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FLEXO Magazine : March 2010
32 FLEXO MARCH 2010 www.flexography.org The following "dos and don'ts" are a result of many discus- sions with anilox sleeve OEMs in the U.S. and Europe, as well as with you, the printer/converter end user. • Don't flex a sleeve while placing or removing from the mandrel or storage cart. Aluminum is slightly flexible. Ceramic is not flexible at all, and will crack, breaking the bond to the sleeve. • Don't subject sleeves to temperatures higher than 130°F for periods longer than a few minutes. Allow the sleeve to cool down slowly. Never leave sleeves in an enclosed unit for periods greater than one hour, overnight, over the weekend or a long holiday. • Do thoroughly rinse off spray on, paste or liquid cleaners from the sleeve. Wiping with a wet cloth is not rinsing! • Do wipe out and prevent cleaners, ink, dirt, grease, etc. from spilling and migrating into the interior of the sleeve. This causes difficulty with mounting and demounting from the mandrel. Eventually this could cause problems with the interior core. • Don't force sleeves on and off the press by striking the end ring and dead band area with any hard objects. This causes chipping of the ceramic, loosening of the end ring and possibly damaging the bond coat, which would then allow cleaners to seep under the surface. • Don't use harsh chemicals such as oven cleaners or other similar materials not specifically developed for cleaning sleeves. • Do conduct frequent training of your personnel. Implementation of these guidelines will extend the per- formance and life of your sleeves, insure safe and effective cleaning habits and results and build a strong and lasting relationship with your sleeve OEM. ---Michael Potter, FlexoWash SLEEVE DESIGN & MANUFACTURE Current anilox sleeve technology consists of an aluminum tube as the outer surface upon which the ceramic is applied. As noted in the previous reports, aluminum provides a chal- lenge to the engraver; not only from an adherence perspec- tive, but also from a sealing and corrosion perspective. Sleeve manufacturers use different aluminum alloys (puri- ties) which can help with adherence, sealing and corrosion characteristics. These challenges to the engraver are clearly defined in the previous articles. There is, however, some ad- ditional factors in the manufacture of the anilox base sleeve that can cause problems to the printer. There are two styles of anilox base sleeve on the market today. The majority of sleeves employ a core expansion style, Sleeve components have been compromised by exposure to corrosive environment to the point of aluminum deterioration and ink migration between sleeve lay- ers. All art courtesy Interflex Laser Engravers. TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES
Sustainable Winter 2010