Flexform manufacturing


Flexprint is one of the most popular type of pack print, which main benefit is that it could be printed on almost all types of substrates. It is approximately economical in case of large circulation. Flexprint is follow-up of typographical print method: flexform is the same relief surface (typesetting analogue in the shape of flat), but flexible -- consisted with photopolymer and hard polyester base. They could be set on cylinders of different diameter.

There are two types of flexforms, which differ from each other by the manufacturing way: analogue and computer-to-plate.



the key difference between manufacturing ways
Their consistency and structure are the same. The only difference is that computer-to-plate has graphitic mask protecting from ultraviolet light, which covers up the photopolymer layer of digital plate which evaporates under the influence of ultraviolet and makes a negative of a future image (according to electronic model). The plate covering the cylinder rolls with constant velocity,and laser carriage moves step-by-step along the centerline of the cylinder. There the plate will be affected by soft ultraviolet light. After this stage there are no differences between either manufacturing processes.

manufacturing stages
there are six stages of flexform manufacturing process:
1.exposure of the photopolymer plate from the other side;
2. general exposure (exposure of the image itself) from the front side;
3. photopolymer flexform outwash;
4. drying of photopolymer flexform;
5. photopolymer flexform rest;
6. additory light processing.


Manufacturing time depends on plate's thickness.



benefits of CTP technology
The main benefit of this technology is that image is created without using photoform and vacuum. Negative is created by the means of laser straight on the surface of the plate, exepting the ray-band in case of main exposure. This gives an opportunity to achieve:
1. pixels on formes from 1 to 99%;
2. maximum precision of the thin lines;
3. minimum ink spread of printed components;
4. total elimination of destorted color reproduction.
5. more contrast press sheet.


there is division of flexforms based on washing-out solution type: alcohol and water washing-out polymer forms.



main differences
water washed-out is similar to solvent washing-out plates. Water with smallest 3% addition of cleanser is used in function of washing-out liquid. There's no need for specific ways of utilisation: used solution could be utilized easily in canalization. This makes CTP technology economical. Alcohol is used for solvent washing-up type. The technology of work with water washing-up types of plates is almost similar to solvent washing-up type: either are manufactured by means of CTP and contact production method using negative photo forms. But water washing-up production method allows to save time, which usually is spent on drying: in this case it will take from 15 to 20 minutes of hot air blowing, not few hours.

both production ways allows to produce a pixel image within the similar range with dynamic range from 2 to 98%.

both are suitable for water, alcohol ( 20% ethyl acetate maximum density) and UV-cured ink.


benefits
solvent washing-up
1. low cost.
2. possible to reuse.
water washing-up
1. producing of new form takes an hour
2.working with water washing-up plates excludes need for regeneration.
3. strong resistance to ozone and active solvent ink.


Use, cleaning and keeping flexforms conditions

ReproPark industry is able to produce flexforms using any of mentioned production types. But CTP has almost pushed out the analogue type because of being more economical and technically developed.