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FLEXO Magazine : February 2010
www.flexography.org FEBRUARY 2010 FLEXO 37 TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES from the cylinder wrapped in mounting tape. If the mounting tape is very aggressive or if adhesive transfers to the back of the plate, a small amount of alcohol may be applied between the stickyback and mounting tape. The alcohol will assist in breaking down the adhesive layer. PLATE STORAGE Plate, sleeve, and cylinder storage systems vary from con- verter to converter. Regardless of the system used, minimal contact minimizes damage, a suitable temperature for storage is required, and there must be protection from UV-light and ozone. The ideal plate storage area ranges from photopoly- mer manufacturer to manufacturer. Some recommend a cool, dark, and dry environment, i.e. 59 to 68°F at 55 percent relative humidity (+/- 5 percent). Others find that temperatures ranging from 40 to 100°F is acceptable with little or no humidity control. UV light filters should be used over all lights and windows. When storing plates flat, protect the plates from lighting sourc- es by placing them in black poly bags and sealing them. When available, use the foam liner sheets that were supplied with the raw polymer material or paper sheets between each stacked plate to prevent damage when storing finished stacked plates. Remember, some photopolymer manufacturers recommend not stacking plates more than 6in. high. So now that you know all the factors involved, the next time you ask someone, "How long should these plates last?" you should hope the response does not come too fast, and is not too definite. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tim Reece is a member of All Printing Resource's Technical Solutions Team, where he has been em- ployed for the past 12 years. He has 28 years of experience in flexographic printing, and has been certified by the NCSS (National Council of Skill Standards) in Graphic Communica- tion at an Expert level. Pure, 100-percent esters, ketones, and glycol ester should be avoided. However, some can be considered used as a co-solvent with normal propyl alcohol at a much diluted dose.