Gravure Global

Quick release compounds

Besides being used for gravure impression rollers, these blue compounds can also be used for other applications, such as laminating, where smooth web guidance is important (Source: Böttcher)

Regardless of whether it be offset, flexo, gravure or digital printing, Böttcher continues to be, as it has been for decades, an important and reliable partner for printers and press manufacturers whenever they require elastomer-coated rollers.

The company develops and tests rubber or polyurethane elastomer compounds in its in-house laboratories, and it has its own specially designed mixing plant for the manufacture of rubber-based elastomers. Depending upon the needs and requirements, these coatings are applied to metal or CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) cores or to thin plastic tubes.

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Known as sleeves, these elastomer-covered tubes are used in presses in conjunction with cylindrical or slightly conical air cylinders. Cylindrical air cylinders and therefore cylindrical sleeves are used for low torque and nip pressure applications, such as flexo printing, whereas in gravure printing or laminating, where the sleeve is subject to higher torque or the pressure in the nip is higher, slightly conical air cylinders and therefore conical sleeves are used. The conical form enables the sleeves to be pushed more firmly onto the cylinder, thereby reducing the risk of slipping on the cylinder. Böttcher has developed special sleeve structures for all of these tubes, and manufactures them in its own factories.

Böttcher has considerable expertise in the development and manufacturing of these special products, which are widely available through a worldwide network of 27 production sites and a large number of sales officies. Around 2,000 employees in R&D, administration, production and sales support more than 80,000 customers in over 80 countries.

For gravure presses, Böttcher produces elastomer coatings (rubber and polyurethane) in differing hardnesses that are suitable for use as impression rollers with any electrostatic assistance (ESA) system or without, and with the all various different technical approaches (spray bar, direct charging, etc.).

A year ago, Böttcher launched a new family of compounds with hardnesses of 80 ShA and 90 ShA. These blue rubber compounds combine both the well-known stability and well-defined electrical properties of the established black compounds but also offer excellent substrate release in high-speed processes. This means that good performance can be achieved even with difficult, thin substrates. The special chemical formulations of these compounds ensure that they maintain their properties over time.

Besides being used for gravure printing impression rollers, these blue compounds can also be used for other applications, such as laminating, where smooth web guidance is important.

There is a vast range of compounds for rollers and sleeves, so contact your local Böttcher subsidiary for expert advice.

The article was first published in the special publication “Gravure Global”, which you can download for free.

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