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Plate & Roller Cleaning . . . and Ink

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  • jonagold1
    Does anyone have a suggestion for a good solvent that I can use to clean photopolymer plates as well as the rubber brayers that I use to print on my handpress?
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 21, 2010
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      Does anyone have a suggestion for a good solvent that I can use to clean
      photopolymer plates as well as the rubber brayers that I use to print on my
      handpress? Right now I'm using Genie "Safe & Wasy" Roller/Blanket
      Wash/Deglazer, which claims to have "no harsh solvents," but there may be
      something better out there.

      Also, I'm finding that I invariably get a skin on the ink in the 1 lb. can that
      I'm using, which has to be carefully extracted and thrown away, notwithstanding my covering the ink surface with plastic wrap. So I was wondering if anyone knew of a good oil-based black ink that comes in a tube. As I print relatively small quantities on a handpress, ink in a tube might do the trick.

      Thanks!
    • Eric
      ... Some plastics are not a good barrier to oxidation, and the kind used for covering food doesn t protect ink for very long at all. (Storing ink in some
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 21, 2010
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        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "jonagold1" <jonagold@...> wrote:
        >
        > Also, I'm finding that I invariably get a skin on the ink in the 1 lb. can that
        > I'm using, which has to be carefully extracted and thrown away, notwithstanding my covering the ink surface with plastic wrap.

        Some plastics are not a good barrier to oxidation, and the kind used for covering food doesn't protect ink for very long at all. (Storing ink in some plastic containers is worse, since the ink can also skin on sides and bottom.) You could try the plastic that covers a photopolymer plate as an alternative. I use scrap vinyl used for stripping flats for platemaking and it is a good barrier.
        --Eric Holub, SF
      • jason wagner
        Hi Jon, I m not sure if its better since I haven t compared the two, but I use Flexocleaners Safety Clean Low VOC Photopolymer Plate Cleaner for my plates.
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 22, 2010
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          Hi Jon, I'm not sure if its better since I haven't compared the two, but I use Flexocleaners "Safety Clean Low VOC Photopolymer Plate Cleaner" for my plates.
          http://tinyurl.com/24qwxjb

          It's a Low VOC photopolymer plate cleaner that works with water-based, solvent-based and UV inks "guaranteed to never harm any photopolymer printing plate."

          They are in New York, so shipping may be a bit expensive depending on where you are because you have to buy it in a minimum 5 gallon pail, then dilute it up to a 4:1 concentration with water to the desired strength. I'm happy with it for use with Rubber based inks, plus it claims to be employee and environmentally safe. They sent me a sample container of  "flexowipes" that are wet, biodegradable, lint-free and  effective for quick cleaning. I think they have a Anilox roll and ink cleaner available too, maybe AniGel or something. Hope this helps, good luck.

          Best,
          Jason



          From: jonagold1 <jonagold@...>
          To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tue, September 21, 2010 7:04:49 PM
          Subject: [PPLetterpress] Plate & Roller Cleaning . . . and Ink

           

          Does anyone have a suggestion for a good solvent that I can use to clean
          photopolymer plates as well as the rubber brayers that I use to print on my
          handpress? Right now I'm using Genie "Safe & Wasy" Roller/Blanket
          Wash/Deglazer, which claims to have "no harsh solvents," but there may be
          something better out there.

          Also, I'm finding that I invariably get a skin on the ink in the 1 lb. can that
          I'm using, which has to be carefully extracted and thrown away, notwithstanding my covering the ink surface with plastic wrap. So I was wondering if anyone knew of a good oil-based black ink that comes in a tube. As I print relatively small quantities on a handpress, ink in a tube might do the trick.

          Thanks!


        • bielerpr
          Hi Jason Thanks for posting this. I contacted FlexoCleaners and they sent me samples of Strong & Safe Photopolymer Plate Cleaner and Stay Kleen Plate
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 11, 2010
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            Hi Jason

            Thanks for posting this. I contacted FlexoCleaners and they sent me samples of Strong & Safe Photopolymer Plate Cleaner and Stay Kleen Plate Protection. These were the two products that seemed most applicable to Letterpress. I have been looking for a plate cleaner and thought the Stay Kleen an intriguing product as it might solve what I consider a significant problem with photopolymer plates during presswork (accumulation of lint and debris and ink in the relief areas).

