As we indicated in previous article (Offset printing), flexography (= flexo printing) is direct printing transferring the ink from the plate to the paper on roll other than offset. Following are the main features of flexo printing.
Flexography requires the product of so-called printing plates. Regarding printing plate, with its slightly raised image and letterpress, is rotated on a cylinder and coated by fast drying ink. Ink applied to the printing area, which is then pressed against the paper so it transfers. Therefore flexo printing is also known as “surface printing”, is a relief printing method that the image to be printed is higher than the background (See below picture).
Flexography compared with offset printing, it uses water-based inks are solvent-free, not only quick-drying but also more environmentally friendly. However, drying of water-based inks is extremely affected by the surrounding environment. When the weather is humid, printing sheets are easily affected with damp. When it comes to rain or splashing by water, the surface of printed image may easily reprint to other objects.
The main difference with both processes is that offset printing is only done on flat and smooth surface while flexo printing can be used on a wider range almost any substrate with a flexible surface. For example, it can be applied to corrugated cardboard, paper, cellophane, plastic and fabric. By using different machines provides a clear impression image on diverse materials. While offset printing is well-suited for short-run work, flexography provides more economical production.
What are Advantages of Flexo Printing:
· Runs at high press speeds
· Economical, with high-visibility graphics when it requires the use of only a few colors.
· Printed material range is more widely than other printing processes.
· Lower investment costs for printing related equipment and maintenance.
· Water-based printing ink is more environmentally friendly.
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