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How-To, PlatesDecember 6, 2018

The Effects of UV Light on Photopolymer Plates

How-To, Plates
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Photopolymer plates work hard to hold ink for pad printing machines. However before the plates get to that point, they need a little rest and relaxation. How do photopolymer printing plates relax? They go tanning.

Photopolymer plates like to get a nice tan. They enjoy spending time in their UV tanning beds (exposure units) until they achieve the perfect tan. If the printing plates are taken out of the exposure units too early they will not do their job properly. The plates will hold too much ink, resulting in too much ink pick up on the pad. The image will come out bold and poorly defined.

On the other side of things, if our friends are left in the exposure unit too long, they will come out tired. The plates will be too weak to hold the proper amounts of ink. The plates will be shallow resulting in not enough ink pressed down on the part.

The best solution for too much or too little ink pick up is to keep your polymer plates happy. Treat them with care. Keep a close eye on them and time the exposure. Give them a great tan and they will give you great prints.

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