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FLEXO Magazine : June 2011
Selection Guide Anilox Roll & Doctor Blade Which cell shape is right for you? As discussed, for the application of process and pantone colors, the 60° hexagonal cell shape is preferred for the ultimate control of the desired ink film for the highest quality print at volumes typically used for process and combination work. At volumes and ink film thicknesses for solids and combinations the use of a 30° hexagonal cell shape with a channel will allow inks of all types and coatings to flow underneath the doctor blade facilitating a smoother lay down for improved density, opacity and solid coverage. Results will vary from market to market depending on all of the elements of the process working together. Being a process, all elements must be optimized for the application at hand. The combination of anilox, ink/coating, printing plate/tint screen, mounting tape, doctor blade(s), and substrate will mean success or failure, progress or set back. With so many cell patterns and channels available, I would encourage printers and suppliers to ask questions, investigate opportunities for research and development and then conduct their own testing. A banded roll perhaps, when appropriate. Remember that when a change is made to an element of the process, attention may need to be given to the elements with which it works to optimize print quality and process efficiency. From left to right: 40° Channel, Elongated Hex, Serpentine Channel, Straight Channel, Trihelical, 30° Hex Without Channel, 45° Quad shaped cell patterns.
Sustainable Spring 2011