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Pad Printing
Troubleshooting Guide

Pad printing defined
Printing Terms | Plate Terms | Material Terms | Pad Terms
Printing Terms

Registration - a process of lining up colors to each other to produce a multi colored print.

Cob Webbing - fine threads of ink on printed part

Ink Split - when ink separates in the etch of a plate when pad picks up image, usually causing cob webs.

Closed Cup - the device that holds the ink and doctors ink across etch in plate filling image with ink.

Open Well - a method of holding ink for doctoring across plate for pad printing.

Doctoring - the process of filling etch in a plate and cleaning the un-etched area of excess in.

Overprint - printing one color of ink over another.

Trapping - printing one color over another color slightly to make registration of colors easier in print process.

Ring - ceramic or metal blade used in a closed cup pad printing system to doctor or meter the ink over plate or cliché.

Scooping - when the ring or doctor blade does not have enough support and removes ink from center of etch in plate.

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Plate Terms

Plates / Cliché
- a prepared surface from which an etch is created for printing.

Etch - to produce (use a pattern or design) on a hard material by eating into the materials surface.

Halftone or Screened Image - a dot pattern etched into plate or cliché to help support the ring or doctor blade

Open Image - a plate or cliché that is etched without the use of a screen.

Fast Ink - an ink that has a quick drying rate or an ink that has solvents that make it evaporate very quickly.

Gloss - a surface luster or brightness (shine)

Matte - free from shine or highlights (deprived of luster or gloss)

One Component Ink - an ink that is fully cured when all the solvent in the ink has evaporated, leaving a dry resin film on the substrate.

Two Component Ink - to combine 2 resins to change the chemical structure into a new resin.

Opacity - blocking the passage of light

Retarder - a solvent that will slow down the cure rate or evaporation

Slow ink - an ink that cures very slowly

Thinner - a solvent to make the ink less dense or viscous, to change the viscosity or thickness of ink

Transparent - allowing the passage of light through

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  Material Terms

Dyne Level
- the surface tension of substrates

Flame Treatment - a method of changing surface tension by use of fire

Corona Discharge - a method of changing surface tension by use of electricity

Polyolefins - plastics, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) surface tension for ink adhesion should be between 38-46 DYNES/cm

Substrate - the base on which and ink is printed onto

Static - electricity that consists of isolated motionless charges (as those produced by friction)

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  Pad Terms

Silicone Rubber
- rubber made from silicone elastomers and noted for its retention of flexibility and resilience

Silicone Oils - organic silicone compound obtained as oils, greases or plastics

Molds - a cavity in which a substance is shaped, as silicone rubber

Hardness - not easily penetrated, firm or definite

Durometer - pad hardness is measured on the Shore 00 Scale; range 10 soft to 80 hard in increments of 10

Base of pad - material to hold silicone rubber in the pad printing process, material can be plastic, wood or metal (aluminum)

Pad - a silicone material formed into different shapes for printing on uneven surfaces

Pad Wiggle - the silicone pad is moving when it comes in contact with the substrate being printed, makes for a bad print

Pad Point - the tip of the pad that comes in contact with plate (cliché) or substrate first

Skidding - when the mad moves (stretches) on the printing substrate in the compressed state of the pad causing the ink to move, blurring the image

Bridging - in pad printing, when printing is prevented due to uneven print surface

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