Pad 101: Getting The Most Out Of Your Pad Printing Pad
The pad printing pad is one of the most important elements in the pad printing process. Image quality and ink coverage, are affected by your pad print pad. Here are some tips to help you get the best from your print pads and extend their life in the process.
- What’s my substrate? Your substrate is your blank canvas waiting for printing. Be sure your substrate is free of oils and debris, especially sharp particles that could shorten the life of your pads
- Why do my pads wear out and/or split? Never use excess pad pressure during printing. Adjust your down-stroke and let the ink do the work. Also, have your machine settings checked regularly. Over-compression and printing on sharp edges result in split pads. Do differentiate between normal wear & tear and damage due to problems.
- How often do I need to clean my pad? Remove solid debris, dried ink and dust from your pads after each printing. Always use adhesive tape to remove debris, especially when the pad is dry from aggressive thinners. Never scrub, scratch or brush your pads
- What can I use to clean pads? Try to use tape only, sticky side onto the dirtied surface. This will usually remove most dust and dirt. Only use alcohol-based pad cleaning fluid, the smallest amount required to do the job. Avoid strong solvents. Use them only for initial removal of silicone oil on the surface. After cleaning, apply rejuvenating oil to the surface before resting for at least 24 hours. This will prolong pad life.
- How many pads do I need? Rest the pad for 24 hours in a cabinet after printing. Have an extra pad to swap out during the rest period.
- What’s a safe environment? Always protect the pad’s print surface; store uncovered in a clean dry environment.
- How long should a pad last? Pads should usually handle 50,000 impressions or more. With proper care, we have seen pads last longer than 100,000+ cycles.
Next discussion: Pad shape and durometer – is it right for the job?
Remember: Pads are costly to replace. The better you treat the pad – the longer it will last.
Join the Conversation! How many impressions/per pad was your record? Have you used Engineered Printing Solutions Pad Finder Wizard? Are there other tools that could help simplify your orders? This is your forum. Teach us!