Offset printing plates

placas de impresión

Hello again, here we go with another great article very complete about printing plates that we hope you like.

Offset printing is a printing technique in which you have an ink covered plate that transfers the image to a rubber blanket, which in turn transfers it to paper or substrate.

Although there are other advanced forms of printing today, many industries still employ offset printing.

Due to their different applications, different types of offset printing boards can be used.

What is a build plate?

A lithographic printing plate is a sheet material usually made of aluminum, which is used in the graphic arts industry to produce work printed on paper.

It contains the color information of the design (the design image is separated according to the required color), which is placed on an offset press and applied on the paper to obtain a printed page.

Offset printing plates

Offset printing is a multi-step process. This technique consists of applying ink to a plate.

The plate is pressed onto a rubber blanket and the blanket is pressed onto the medium to transfer the image recorded on the plate.

Due to its role in the printing process, several types of panels have been developed, each for specific uses and in different materials.

Aluminum panels

Aluminum is the most common metal for offset plates, although old-style ceramic or copper plates can be used.

Because of its ease and resistance to oxidation, aluminum anodizing can be used in special treatments, or special coatings can be used to ensure its durability and proper interaction with the various inks and chemicals used in the process.

Lithographic plates

The theory of lithographic plates is that they repel water. The lithographic plate is treated with a material that facilitates the creation of a film of water in the unprinted areas. The untreated areas will attract the ink, but the areas covered with the film of water will not have ink because it is rejected.

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The offset panels used to reproduce images with great detail are anodized, use special inks, film treatments and other enhancements to ensure that the transferred images are as clear and accurate as possible.

The plates can also be used without treatment. These boards have raised text and are used primarily for printing newspapers and letterpress presses.

Some recommendations for the use of printing plates

The most practical way to check quality is to use colored bars. This is an image placed on an offset printing plate, usually on the trailing edge, that contains targets that provide a measurement area for solid ink density, dot measurement, and other control items.

These color bars are provided in film form and displayed on the build plate along with the image, or they can be digitally exported on a CTP (computer to build plate) system.

In addition, we can use many chemicals for the production and maintenance of printing plates.

Offset printing is an indirect printing system, because the image is not transferred directly from the printing plate to paper or plastic, but from the printing plate to the rubber, and then from the rubber to the final support.

Due to the flexibility of rubber or silicone, ink can impregnate the surface with uneven textures to provide higher quality.

If you want to know a lot more information about offset printing plates, we invite you to read this article as well.

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