12643Re: Shelf Life for Photopolymer plates
- Jun 16, 2011Stan
I'm not sure if you are talking about raw stock or exposed photopolymer plates.
If raw stock, these generally are given a shelf life of a year, though some of them are listed at three months. They DO last longer than that under proper storage conditions. And they can be freshened up a bit with a carbon dioxide bath.
The enemies of photopolymer are ozone, high temperature, ultraviolet light. . . Summer months are worse than the winter months.
If exposed photopolymer, well, it does not last long though I have had plates still valid after about a year of storage. If they still have tack (to the touch) and have not curled, cracked, or turned stiff they may still be printable. Once they are gone they are just plastic, which isn't the best printing surface.
Mainly, don't let them sit around unprotected before and after printing. After printing clean them well, use a plate protection product like Stay Kleen, or an antioxident like Armourall, put them in a ziplock bag (breath into it before closing as that will add carbon dioxide and moisture), and keep them stored in a cool place away from further exposure to light (or wrap them in black plastic).
Like raw photopolymer, exposed plates can be revived somewhat with a carbon dioxide bath. Basically a closed storage unit with open racks and a tub at the bottom in which you would put dry ice. This will also relax curled plates.
I occasionally put dry ice in the dark room overnight, out of superstition. and just for luck.
--- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "okintertype" <spthompson@...> wrote:
> Is there a shelf life for photopolymer plates, and if so, how long is it? Can you also tell me how it degrades; i.e., what are the symptoms? Stan
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