Chemical cleaning solutions have been commonly used
in our industry on a daily basis. The problem with many cleaning solutions
that are deemed to be effective is that they are very caustic and as a result
are not environmentally friendly, are a danger to the operator and can even
cause blistering of your anilox roll. EPA and OSHA standards vary dramatically
by state and should be carefully followed to ensure that your company is in
Having copies of the MSDS sheets for each solution and fully
understanding the solution components will help ensure you are in compliance
and that they are safe for your operator and product as well as the
environment. Many solutions can have a very bad reaction with your inks so it
is even worth talking to your ink vendor if you intend to try a new solution.
All ceramic coatings have some porosity so you need to be careful with any
solutions that may be very acidic or alkaline as they can and will attack the
metal base; aluminum is particularly susceptible to attack by such products. If
you are manually cleaning your ceramic anilox you can use stainless steel
brushes to help break down any dried ink deposits.
While blast systems have
been popular, ultrasonic cleaning technology is gaining in popularity. These systems help eliminate the need for long winded manual cleaning
that inevitably results in overly aggressive solutions being used to help clean
rolls out of pure frustration.
So bottom line, if your solutions have a very
high or low pH then you need to investigate why and look for an alternative before
you either damage your rolls, endanger your operator , impact your environment
or fall foul of your state regulations.