Printing Blankets play a critical role in the quality of your printed job. Its ability to transfer ink from printing plates to substrates, combined with their interaction with inks, fountain solutions, etc. all have a direct impact on your printed result.
Blankets all look very similar and may be used for the same purpose, but depending upon how the layers are built, they will give you a different result. Each blanket has 3 layers: the surface layer, compressible layer and fabric layer. If you alter any of these components, it will result in a different blanket that will ultimately impact your finished product. Based off of your unique press configuration and the products you are producing, you may want to choose one blanket over another blanket.
Let’s take a look at all 3 components to learn how this impacts the blanket:
Surface Layer: This is the area of the blanket that comes in direct contact with the paper and the plate, which plays a role in how sharply you can transfer an image on your press. Based on the paper used for your job, the surface layer needs to have a certain level of smoothness to transfer the image sharply.
The surface layer also has a rubber compound surface that also impacts the overall finished product. Based on the types of inks you use, the rubber should be changed in order to prevent the solvent, ink and fountain solution from penetrating, swelling, shrinking or cracking the blanket.
Fabric Layer: This is the layer that consists of thread woven through angles in two directions: warp or weft. Based off the direction chosen, you’ll receive different amounts of stress when it is tightened against the cylinder.
Compressible Blanket: This layer is sponge-like in design and comes in either an open or closed cell design. If you are looking for more air to flow throughout the application, the open cell design is best. The closed cell design is best if you are looking for an increased resistance to smashing for longer periods of time.
At Heidelberg, we carry an extensive line of blankets to fit all of your print needs. A few of our most popular products include:
- The new Saphira Blanket Pro 250, which is an all-around printing blanket that’s suitable for commercial and packaging work as well as certain hybrid and UV applications.
- The Saphira Blanket Pro 225’s surface compound is solvent resistant with excellent water balance. It has a durable carcass and enhanced compressible layer for consistent pressure over larger formats on a wide range of stocks.
- The Saphira Blanket Pro UV 410 was developed to produce rich solids and clean halftones. The surface resists swelling and embossing, allowing it to handle the harshest UV and LED inks and press washes.
- The Saphira Pro Coating 2 provides great productivity by minimizing coating build-up, allowing for longer runs between wash-ups. With top quality fabrics, it provides high smash resistance and durability. The unique strippable zone and compressible layer offers clean, reliable cutouts by hand or CAD systems.
If you need help choosing the perfect blanket for you, fill out the section below and a Heidelberg representative will be in contact with you shortly.