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Title: Plate to substrate ink transfer in the flexographic printing process
Author: Beynon, David George
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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Investigations have been conducted into the transfer of ink from the plate to the substrate in flexographic printing. Four experimental trials have been conducted at full press scale in order to investigate process parameters including substrate type and the effect of over printing previously printed ink. In order that the shape of printed dots could be analysed methods for the determination of plate dot circularity and printed dot circularity were developed. Accurate measurement of the printing plates used in the experimental investigations has revealed significant differences in nominally identical patches within the same plate. Dot size and geometry was found to be permanently altered through the application of pressure in the plate/anilox nip. The volume of ink supplied to the plate is found to have the largest effect on ink transfer to the substrate. Increases in anilox volume and engagement between plate and substrate are found to increase ink spreading. Decreasing viscosity reduces ink transfer to the plate from the anilox which in tum results in lower ink spreading for individual dots. Joined dots however show an increase in ink spreading due to increased entrapment of ink at the nip entrance. The shape of printed dots is found to be affected by the volume of ink transfer and by engagement. Larger dot volumes increase dot circularity and larger engagements reduce dot circularity. The effect of under printed ink on ink transfer of subsequently printed ink is dependent on the coverage of under printed ink and the substrate being printed. For non porous substrate the under printed ink acts as a barrier to ink spreading. On porous substrate the density of samples is increased due to the under print filling surface pores increasing ink spreading for subsequently printed ink. The effect of under print is visible for all substrates and over print coverage's.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available