            I've done a few preliminary tests and so far I have been quite impressed. With careful application they seem to work exactly as described.

            I have not asked yet about their distribution network, but it would be great to get this stuff into printing supply chains like Kelly, etc.

            They also sell seemingly applicable plate cleaning brushes, and, as you mentioned, lint free cleaning cloths.

            Gerald
            http://BielerPress.blogspot.com



            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, jason wagner <jasonvagner@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Jon, I'm not sure if its better since I haven't compared the two, but I use
            > Flexocleaners "Safety Clean Low VOC Photopolymer Plate Cleaner" for my plates.
            > http://tinyurl.com/24qwxjb
            >
            > It's a Low VOC photopolymer plate cleaner that works with water-based,
            > solvent-based and UV inks "guaranteed to never harm any photopolymer printing
            > plate."
            >
            >
            > They are in New York, so shipping may be a bit expensive depending on where you
            > are because you have to buy it in a minimum 5 gallon pail, then dilute it up to
            > a 4:1 concentration with water to the desired strength. I'm happy with it for
            > use with Rubber based inks, plus it claims to be employee and environmentally
            > safe. They sent me a sample container of "flexowipes" that are wet,
            > biodegradable, lint-free and effective for quick cleaning. I think they have a
            > Anilox roll and ink cleaner available too, maybe AniGel or something. Hope this
            > helps, good luck.
            >
            > Best,
            > Jason
            >
            >
          • jason wagner
            Anytime, Gerald! I have one of their brushes and use it often, so far so good. Flexowipes do the trick but I ve also been using microfiber rags as a
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 12, 2010
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              Anytime, Gerald! I have one of their brushes and use it often, so far so good. Flexowipes do the trick but I've also been using microfiber rags as a finishing step for lint-free plates. Glad to hear its working out for you too.

              Best,
              Jason



              From: bielerpr <Bieler@...>
              To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Fri, November 12, 2010 2:56:03 AM
              Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Plate & Roller Cleaning . . . and Ink

               

              Hi Jason

              Thanks for posting this. I contacted FlexoCleaners and they sent me samples of Strong & Safe Photopolymer Plate Cleaner and Stay Kleen Plate Protection. These were the two products that seemed most applicable to Letterpress. I have been looking for a plate cleaner and thought the Stay Kleen an intriguing product as it might solve what I consider a significant problem with photopolymer plates during presswork (accumulation of lint and debris and ink in the relief areas).

              I've done a few preliminary tests and so far I have been quite impressed. With careful application they seem to work exactly as described.

              I have not asked yet about their distribution network, but it would be great to get this stuff into printing supply chains like Kelly, etc.

              They also sell seemingly applicable plate cleaning brushes, and, as you mentioned, lint free cleaning cloths.

              Gerald
              http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

              --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, jason wagner <jasonvagner@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Jon, I'm not sure if its better since I haven't compared the two, but I use
              > Flexocleaners "Safety Clean Low VOC Photopolymer Plate Cleaner" for my plates.
              > http://tinyurl.com/24qwxjb
              >
              > It's a Low VOC photopolymer plate cleaner that works with water-based,
              > solvent-based and UV inks "guaranteed to never harm any photopolymer printing
              > plate."
              >
              >
              > They are in New York, so shipping may be a bit expensive depending on where you
              > are because you have to buy it in a minimum 5 gallon pail, then dilute it up to
              > a 4:1 concentration with water to the desired strength. I'm happy with it for
              > use with Rubber based inks, plus it claims to be employee and environmentally
              > safe. They sent me a sample container of "flexowipes" that are wet,
              > biodegradable, lint-free and effective for quick cleaning. I think they have a
              > Anilox roll and ink cleaner available too, maybe AniGel or something. Hope this
              > helps, good luck.
              >
              > Best,
              > Jason
              >
              >


            • Eric
              ... Here s a general question about differences between letterpress and flexographic plates. Generally speaking, flexo uses water-based inks, and solvent
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 12, 2010
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                --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr" <Bieler@...> wrote:
                >
                > . . . I contacted FlexoCleaners and they sent me samples of Strong & Safe Photopolymer Plate Cleaner and Stay Kleen Plate Protection. These were the two products that seemed most applicable to Letterpress.>

