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FLEXO Magazine : June 2013
QUANTITY & DISTRIBUTION OF CARBIDES This series of microphotos of doctor blade steels, each with essentially the same chemestry and carbon compound, went though a diferent series of treatments. Note: each photo is the same magnification and carbides are the white elements COATED, MICROREFINED CARBON STEELS New applied engineered coatings achieve a lubricating effect lowering friction and wear to the anilox, as well as the blade. They prevent threatening hairs or slivers from forming along the doctor blade’s edge. The coating is softer than anilox ceramic and prevents ink and debris form sticking behind the blade. The photo on the left shows such a coating over carbon steel, while the photo on the right shows a similar coating over a Chromium carbon steel. Enhancing micro- elements have been added to the coatings to further reduce friction and wear allowing blades to run millions of feet with little or no wear at very high speeds. While the core purpose of doctor blade metering hasn’t changed, the environment in which the blade functions has. In 1980, many printers only knew they used a steel doctor blade but didn’t know what kind of steel or why they weren’t using plastic. While some pressrooms still don’t know the answers to these questions, most flexo printers do. As the specific process environment evolved, so has the doctor blade. The blade materials used by flexo printers 20 or 30 years ago, are simply not compatible with today ’s application requirements. In the new environment of HD Flexo, an ideal doctor blade must: • Engage a 1,000 cpi anilox surface without damaging it • Operate at press speeds in excess of 1,000 fpm with less drag, less friction • Wear slower and more evenly with debris smaller and less threatening to thin walls of high line anilox • Perform over time in an extended gamut press environ- ment • Meter a wider range of inks and coatings including UV, EB, metallic, florescent, pearlescent, thermal chromatic, as well as traditional solvent and water based ink • Resist felx under pressure COATED MICROREFINED CARBON STEEL 68 FLEXO JuNE 2013 www.flexography.org ELIMINATOR Introducing a New Standard of Label Metering Excellence • eliminates basic print defects including UV spitting • superior wear resistance • low friction against anilox • NEW AF TIP reduces break-in time • new alloyed material + dimension ...developed to meet the challenges of today’s high performance press room. R TM Printing Doctor Blades FLXON IS THE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR IN CANADA - USA - MEXICO FOR +1.704.844-2434 www.flxon.com Performance Through Quality ELIMINATOR Introducing a New Standard of Label Metering Excellence • eliminates basic print defects including UV spitting • superior wear resistance • low friction against anilox • NEW AF TIP reduces break-in time • new alloyed material + dimension ...developed to meet the challenges of today’s high performance press room. R TM Printing Doctor Blades FLXON IS THE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR IN CANADA - USA - MEXICO FOR +1.704.844-2434 www.flxon.com Performance Through Quality