Pad Printing Pads

Introduction To Pad Printing Pads

Pad printing pads are made with a special silicone rubber with the following characteristics:

  • Excellent adhesion and detachment of the ink allowing a perfect transfer of the image to be printed
  • Strength and resistance to solvents and inks for pad longevity
  • Hardness and form stability.

Engineered Printing Solutions carries all commonly used pad printing pads — cylindrical, rectangular pads, linear printing pads, compound, as well as MARKEM® pads. If you do not see the shape you need, we have a full pad department that will custom design and manufacture the pad for your pad print application.

Pad Basics

Choosing A Pad Printing Pad

Your pad choice will depend on many elements, including:

  • Dimension of the surface to be printed (print area);
  • Shape of the printing surface (flat or contoured);
  • Type of printing surface (smooth, rough, etc.)

These elements determine the pad’s size, shape, and hardness — expressed in durometers. Our pads are available in durometer ranges between 10 and 80.

Important: It is necessary to use pads with length and width dimensions at least 10% to 20% greater than the print area.

Selecting the Silicone

The different types of silicone determine the hardness of the pad (expressed in durometer). The higher the number, the harder the pad. The following chart shows the durometer range for the various types of silicone pads available.

Durometer Color
10 – 60 Blue
20 – 60 Yellow
20 – 65 White
30 – 75 Red

Ordering A Pad Printing Pad

Our staff will help you choose the proper pad for your printing application. Some of the questions we will ask (in addition to print area, shape and surface texture) are:

  • Thickness of the base (1/2″, 3/4″, etc.)
  • Type of base needed (wooden is standard, or specify flat aluminum or extruded aluminum dovetail)
  • Machining or drilling needed on base (size and location of tap holes)
  • Overall maximum pad height, including the base
  • Whether the pad needs to be hollow or with a helicoil insert
  • How hard or soft the item is being printed (to determine pad durometer)
  • The size “T” nut needed to attach pad to machine (if needed).

The pad base can vary in thickness and is not included in the pad height dimension.  To determine the correct size, download our Cup Template here.

Machine Model & Pad Height

Important Note: When ordering a new pad for the first time, it is crucial that you measure the space between your pad mounting and the cliché surface, taking into account the size base the pad will be mounted on.

Our different pad printing machines are able to accommodate different maximum height pads See the following chart for examples of maximum pad height which includes the base. Some dimensions may vary depending on the mounting bracket or fixture.

Basic Pad Heights by machine (includes base):

1-Color 2-Color 3-Color “RR” Pad Shuttle
KP05 80mm 80mm N/A N/A
KP06 100mm 100mm 100mm 70mm
KP08 130mm 130mm 130mm 100mm
XP13 / XE13 130mm 130mm 130mm N/A
XP16 /XE16 160mm 160mm 160mm N/A

Ordering a Stock Pad

Our stock pads come in a multitude of different shapes, sizes, widths, lengths and heights. If you originally ordered your pad from us, we’ll have noted the pad re-order number on the base. If you want to try one of our pads and see one on our website that matches what you’ve got, give us a call and we’ll talk.

Note: Although we back stock our most-frequently ordered pads, we generally pour your pad within hours of receiving your order. Blue pads cure in 1 hour, red pads take 24 hours to fully harden, and white pads take a full 48 hours of curing time before we can pack and ship them.