Flexographic printing is a form of rotary web letterpress. It combines features of both – letterpress and rotogravure printing. Flexography uses relief plates made of rubber or photopolymer and fast-drying, low viscosity solvent, water or alcohol based inks fed from an anilox roll. The flexible plates are mounted onto the printing cylinder with double sided sticky tape. The plates are pressed against the substrate with the impression cylinder adding appropriate pressure to ensure great quality printing.
Flexographic presses are capable of producing high quality impressions on many different materials. Flexographic printing is one of the least expensive and most efficient processes used for decorative and packaging printing.
There are two primary reasons for the increase in the use of flexographic printing presses.
Flexographic printing uses large quantities of ink. However, the introduction of the fountain roll and meter roll has enabled presses to recycle large amounts of the ink.
Flexographic printing is used in various industries. Packaging flexographic printing is used for the production of labels, folding cartons, milk cartons and other packaging materials. Publication flexography on the other hand is used mainly in the production of newspapers, comics, directories and catalogs.
What is flexographic printing explains what flexographic printing is in a simple and easy to understand manner. It also traces the emergence of flexographic printing from the letterpress, to aniline printing and its boom with the discovery of cellophane.
The flexographic printing process explains the entire flexographic printing process from creating the idea and design, to producing the film negative, to making the plates and finally to proofing and printing.
The flexographic printing equipment discusses in detail the flexographic presses. There are four rollers in a typical flexographic press: Fountain roller, meter roller, plate cylinder and impression cylinder. The typical flexographic printing press has four sections: unwind and in feed, printing, drying and out feed and rewind sections. There are 5 types of flexographic printing presses: Stack, common impression, in-line, newspaper and commercial publication presses.
The flexographic printing glossary of terms, as is obvious, is a glossary of important terms related to flexographic printing.
Links for flexography provides links to various sites that provide useful information about flexographic printing and related topics.
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