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DuPont Packaging Graphics

Flexo Glossary

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Acetate A family of solvents also known as esters; example normal propyl acetate. One of, or the family of, cellulose acetate films.

Acetone A very active solvent used mainly in gravure inks. The fastest drying solvent in the ketone family.

Alcohol A group of organic solvents widely used in flexographic inks.

Aliphatic hydrocarbons Solvents obtained by fractionation of crude petroleum oil. Examples are textile spirits, VMP Naphtha, gasoline and kerosene. Frequently used as part of the solvent mixture in "co-solvent" and "polyamide" type flexo inks, in conjunction with Buna-N type plates and rollers; tend to swell natural and butyl rubber.

Ambient temperature A term used to denote the temperature of the surrounding air.

Anilox roll Mechanically- or laser-engraved steel and chrome-coated metering roll used in flexo presses to meter a controlled film of ink from the contacting elastomer covered fountain roller to the printing plates which print the web. Volume of ink is affected by the cell count per linear inch and dimension of the cell and cell wall of the engraving. Manufactured from copper and chromium plated steel. Also given a coating of aluminum oxide (ceramic) or copper and chrome.

Anilox system The inking system commonly employed in flexographic presses consisting of an elastomer covered fountain roller running in the ink pan, adjustable against a contacting engraved metering roll, the two as a unit adjustable to the printing plate roll, elastomer design roll or plain elastomer coating roll as the case may be. Ink is flooded into the engraved cells of the metering roll, excess doctored off by the wiping or squeezing action of the fountain roll or a doctor blade and that which remains beneath the surface of the metering roll is transferred to the printing plates.

Antifoaming agent An additive used in ink that prevents or eliminates foaming of a liquid or breaks foam already formed.

Artwork The original design, including drawings and text, produced by the artist. All elements of the design from which the black and white art and printing plates are made; also refers to all of the black and white production art.

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Back exposure UV light exposure through the back of the plate which sensitizes the plate and determines the amount of image relief by setting the floor of the plate.

Bare cylinder diameter The diameter of the actual plate cylinder, before the sticky-back and plates are mounted.

Binder The adhesive components of an ink, normally supplied by the resin formulation; the ink vehicle. In paper, an adhesive component used to cement inert filler, such as clay, to the sheet or to affix short fibers firmly (securely) to paper or board stock.

Bleeder strips See Masking Strips.