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FLEXO Magazine : September 2013
of print defects, such as dot gain, slurring, or haloing to name a few. A thorough understanding of foam hardness levels and how they affect print quality is essential for producing high quality products every time. An additional fac- tor to consider when selecting the optimal platemounting tape is the foam durability. The foam inner core of the platemount- ing tape must be durable enough to withstand the compres- sion and recovery forces inherent in the printing process, not only to maintain a constant thickness, but also to have a consistent hardness. If a printer does his or her due diligence in selecting the right hardness and fingerprints the press for optimal results, all could be for naught if the foam breaks down after only a few hundred impressions. The results of an inner core foam failure is the foam flattening out, which requires constant impression adjustments, or the foam softening due to inner structural breakdown. To ensure the tape maintains its cal- liper and hardness level, it is vitally important to understand the foam structure and how the inner core of the foam is manufactured to ensure thickness and hardness remain constant throughout the entire printing process. COMMUNICATION IS KEY In trying to ensure the proper use of platemounting tapes, the most important factor is good communication with the platemounting tape manufacturer. Representatives from these firms are highly trained on the capabilities of the platemount- ing tape lines and how they fit into your process. Simply telling them about your press, plates and artwork will enable them to make a recommenda- tion on the right tape that will improve your print quality and make your process more efficient and profitable. n About the Author: Joe Prunier is market manager, print and web processing, tesa tape Inc., Charlotte, NC. tesa tape manufactures a broad line of tapes designed for specific printing applications. www.flexography.org september 2013 FLEXO 65