                Here's a general question about differences between letterpress and flexographic plates.
                Generally speaking, flexo uses water-based inks, and solvent washout (or doesn't it?), and letterpress would be water-washout and solvent-based inks. Washout and ink would not be both water or both solvent, right?
                Each would have different susceptibilities and resistances suited to their working environment, that is ink formulation. So would a flexo solvent, especially one diluted with water, be suitable for a water-wash plate in the long run?
                Short-term exposure is another matter; I sometimes use a slightly dampened lintless cloth to remove fuzz from a water-washout plate, or even spit on a fingertip, with no problem But if you spritzed a plate with water and brushed it, there could conceivably be detail loss.
                I guess what I am asking is, after hardening, how much resistance does any photopolymer have to that which dissolves it before exposure?
                --Eric Holub, SF
              • jonagold1
                Thanks everyone for your responses. I read through a few old threads on briarpress.org and came up with the idea of using 99% isopropyl alcohol to clean my
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 12, 2010
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                  Thanks everyone for your responses. I read through a few old threads on briarpress.org and came up with the idea of using 99% isopropyl alcohol to clean my plates. Seems to work well.

                  Jonathan

                  --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr" <Bieler@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Jason
                  >
                  > Thanks for posting this. I contacted FlexoCleaners and they sent me samples of Strong & Safe Photopolymer Plate Cleaner and Stay Kleen Plate Protection. These were the two products that seemed most applicable to Letterpress. I have been looking for a plate cleaner and thought the Stay Kleen an intriguing product as it might solve what I consider a significant problem with photopolymer plates during presswork (accumulation of lint and debris and ink in the relief areas).
                  >
                  > I've done a few preliminary tests and so far I have been quite impressed. With careful application they seem to work exactly as described.
                  >
                  > I have not asked yet about their distribution network, but it would be great to get this stuff into printing supply chains like Kelly, etc.
                  >
                  > They also sell seemingly applicable plate cleaning brushes, and, as you mentioned, lint free cleaning cloths.
                  >
                  > Gerald
                  > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, jason wagner <jasonvagner@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi Jon, I'm not sure if its better since I haven't compared the two, but I use
                  > > Flexocleaners "Safety Clean Low VOC Photopolymer Plate Cleaner" for my plates.
                  > > http://tinyurl.com/24qwxjb
                  > >
                  > > It's a Low VOC photopolymer plate cleaner that works with water-based,
                  > > solvent-based and UV inks "guaranteed to never harm any photopolymer printing
                  > > plate."
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > They are in New York, so shipping may be a bit expensive depending on where you
                  > > are because you have to buy it in a minimum 5 gallon pail, then dilute it up to
                  > > a 4:1 concentration with water to the desired strength. I'm happy with it for
                  > > use with Rubber based inks, plus it claims to be employee and environmentally
                  > > safe. They sent me a sample container of "flexowipes" that are wet,
                  > > biodegradable, lint-free and effective for quick cleaning. I think they have a
                  > > Anilox roll and ink cleaner available too, maybe AniGel or something. Hope this
                  > > helps, good luck.
                  > >
                  > > Best,
                  > > Jason
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Gerald Lange
                  Hi Eric Not quite the right assumption. Not an either or situation with flexographic plates. There are water wash out flexo plates. Those that I have processed
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 12, 2010
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                    Hi Eric

                    Not quite the right assumption. Not an either or situation with
                    flexographic plates. There are water wash out flexo plates. Those that I
                    have processed require only a higher temperature in the bath and soft
                    water (as well as differing exposure and washout times). The plates I
                    use for this are BASF.

                    Photopolymer plates, because of the post-exposure, are somewhat
                    resilient to water. Technically speaking, they are non-soluble because
                    of the molecular change imparted by the UV. I usually print damp and
                    that has never posed a problem. I've put a fully processed Toyobo
                    Printight plate in a bowl of water and after a few days only saw an
                    eruption in spots coming through the floor of the base from the adhesive
                    layer (between floor and backing).

