Analysis of Consistency of Printing Blankets using Correlation Technique
This paper presents the application of an analytical tool to quantify material consistency of offset printing blankets. Printing blankets are essentially viscoelastic rubber composites of several laminas. High levels of material consistency are expected from rubber blankets for quality print and for quick recovery from smash encountered during the printing process. The present study aims at determining objectively the consistency of printing blankets at three specific torque levels of tension under two distinct stages; 1. under normal printing conditions and 2. on recovery after smash. The experiment devised exhibits a variation in tone reproduction properties of each blanket signifying the levels of inconsistency also in thickness
direction. Correlation technique was employed on ink density variations obtained from the blanket on paper. Both blankets exhibited good consistency over three torque levels under normal printing conditions. However on smash the recovery of blanket and its consistency was a function of manufacturing and torque levels. This study attempts to provide a new metrics for failure analysis of offset printing blankets. It also underscores the need for optimizing the torque for blankets from different manufacturers.
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