measuring the amount of said detectable substance in said at least one target; and

d) determining the amount of fountain solution in said at least one target as a function of the amount of the detectable substance measured in said at least one target.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the detectable substance remains stable in the fountain solution.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the target is said ink rollers.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the target is the image and non-image areas of the printed paper.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the detectable substance is not inherently found in the target.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein the detectable substance is selected from the group consisting of metal salts, isotopes, and organic compounds.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the metal salt is water soluble.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the metal of the metal salts is selected from the group consisting of lithium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and aluminum.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the metal salt is an inorganic or organic lithium salt.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein the metal salt is lithium chloride.

11. The method of claim 6 wherein the isotopes are selected from the group consisting of C13 and deuterium.

12. The method of claim 6 wherein the organic compounds are selected from the group consisting of naphthalene propionic acid and naphthalene ethanoic acid.

13. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of measuring the amount of the detectable substance comprises obtaining a sample of the fountain solution from the target and passing the sample through an instrument capable of detecting said detectable substance.

14. The method of claim 6 comprising adding to the fountain solution an amount of a metal salt sufficient to form a fountain solution containing at least 0.1 % by weight of the metal salt.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein the fountain solution contains up to 5% by weight of the metal salt.

16. The method of claim 1 wherein the fountain solution contains from about 1 to 5% by weight of the metal salt.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein the fountain solution contains from about 1 to 3% by weight of the metal salt.

18. A fountain solution comprising a detectable amount of a detectable substance selected from the group consisting of metal salts, isotopes and organic compounds.