Building A Flexo Bridge & Sleeve That Lasts
A flexo printing presses’ internal operating environment is very demanding. It involves a lot of forces such as high torque, high temperatures caused by friction and to add to that, the chemicals involves can be corrosive.
All these variables come into play and can affect final product quality considerably if substandard parts or materials are used. This is especially true for mounting sleeves and that is the reason why we pay close attention to how we manufacture them to ensure that they operate at their optimum capacity at all levels during printing.
STAGE 1: Making the Inner Dyneema Layer
The first stage involves constructing the main inner layer of the sleeve or bridge using high-quality materials such as Dyneema. This is one of the crucial structures that will hold up the sleeve and the main area that will have the most contact to where it is mounted and therefore it needs to be accurately built and be able to handle the various pressures that occur during the printing process.
Building it involves using a mandrel that reflects the needed bridge or sleeve sizes. Once the correct size had been determined, using a Dyneema weave and various agents that ensure its structure is strong while remaining lightweight, the inner core is wounded up and tightened to create the inner layer. It is then hardened and then the next stage can begin.
INNER LAYER WITH DYNEEMA
Dyneema is the worlds strongest fibre and we use it due to its amazing properties. It makes the sleeve more durable, especially the are where it makes contact with the mandrel. This is due to its weight to strength ratio compared to many other materials. It outperforms steel but also materials like Kevlar and Aramid fibres that have amazing properties as well.
It is also sturdy and reduces slippage while being highly durable meaning that the sleeve can withstand the extreme conditions that it will face during a high-speed printing press job run. Furthermore, it has a high melting point and also chemical resistance, therefore all the solvents and most acids that it can face in a printing press facility will have minimum impact on it.
STAGE 2/3: Adding the other 4 layer types and Grinding
The second and third stage of the sleeve construction involves building up each major layer elements of the sleeve. These are :
– An expandable layer
– A core lightweight material layer
– The UV-cured outer layer
– The optional compressible later depending on sleeve model.
STAGE 4: Quality Control and Adjustments