July 15, 2013
Flexo Market News
Plate Cleaning Solution for Water-Based Inks
When a good photopolymer plate cleaning solution is needed on press to clean a plate
of dried water-based inks, the following steps are recommended. These steps can
also be used after a press run to clean a plate before it is stored for future usage. This
solution can be mixed in-house and used where needed.
The formula for this solution is composed of three ingredients. First is isopropyl alcohol
that will wet out the dry ink very quickly. Next is cleaning ammonia which puts the
ink back into solution. The last part is water which acts as the flushing vehicle for the
cleanup. Rags can be used to blot up the ink being cleaned off. DO NOT R
PLATE, IT MAY CAUSE PLATE DAMAGE. Once the plate
be reused. If the plate is being cleaned for storage, it
area has been cleaned it can
should be rinsed with wate
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windows, fluorescent lamps, etc.) with UV filters.
These clear plastic films are extremely effective and
last for many years.The cost of UV filters is easily re-
couped by the money and time saved by having to
replace a set of mounted plates.
The ideal temperature is between 70° and 75°F
(21 and 24°C). The ability to control temperature is
Ideal relative humidity is between 55 and 65 percent.
Drywall ceilings with a smooth finish work best.
Drop ceilings made from dust-free, non-flaking panels
may also be used.
Walls should be painted with a smooth, low-glare
finish. Avoid walls with ledges, chair rails or panels
that collect dust.
Floors may be solvent-resistant tile or epoxy-sealed
concrete that can be mopped for easy cleanup. Rub-
ber floor mats may also be used.
Room design should include multiple air ducts
(ceiling inputs and cold air returns) with a high-effi-
ciency filtration filter.
Plate Processing Room Specifications
Processing photopolymer plates requires a dust-free
environment, similar to other photographic processes
such as film development. The ideal room has a low
level of environmental pollutants such as dust and
chemical vapors. The technology required for this is
common and relatively inexpensive, and the benefits
realized in production and material savings will far
outweigh the costs. For your health and comfort, make
sure your plate processing room is properly ventilated
to allow fresh air into the room.Also, be sure to follow
the safety recommendations given in the instructions,
labels, and Material Safety Data Sheets.
Your plate processing room should be designed for
easy cleaning (dusting, mopping, etc). Ideally, the
room does not allow for through traffic, and en-
trances and exits should connect to low dust envi-
ronments. Furniture should produce a minimum of
particles and be easy to clean.
Use lighting fixtures that eliminate or minimize
dust collection. Cover any light sources (exposed