We have four different types of cliches:
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- Laser Engraved
Photopolymer cliches (or polymer cliches) are photo-engraved.
The process is fairly simple, and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to perform correctly. First you need to have a work space free of ambient ultraviolet (U.V.) light, because the cliche blanks are sensitive to U.V. Then, you need to have a film positive with sufficient image density. You also need an suitable exposure unit, line screen film, and developer / tray / pad. Most polymers require two exposures; one with the film positive and a second with a line screen. Following exposures, the cliche is then developed in either and alcohol solution or distilled water. After exposure the cliche must be re-exposed to harden the image area, and dried to remove moisture.
TAMPOPRINT has everything you need to make photopolymer cliches in-house. Conact us for more detailed information, or visit the Cliche Making page.
- two exposure / alcohol developed. Excellent image resolution. Durability is 40-50 thousand impressions.
- two exposure / water developed. Excellent image resolution. Durability is 40-50 thousand impressions.
- two exposure / alcohol developed. Good image resolution. Durability is up to 20 thousand impressions.
- two exposure / water developed. Good image resolution. Durability is up to 20 thousand impressions.
- one exposure / alcohol developed. For finely detailed images. Not suitable for bold images. Durability is 40-50 thousand impressions.
Laser Engraved Cliches
Aloxid & Microflex cliches are laser engraved. These cliches are either aluminum or steel backed, depending on type.
- available in standard aluminum backed, or optional steel backed (for magnetic ink cup users). Aloxid cliches require a YAG laser. Aloxid cliches offer an nomimal etch depth of 20 microns, and durability of 30-40 thousand impressions.
- special Tampoprint patented material with a steel back. These cliches require either a CO2 or YAG laser. Excellent for multiple color or CMYK color work, with the industy's highest resolution of up to 1200 d.p.i. (dots per inch). Durability of 10-20 thousand impressions.
Ceramic cliches are laser engraved, and provide the highest level of durability available. These cliches may be etched with either a YAG or CO2 laser. Because both sides of ceramic cliches can accept an image, you can etch both sides for maximum use.
- 10mm thick, solid ceramic. Durability is 1-2 million impressions per side X 2 sides = 2-4 million impressions.
- Another Tampoprint patented material, 10mm thick, aluminum center with ceramic coating. Durability is 1-2 million impressions per side X 2 sides = 2-4 million impressions. Lighter and more fracture-resistant than solid ceramic cliches. High-Tech cliches also have a better image resolution due to their structure.
TAMPOPRINT offers both CO2 and YAG laser engraving systems.
Steel cliches are chemically etched. Due to the complexity of the process, steel cliches are typically manufactured only by pad printing equipment suppliers.
- 10mm thick, hardened steel with approximately 12% chrome added to inhibit oxidation. Nominal etch depth is 16-22 microns +-4 microns. Durability is at least 250 thousand impressions.
- 10mm thick, hardened steel. Best resolution and etch bottom consistency due to the structure of the steel. Excellent for CMYK. Durability is at least 250 thousand impressions.
- 0.5mm. These cliches are affixed to the print like a photopolymer or laser engraved cliche, using a magnet base plate. Resolution is similar to low chrome steel, and durability is slightly lower.
All statements of cliche durability above assume that the cliches has been properly etched / engraved. Furthermore, we assume that all cliches and backing plates are clean and perfectly parallel, and that the machine is properly set up and maintained.