                    The Safe & Strong solvent is water-miscible, as are many press washes.
                    It dries relatively fast and I have as yet, not noticed any problems.
                    They recommend rinsing the plate with water after cleaning but that
                    isn't practical during a pressrun. Since there are other solvents that
                    are useful, and much cheaper, e.g., Coleman Lantern Fuel, 99% isopropyl
                    alcohol, I'm not completely sold on it. Though it does do a remarkable
                    job on lint that has adhered to a plate. The Stay Kleen is of much more
                    interest to me as it resolves the problem of relief debris. It is also
                    billed as a substance that will prolong the life of plates (time will
                    tell). These really do clean the surface area quite well and neither of
                    these seem to have an adverse effect on ink, which was my main concern,
                    at least the kind of problem one might incur when cleaning a plate (or
                    type) with an inappropriate slow-drying press wash.

                    Gerald
                    http://BielerPress.blogspot.com



                    On 11/12/10 8:04 AM, Eric wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr"<Bieler@...> wrote:
                    >> . . . I contacted FlexoCleaners and they sent me samples of Strong& Safe Photopolymer Plate Cleaner and Stay Kleen Plate Protection. These were the two products that seemed most applicable to Letterpress.>
                    > Here's a general question about differences between letterpress and flexographic plates.
                    > Generally speaking, flexo uses water-based inks, and solvent washout (or doesn't it?), and letterpress would be water-washout and solvent-based inks. Washout and ink would not be both water or both solvent, right?
                    > Each would have different susceptibilities and resistances suited to their working environment, that is ink formulation. So would a flexo solvent, especially one diluted with water, be suitable for a water-wash plate in the long run?
                    > Short-term exposure is another matter; I sometimes use a slightly dampened lintless cloth to remove fuzz from a water-washout plate, or even spit on a fingertip, with no problem But if you spritzed a plate with water and brushed it, there could conceivably be detail loss.
                    > I guess what I am asking is, after hardening, how much resistance does any photopolymer have to that which dissolves it before exposure?
                    > --Eric Holub, SF
                    >
                  • Gerald Lange
                    Hi Jason Thanks again. Yes, fine brushes and microfiber cloth are definitely a part of the solution. And a compressed air can!!! I buy this stuff by the carton
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 12, 2010
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                      Hi Jason

                      Thanks again. Yes, fine brushes and microfiber cloth are definitely a part of the solution. And a compressed air can!!! I buy this stuff by the carton as I can no longer fathom processing or printing plates without.

                      Gerald
                      http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

                      On 11/12/10 7:15 AM, jason wagner wrote:
                      Anytime, Gerald! I have one of their brushes and use it often, so far so good. Flexowipes do the trick but I've also been using microfiber rags as a finishing step for lint-free plates. Glad to hear its working out for you too.

                      Best,
                      Jason



                      From: bielerpr <Bieler@...>
                      To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Fri, November 12, 2010 2:56:03 AM
                      Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Plate & Roller Cleaning . . . and Ink

                       

                      Hi Jason

                      Thanks for posting this. I contacted FlexoCleaners and they sent me samples of Strong & Safe Photopolymer Plate Cleaner and Stay Kleen Plate Protection. These were the two products that seemed most applicable to Letterpress. I have been looking for a plate cleaner and thought the Stay Kleen an intriguing product as it might solve what I consider a significant problem with photopolymer plates during presswork (accumulation of lint and debris and ink in the relief areas).

                      I've done a few preliminary tests and so far I have been quite impressed. With careful application they seem to work exactly as described.

                      I have not asked yet about their distribution network, but it would be great to get this stuff into printing supply chains like Kelly, etc.

                      They also sell seemingly applicable plate cleaning brushes, and, as you mentioned, lint free cleaning cloths.

                      Gerald
                      http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

                      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, jason wagner <jasonvagner@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Jon, I'm not sure if its better since I haven't compared the two, but I use
                      > Flexocleaners "Safety Clean Low VOC Photopolymer Plate Cleaner" for my plates.
                      > http://tinyurl.com/24qwxjb
                      >
                      > It's a Low VOC photopolymer plate cleaner that works with water-based,
                      > solvent-based and UV inks "guaranteed to never harm any photopolymer printing
                      > plate."
                      >
                      >
                      > They are in New York, so shipping may be a bit expensive depending on where you
                      > are because you have to buy it in a minimum 5 gallon pail, then dilute it up to
                      > a 4:1 concentration with water to the desired strength. I'm happy with it for
                      > use with Rubber based inks, plus it claims to be employee and environmentally
                      > safe. They sent me a sample container of "flexowipes" that are wet,
                      > biodegradable, lint-free and effective for quick cleaning. I think they have a
                      > Anilox roll and ink cleaner available too, maybe AniGel or something. Hope this
                      > helps, good luck.
                      >
                      > Best,
                      > Jason
                      >
                      >



