What Is Anilox Roller ?
An anilox is a printing method that provides a precise amount of ink to a flexible (flexo)printing plate. An anilox roll, a hard cylinder made of steel or aluminum, is coated with an industrial ceramic, whose surface is engraved in millions of fine dimples. These are known as anilox cells. The anilox roll is coated with a specific layer of ink, which is transferred to the raised areas of the printing plate. The amount of ink delivered to the plate will depend on the number, size and geometry of the anilox cell.
Depending on the detail of the images to be printed, the press operator will select an anilox roll with a higher or lower line screen. The number of cells that are engraved on the anilox is called “line screen”. Low line screen rolls (100 to 300 lpi) can be used when a thick layer of ink is required, such as for heavy block lettering. Higher line screens (500-1500 lpi) produce finer details and are used in four-color process work such as reproducing photographs. A job may require a different linescreen for each color. Experienced press operators can determine the right rolls for any given job.
Depending on the design of the printing press, the anilox roll is either semi-submerged in the ink fountain, or comes into contact with a so-called metering roller, which is semi-submerged in the ink fountain. In either instance, a thick layer of typically viscous ink is deposited on the roller. A doctor blade is used to shave excess ink from the surface leaving just the measured amount of ink in the cells. The roll is then rotated to contact the flexographic printing plates, which receive ink from cells and transfer it to the printed material.
Anilox roll selection should take into account the cell volume and/or capacity of the engraved cells. This volume is used to print the results. It then transfers to the substrate and onto the printing plate. Transfer efficiency is generally around 25% to the substrate. The cell count of the roll remains constant throughout its life, but volume can change over time due to wear, plugging, and damage. The cell count can accommodate volume at different cell shapes thanks to laser engraving. Different volumes can be engraved on the same cell count.
Modern ink metering systems use a self-contained system called a chambered physician blade system. This is basically a manifold that delivers ink to an anilox roll. The ink is pumped through the hose into the chamber, which then fills to its full capacity. End seals and doctor blades keep ink within the system.
The retaining blade acts as a blade that holds ink inside the chamber. As described above, the other blade is reversed and removes excess ink from the anilox roll’s engraved surface. Chambered doctor knife systems are known for their high quality, consistency, and accuracy. They can be removed from the influence of human subjectivity and press speed.
Anar Rub Tech Pvt. Ltd.
Address- No. 7, Panchal Industrial Estate,
Near S.B.I., Bapunagar,
Ahmedabad , Gujarat, India – 380024.
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