Flexographic Printing Sleeves
What are flexographic printing sleeves?
Flexographic printing sleeves are used to mount printing plates on it. Printing plates are mounted on the flexo plate sleeves, which are floated onto the air mandrel by using compressed air. Initially, flexographic printing plates were mounted on the cylinders directly. But since plates were not easily interchangeable and using multiple cylinders for several jobs lead to high costs and storage problems, flexo printing sleeves were developed. The main advantage of the flexo printing sleeves is that they can be easily floated on and off the air mandrels. The flexographic printing sleeves are also known as “Plate carriers”, “Plate sleeves” or “Press sleeves”.
Flexo printing sleeves
What are the advantages of using flexo printing sleeves?
Flexographic printing sleeves are important for the flexographic printing process. They have a major influence on the efficiency and the quality of the print. Flexo printing sleeves reduce press downtime as the next flexographic printing plates can be mounted on the plate sleeves while another job is running. It helps in getting multiple jobs done without having to demount the flexographic printing plates, thus saving time and energy and increases productivity. Briefly, flexographic printing sleeves are cost-efficient, easy to float and enfolds around the mandrel providing the same level of quality and accuracy.
Why is a Tech Sleeve different?
Tech Sleeves is a flexo sleeve manufacturer. At Tech sleeves®, we offer plate sleeves and bridges (adapters) for the global flexographic printing industry. We believe that we can increase the printing quality and overall efficiency through a combination of experience and innovation. Our vision is to continuously develop products that enhance performance and quality while offering innovative features and services to strategically position the company worldwide.
We understand the problems in the industry and therefore build the flexo plate sleeves using unique high-quality materials to ensure durability, consistency and dimensional stability. All our flexographic printing sleeves are built with different layers:
• Flexible and expandable innermost core. (1 mm)
• Contains Dyneema® that offers maximum strength with minimum weight.
• Dyneema® doesn’t fray and is up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers such as Kevlar®.
• Prevents slipping of the sleeve on the mandrel.
• Extremely durable and resistant to moisture, UV light and chemicals.
Compressible Foam Layer
• Compressible foam Layer. (1 mm )
• The compressible pre-compressed foam layer has high rebound resilience and is up to 50% compressible without bulging.
• Reduces bouncing and enables the sleeve to have a perfect fit on the mandrel.
• Resistant to permanent deformation, good abrasion resistance from aging, weathering and cleaning solvents used for polymer plate cleaning.
Techcore Material in various thicknesses
• Stitched, bonded and compressed Techcore material in various thicknesses.
• Contains a filament fiber base which is volumized by fiberglass infused with Epoxy Vinyl-Ester-Resin.
• Light weight with extreme high flexural strength and form stability.
• This ultra-high-strength composite core reduces bouncing at high speed.
Chemical Resistant outer surface layer
• The Outer Surface Layer contains Epoxy Vinyl-ester-resin reinforced with technical filaments and polyester fleece. (2 mm.)
• High chemical and temperature resistance with excellent tape mount and demount properties.
Outer compressible surface layer
• The compressible surface layer for compressible soft sleeves consists of cellular, water crossed-linked foamed polyurethane (water/isocyanate reaction).
• The outer layer of the soft sleeves / adapters is available in 40, 50 or 60 ShA and is produced in densities ranging from 300 – 650 kg/m3.
• This layer can be compressed by up to 80% of its original height with limited bulging and very minimal permanent set.
• Further outstanding properties of this compressible layer are:
o High rebound resilience
o Large volume compressibility
o High resistance to permanent deformation (also with dynamic loads)
o Good abrasion resistance
o Resistance to aging and weathering
Features and Benefits of a Tech Sleeve
The high-quality raw materials such as the composite combination of volumized fiberglass infused with vinyl-ester epoxy resin, provides flexural strength and form stability to the Tech Sleeves, reducing the bouncing caused by deflection during printing. This allows a flexo printer to produce high quality results at high speeds of up to 800m/minute. Additionally, Tech Sleeves have supreme chemical resistance to most chemicals used in the flexographic industry as it uses a special and unique compound.
Along with this, a lot of research and development has been done to ensure high durability and easier mounting for our press sleeves, which is why we offer additional features and options:
• A full inner metal ring can be inserted to provide the most durable slot solution.
• The ends of the print sleeves can be sealed to ensure that the ink doesn’t enter the core of the sleeves.
• Additionally, a metal cutting line can be added to prevent the print sleeves from damage while cutting tape.
• RFID chips and magnets can be added to the print sleeves on request.
What different types of print sleeves do we offer?
We offer three different types of flexographic printing sleeves depending on their use and application.
Tech Sleeve® Hard
Majority of the flexographic printing industry uses hard press sleeves. They are durable and shorten the press downtime. Plates are mounted on the hard press sleeves using tape. This tape gives compressibility to the sleeve. The thicker the tape; more is the compressibility.
1. Extremely durable
2. Designed for high-speed printing
3. Chemical Resistant
Tech Sleeve® Soft
A soft compressible sleeve is an investment for the future. It is designed to eliminate the need for compressible double sided mounting tape. Soft sleeves allow thin 0.1mm non-compressible tape to be used instead of 0.5mm tape, which reduces the overall expenses on mounting tape. Moreover, the compressible surface of the soft sleeves does not lose its compressibility. Therefore, you may leave the plates on the soft sleeves, thereby saving time.
1. Cost-saving solution
2. High quality printing
3. Different shore hardness available
Tech Sleeve® Thin
Tech Sleeve Thin is perfect for applications when the outer diameter for printing is almost the same size or just slightly bigger than the flexographic bridge or adapter. Thin sleeves make reductions in costs due to its thickness.
1. Super strong and light-weight
2. Chemical Resistant
3. Designed for high-speed printing
All our print sleeves can be made conductive on request.
For more information about the sleeves, please visit our product pages. And in case of questions, contact us!