Printing Plates


Elastomers are taking over from photopolymers – especially when high quality is key

There is no longer any need to compromise on material quality. Today’s elastomers are capable of much more – and far more than photopolymers as well. Abrasion is not an issue for the EPDM elastomers now in use, because they are not exposed to any abrasive pressure. Nor do they swell, because they exhibit greater resistance to chemicals. Whether they are formulated for universal application or adapted to specific ink systems, these elastomers are entirely suitable for both soft, water-based and aggressive ink and coating systems. It makes no difference whether they use UV or electron curing or whether they are solvent-based or two-component systems.

Quality-conscious flexographic printers who are looking to the future are increasingly switching to printing with laser-engraved elastomer forms. The demand for elastomer materials and the expansion of direct laser engraving are mutually dependent and are leading to the steady growth of this high-quality technology.

Round and flat – equipped for every application

Taken together, the selection of printing forms that have been available for some years now cover every conceivable application and offer an unprecedented level of flexibility. Users can choose between

  • printing plates – also in the form of reel stock
  • sleeves and plate-on-sleeve technology
  • popular material thicknesses, including thin layers
  • stock for use on soft carriers or with a compression layer already integrated
  • sleeve material for single use and sleeves for multiple regrinding, with the option of recoating.

Homogeneous elastomer with an optimized surface

The black elastomer absorbs the energy generated by the high-power fiber laser. However, it is absorbed deep inside the material rather than just at the surface as with the black masking layer. The aim is to create precise three-dimensional structures. Removing the elastomer with optimum precision completes the profile.

After cleaning, the profile and printing surface are perfect. The ground elastomer layer ensures the ink lies smoothly and is transferred highly effectively to the substrate. Halo/donut effects are negligible and dot gain is significantly reduced. This maximizes the tonal value range, produces smooth vignettes, and ensures cloud-free halftone areas. In short, it delivers outstanding print quality – in halftone, solid, line art, and text areas – throughout the run.

Already a hit with leading customers

Deciding on HELL PremiumFlexo is a decision in favor of pioneering technology that is already being used by leading prepress service providers and print shops. Lasting success – above all in high-quality applications – proves users have made the right choice. Even though it would be unrealistic to expect use to be as widespread as for other methods just yet, the mindset of brand owners, printers, and prepress service providers is starting to change.

You, too, can use the diverse range of the benefits that HELL PremiumFlexo offers to boost your company’s success!