Why is it so important to keep your Flexo printing plates clean | Barkev Group

Here is some information on keeping your flex plates clean!

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If you are running solvent or water based inks then you will experience a phenomenon called dot gain or filling in, and this is more prevalent when printing on non-absorbent plastic films.

So, what is dot gain or filling in?

Dot Gain – is where ink is squeezed off the dot through too much pressure or where the ink is too thick.  This forms a rim around the dot which dries and so the dot gets bigger and transfers more ink, hence the term dot gain and plays havoc with your process colours.

Filling In – is the opposite of dot gain where reversed out type will gradually fill in.  This also has an adverse effect on bar code readings where the thickness between the white and black bars can change to the point where they cannot be read correctly.

So how does one prevent or at best reduce this phenomenon?

UV ink is an option, however keeping your printing plate as clean as possible for as long as possible is critical. Clean platesmean better print quality – and that’s where our brushes come in.

The fine bristles on our horse hair & nylon brushes are gentle enough for removing dried ink and cleaning photopolymer plates, while the block handle fits comfortably in your hand.

To assist in cleaning your plates we have the Revive product range for on and off press cleaning.  Revive 2199 is a non-flammable UV wash, Revive 2206 is a combo wash, while Revive 2207 & 5111 are specifically for water based inks.

To radically reduce dot gain and filling in we have PlateKote, which is sprayed on a clean plate as you start production.  PlateKote forms a film on the walls of your image areas and prevents ink from sticking to the walls.  You gap between cleaning plates on a production run are radically increased with the added advantage of improved print quality.

“Remember, before anything else, the right preparation is key to great print results!”