Proper Storage Extends Plate Life of Liquid Photopolymer
Proper storage of AVantage liquid photopolymer plates from Anderson & Vreeland will extend plate life and provide faster turnaround on orders that are refills of previously run jobs. Converters dread finding plates that have degraded in storage. Here are a few steps that will minimize plate degradation and extend plate life:
- Clean Plates: Plates should be thoroughly cleaned after each press run. Residual ink deposits on printing plates foster cracking and surface tack. Plates with dried ink are harder to clean and perform poorly during the next press run. AVantage liquid photopolymer should be cleaned immediately after use with detergent and water or a similar plate wash solution and a soft bristle brush, lint-free rags or an automatic plate wash machine. Do not use a solution with a temperature in excess of 140°F. Plates should be completely dry before storage – leftover cleaner or ink can deteriorate the photopolymer surface.
- Light: Photopolymer plates cure in the presence of light, typically in ultraviolet (UV) light such as direct sunlight, or in standard light sources including warehouse lights, fluorescent and incandescent light. If a plate sits in front of a window or other light source for an extended period, eventual damage may occur. Store plates after cleaning in a cool, dry place away from any light source. Plates stored on cylinders should be wrapped with an opaque material.
- Heat: Prolonged heat exposure can affect a plate’s physical properties. Heat accelerates UV light degradation and increases the likelihood of ozone cracking, tack, and shrinkage. Mounted plates are commonly stored on racks, sometimes at ceiling level, where temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees, especially in the summer. Always store plates close to ground level. Air circulation in the plate storage area will also help. Typical room conditions (70-75°F, 55-65% relative humidity) are ideal for plate storage.