English Español
Inkcups 978 646-8980

Tagless® Printing Equipment Supplies Inks Services Support SDS Videos Samples
What's Hot
digital cylinder printer
What's New
garment printing ink certification
Learn More

Newsletter Signup

Get trade show passes, new product info, tech articles and discount alerts!

Newsletter Signup


Trade Shows

How to Make Polymer Plates

Making polymer alcohol wash or water wash plates using an exposure unit

Request Information










twitter facebook RSS LinkedIn

How to Develop Photopolymer Plates:
Step by Step Instructions


Use equipment expressly designed for processing photopolymer printing plates. Minimum requirements for the UV exposure unit include: ultraviolet florescent bulbs operating in the 350 to 370 nm light band and a timer. The times below are based on using ICN's BPL-1220 or Autolight 1528 Exposure Units, adjustments will need to be made if using another exposure unit.


Developing printing plates for garment tag printing

      FILM EXPOSURE
      The First Exposure:
  1. Open the lid of the exposure unit and lift up the glass platen.
  2. Remove the protective cover sheet from photopolymer plates
  3. Inspect the surface of printing plates for spotting or other visual defects
  4. Center the plate under the glass platen metal side down
  5. Place the film positive (emulsion side down) centered on the plate
  6. Close glass platen firmly on top of the polymer plate and film positive. Lock the glass down.
  7. Close the UV exposure unit and set the exposure timer according to the Table below (Please note that exposure times will vary with different exposure units, these times are for our BPL-1220 or Autolight 1528 exposure units):


    Material 100x224 Film Exposure Screen Exposure Washout time Bake time 140°F Post Cure
    W/W Orange 1 Minute 20 Seconds 1 Minute 20 Minutes 20 Minutes
    W/W Dark Green 1:30 1 Minute 1 Minute 20 Minutes 20 Minutes
    W/W Light Green 1:30 1:30 1 Minute 20 Minutes 20 Minutes
    A/W Red 3 Minutes 40 Seconds 2 Minutes 10 Minutes 30 Minutes
    A/W Green 1 Minute 40 Seconds 1 Minute 20 Minutes 20 Minutes
    A/W Gray 1 Minute 40 Seconds 1 Minute 20 Minutes 20 Minutes


    Material 160x360 Film Exposure Screen Exposure Washout time Bake time 140°F Post Cure
    W/W Orange 1 Minute 10 Seconds 1:30 20 Minutes 20 Minutes
    W/W Dark Green 1 Minute 20 Seconds 1:30 20 Minutes 20 Minutes
    W/W Light Green Material is too soft to use with 150mm ink cups    
    A/W Red 3 Minutes 30 Seconds 2:30 10 Minutes 30 Minutes
    A/W Green 1 Minute 300 Seconds 1:30 20 Minutes 20 Minutes
    A/W Gray 1 Minute 40 Seconds 1:30 20 Minutes 20 Minutes


  8. SCREEN EXPOSURE
    Second Exposure

  9. After the timer has gone off, open the exposure unit and remove the film positive.
  10. Place the screen film over the plate, emulsion side down.
  11. Close the glass platen firmly on top of the plate and screen film and lock.
  12. Close the exposure unit and start the timer for the specified time.
  13. Once the timer has gone off, open the exposure unit and remove the screen film and the plate.


  14. PLATE WASHOUT

  15. If using and ALCOHOL WASH PLATES, pour some plate developer in a small tub.
  16. Place the plate in the tub and gently rub with a soft brush for the specified time. This will ensure all uncured material is washed out of the plate.
    *NOTE* If using WATER WASH PLATES, substitute the plate developer for water.
  17. After the completion of the timed sequence, slide out the door (or open the lid)
  18. If using ALCOHOL WASH PLATES, gently pour warm water over the plate in order to remove any plate developer and to neutralize the developing solution.
  19. Gently blow dry BOTH sides of the plate with clean, filtered air.


  20. BAKE AT 140°F

  21. Place the plate in a pre-heated convection oven at 140°F for the specified amount of time.

  22. POST CURING
    Third Exposure

  23. Return the plate to the exposure unit.
  24. Firmly lock into place and close the exposure unit.
  25. Set the timer to the specified time. This will post-cure the plate and will ensure its longevity.
  26. Once the timer is up, open the exposure unit and remove the plate.

Important notes about making printing plates

  • The first exposure time on the film positive determines the overall depth of the ink well. The SHORTER the exposure time the deeper the printing plate.
  • The second exposure on the line screen determines the amount of ink, the size of the dot and the spacing between the dots.
  • You can control the printing effects by varying halftone screens:
    • A 300 line screen will print finer graphics with shallower printing plates.
    • A 200 line screen will print medium graphics.
    • A 150 line screen will print course graphics.

Make a beautiful print!

What's New
 
UPS Package Tracking Track UPS Package
Use your P.O. number to track an order

Track order
New Service!

Real-Time Technical Support on your computer screen

Learn More