Understanding the Pad Printing Pad

Surface Finish of the Pad Printing Pad

Throughout the pad-printing industry, the custom practice among pad manufacturers is to furnish pads with a high gloss finish. Users have had to "matte" the pad surface - that is, remove excess silicone oil that creates the glossy appearance - to enable the pad to pick up and transfer ink during the printing process. Typically, pad printers will use a strong solvent such as a fast thinner for the initial silicone-oil removal. But, excessive use of such a strong solvent damages the pad and shortens its life.

You can now purchase pads with a "ready to use" finish that virtually eliminates the need to matte the pad. With these pads, the base rubber material is very close to the desired pad hardness, so the manufacturer adds much less silicone oil, if any.

After you matte the pad (if necessary), the only other step that must be taken prior to production is to gently wipe the pad with an aIcohol-based pad-cleaning fluid. This removes any free silicone oil that can sometimes leach out of the pad. Once you have used the pad, however, the best way to remove solid debris, dried ink, and dust is with a quality brown packaging adhesive tape. By folfowing this simple procedure, you wifl improve your print quality, reduce downtime, and prolong the pad's life.

Some pad suppliers provide a "rejuvenating oil." This is basically a silicone spray that can be applied to the pad surface when it becomes dry due to the removal of silicone oif by aggressive thinners. It can help prolong pad life, but spraying silicone spray anywhere near a surface that has to be decorated is a recipe for disaster. Because of the potential problems, using such oils is not recommended.

We have come across two extreme cases of pad abuse: The first company soaks their new pads in a solvent tank for four hours prior to use, while the second company has a press dedicated to "running in" new pads before they are used in production. Pads have a limited print Iife, they are susceptible to mechanical damage, and they are not cheap. Such extreme measures make very poor use of your investment.

Shape and Size of The Pad Printing Pad.

Shape is the most important variable in selecting a pad.

Hardness of the Pad Printing Pad

The hardness of the pad is normally determined by the amount of silicon oil used when the pad is moulded.

Surface Finish of the Pad Printing Pad

Throughout the pad-printing industry, the custom practice among pad manufacturers is to furnish pads with a high gloss finish.

Material of the Pad Printing Pad

This topic refers not only to the material of the pad itself, but also the base onto which the pad is mounted.

Special Printing Pads for Large Images

In some situations, a large image area must be printed and the machine does not have the power to compress such a heavy pad in a smooth motion.

Quality Control of Pad Printing Pads

Poor-quality consurnables like pads can destroy the performance of the printing machine.

Pad Printing Pad Life

Next to "What should I use?", the most difficult question to answer is "How long should a pad last?"