                    • Eric
                      ... I was also forgetting the liquid photopolymer used in rubber stamps, washed in water/detergent, and using water based stamp inks. ... For amusement I have
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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                        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Gerald Lange <Bieler@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Not quite the right assumption. Not an either or situation with
                        > flexographic plates. There are water wash out flexo plates.>

                        I was also forgetting the liquid photopolymer used in rubber stamps, washed in water/detergent, and using water based stamp inks.

                        > Photopolymer plates, because of the post-exposure, are somewhat
                        > resilient to water. Technically speaking, they are non-soluble because
                        > of the molecular change imparted by the UV. I usually print damp and
                        > that has never posed a problem. I've put a fully processed Toyobo
                        > Printight plate in a bowl of water and after a few days only saw an
                        > eruption in spots coming through the floor of the base from the adhesive
                        > layer (between floor and backing).

                        For amusement I have taken reject plates and soaked off all the letters. And it is indeed the adhesive layer that goes, but there can also be degredation to the image. Maybe that's just from the stresses of delaminating.
                        --Eric Holub, SF
                      • Kim Vanderheiden
                        I think it s both amusing and admirable that each of you has thrown an old plate in water long term just to see what it did. I had thought it would dissolve,
                        Message 11 of 12 , Nov 14, 2010
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                          I think it's both amusing and admirable that each of you has thrown an
                          old plate in water long term just to see what it did. I had thought it
                          would dissolve, because of my experiences with Solarplate materiel,
                          which is just another type of photopolymer plate designed for intaglio
                          instead of relief. I have seen water droplets hit those plates after
                          post exposure and cause deterioration without even having very
                          prolonged contact. That was an earlier formula of Solarplate, not the
                          current one.

                          Is water insolubility after post exposure really across the board on
                          all letterpress photopolymer plates, or only certain brands? Now that
                          I've heard that at least some forms of photopolymer do not remain
                          water soluble, I shall have to experiment with mine. I switched
                          recently to Nyloprint. It would also be interesting to test the
                          current Solarplate formula.

                          Inquiring minds want to know!

                          Kim Vanderheiden
                        • Peter Fraterdeus
                          I recently soaked some plastic-backed plates (bough unexposed from BoxCar in 2008) which had curled badly, on the theory that if the shrinking of the polymer
                          Message 12 of 12 , Nov 14, 2010
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                            I recently soaked some plastic-backed plates (bough unexposed from BoxCar in 2008) which had curled badly, on the theory that if the shrinking of the polymer which causes curling is from gradual continued drying over a year or more, then re-wetting should help relax the curl.

                            In fact it did so very nicely. I left the plates, (originally processed in 2008, iirc) covered in water overnight.

                            They didn't flatten completely, but relaxed back to a very manageable curl.
                            I put them in the Interflex dryer for a few minutes, and they looked fine.

                            Last night (about a week or so later) I got 'em stuck down on the base very nicely, and printed without any problem at all.

                            P


                            On 14 Nov 2010, at 10:48 AM, Kim Vanderheiden wrote:

                            > I think it's both amusing and admirable that each of you has thrown an
                            > old plate in water long term just to see what it did. I had thought it
                            > would dissolve, because of my experiences with Solarplate materiel,
                            > which is just another type of photopolymer plate designed for intaglio
                            > instead of relief. I have seen water droplets hit those plates after
                            > post exposure and cause deterioration without even having very
                            > prolonged contact. That was an earlier formula of Solarplate, not the
                            > current one.
                            >
                            > Is water insolubility after post exposure really across the board on
                            > all letterpress photopolymer plates, or only certain brands? Now that
                            > I've heard that at least some forms of photopolymer do not remain
                            > water soluble, I shall have to experiment with mine. I switched
                            > recently to Nyloprint. It would also be interesting to test the
                            > current Solarplate formula.
                            >
                            > Inquiring minds want to know!
                            >
                            > Kim Vanderheiden
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
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