Improper blanket cleaning can mean a lot more than a ghost image of a prior job or color contamination. Residual ink, varnishes, paper coatings, spray powder and fountain solution residue affect the performance of the blanket as well as final appearance of the printed image. Adding to the problem are the low VOC washes that contain significant proportions of water.
Cleaning blankets thoroughly requires an extra "additive" that was not necessary in the past. Good bye shop towels…hello Lithco Blanket Scrubbing Pads.
WHAT ARE BLANKET SCRUBBING PADS?
Blanket Scrubbing Pads (BSP) are nylon pockets that contain a cellulose sponge that holds a reservoir of blanket wash. A single BSP will easily outlast the equivalent of 300 shop towels, reducing laundering bills better than 50%. Unlike shop towels whose fibers clog with a build-up of ink sludge, the open mesh and scrubbing action of the BSP completely cleans and rejuvenates the blanket surface (also rollers and press frames) as well as the scrubbing pad itself.
IMPORTANCE OF CLEAN BLANKETS AND ROLLERS
The obvious need for clean blankets and rollers is to prevent color contamination from one job to another. Here are a few other problems that can be eliminated by proper blanket and roller cleaning:
Build up of the varnishes from the inks can cause blankets and rollers to harden. This changes their ink transfer properties and affects sheet release on blankets.
Spray powder, paper coatings such as case in, clay and enamel, gum and lint can combine to form stubborn glaze. This glaze is only water-soluble. Hot water applied with a Blanket Scrubbing Pad will quickly cut through and remove this type of glaze.
A different type of glaze, formed by friction and the oils in the inks and varnishes can only be removed with a solvent glaze remover (same thing as rubber rejuvenator). The abrasive surface of the BSP helps to cut through this stubborn glaze, the most common cause of roller and blanket stripping.
Ink build up on the water metering roller of a continuous dampening system will adversely affect the ability of the roller to transfer water. Apply a metering roller cleaner with a BSP to remove the ink and desensitize the roller.
WHAT MAKES THE BSP SO EFFECTIVE?
The effectiveness of the BSP is due to a combination of properties. The open weave of the nylon outer pad allows the ink, lint, gum and other contaminants to pass through and be absorbed by the inner sponge. Applying more solvent or water to the pad further cleans the outer surface.
Increases the cleaning power of all washes, especially low VOC and water miscible washes.
Reduces wash-up time, solvent usage and occurrence of blanket hickies
No abrasive particles to break off and contaminate the press and scratch plates
Special design removes glaze build-up, paper dust, dried ink and other contaminants
Improves print quality when used as part of a regular maintenance program
Approximate size: 6.75" x 5.5" x 1.75", open ended with sponge