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PrintPRO – Water Washout Plates

Posted on: January 13th, 2013 by Mike No Comments

PrintPRO water washout photopolymer plates for open inkwell pad printers

PrintPRO plates have been around forever and are widely used by Australian pad printers in open inkwell machines.  They are popular because they’re fast to make with quick exposure and washout properties and so very easy to use, holding details and screen easily while producing even etches in solid images.

PrintPRO plates are highly suited pad printing applications because they are very forgiving, producing remarkably consistent results even with the small fluctuations in processing conditions typical when hand processing plates.  PrintPro plates feature;

  • good image reproduction capability to ensure consistent high quality prints
  • a matte finish to ensure good contact between plate and film
  • easy and fast processing properties
  • made from environmentally friendly materials and require no chemicals for processing
  • made from tough, abrasion resistant polymer for extra long printing life

PrintPRO technical specifications;
Processing:  water washout (plush pad or spray)
UV light source:  peak sensitivity 350 – 370 nm.
Maximum halftone:  175L (1~95%)
Minimum dot reproducible:  150 µm
Narrowest line reproducible:  40 µm
Base material:  steel
Overall thickness:  0.73mm (total)
Polymer hardness:  65 (shore D)

Get started with PrintPRO plates
Use these times as a starting point.  Customise as necessary to compensate for your particular light source strength and washout technique and water temperature.
Exposure time: 4 to 6 minutes (lamp dependent)
GS steps: required greyscale step 15 – 17 step solid (Stouffer 21 step sensitivity guide)
Washout time: 2 – 3 minutes (water temperature 20 – 25°C)
Drying time: 10 minutes (50 – 60°C )
Post exposure time: 4 to 6 minutes

The good oil from our
plate-making room

  • Reseal open bags and store unexposed plates in cool (below 25°C), dark (away from UV and daylight), dry (below 50% relative humidity) conditions
  • When storing used plates remove ink residue with solvent and keep in cool dark place with humidity between 50-70% to prevent the plate becoming dry and brittle
  • We’ve used PrintPRO on ink cups machines with good success but notice the used plate does tend to curl when stored which can lead to poor doctoring on subsequent jobs
  • Once you establish your baseline exposure and washout times and keep processing conditions reasonably consistent, PrintPRO plates will give you trouble free processing and a consistently high quality etch.