An Overview on Containment Blades in Printing Machine
If you’re in the printing industry, you’ve heard about Containment Blades, which are used to keep the ink from running out of a gravure or flexo printing machine’s ink chamber.
They prevent ink from running out of the flexo chamber.
The purpose of containment blades is to keep the ink from running out of the flexographic section. While this is a necessary step, improper use of the blades can cause back doctoring, which is a serious problem with flexo printing machines. Therefore, ensure the containment blades are installed correctly and properly adjusted to prevent this.
Containment blades prevent ink runout in flexo printing machines by allowing the ink to be metered at the correct pressure. However, if the containment blade is not installed correctly, the ink can run out of the chamber, resulting in a defect in the printed page. Therefore, it’s best to install containment blades on the machine before experimenting with printing.
They also prevent ink from running out of the gravure chamber.
The two main components of a gravure printing machine are the containment blades and the metering blades. The containment blade is located at the top of the printing machine, where ink is pumped. The containment blade fills the chamber to a certain point, and the bottom blade transfers the ink to the plate or substrate. The anilox rolls turn clockwise, and containment blades at both ends prevent excess ink from running out of the chamber. These components are vital to the printing process since they prevent excess ink from smearing, creating icicles, or back doctoring, both of which affect the quality of the print.
In a traditional gravure machine, the containment blades in the printing device also prevent ink from running out of the chamber. In addition, the Carbon fiber surface is treated with antistatic resin to avoid ink escaping from the chamber, reducing the risk of anilox scoring. Another benefit of the Gravure Chamber is the reduced amount of ink that has to be changed between color cycles.
They reduce the risk of back doctoring.
Using the correct blades in your printing machine can help reduce the chance of back doctoring. Steel blades are not flexible, so the ink can build up on their backs. Thin polymer blades are more flexible, which allows ink to be re-deposited in the chamber without leaving a thick film on the press, sheets, or ink. The adjustable blades are available in various sizes and shapes to fit different anilox line screens. In addition, they can be supplied with foam strips on their backs.
The ink that is too thick can contribute to back doctoring. For example, it may not meter smoothly across the anilox roll, resulting in icicles and ink that do not flow smoothly under the containment blade. In such a case, it may be necessary to thin the ink or increase the pressure on the anilox roll.
They are less demanding than printing blades.
Despite the name, containment or printing blades aren’t the same. They are used on larger ceramic anilox rollers and are less demanding than doctor blades. They have several advantages over printing blades, including increased longevity.
These are less demanding than printing blades because they contain ink placed in the printing machine chamber. Containment blades cost much less than printing blades and cost one-third or less per inch. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, containment blades are safer to handle and don’t leave waves. Ink film should be marked by the roll and fit tightly without leaving waves.
They create stalactites
The metering blades on your printing machine are responsible for creating different problems. Ink pooling is impossible because of gravity. When metering blades create stalactites and pathways for wet ink to run down, these stalactites may signify a more significant problem, but they can also indicate something wrong.
If you notice stalactite-like formations in the printing process, it could indicate back doctoring. Many corrugated and narrow web presses are equipped with single-blade systems.
They are more expensive.
Containment blades are a fundamental component of a printing blade chamber. They form an enclosed system that allows the printer to maintain ink viscosity while minimizing skimming, reducing ink consumption, and simplifying clean-up. Containment blades can be steel or polyester, but a smarter option is polyester.
Steel blades are more durable but tend to warp and become less effective. When the blade is thinner, ink may pass through the uneven edges and hang at the bottom of the chamber, affecting the printing machine. A shoddy print job can result in an unhappy customer, and a printer may lose a valuable client. Containment blades are more expensive than their steel counterparts, so they’re worth every penny.
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