Best Guide For Gravure Cylinder Laser Engraving

Best Guide For Gravure Cylinder Laser Engraving

If you want to do gravure cylinder laser engraving for the first time, this guide is for you. We have put together some of the best steps that have been tried and found to work extremely well in laser engraving gravure cylinders. Check out these five steps:

  1. Wash Ink and Remove Chrome Layer

First, you need to get the cylinder from the gravure printing machine. Considering that it has already been used, you need to clean it for a new engraving. Start with washing off ink residues from the previous printing. The remove the protective layer placed from the cylinder. In most cases, chrome is the material used as the protective layer – you just need to peel it off.

  1. Remove Copper Layer

If the cylinder had been laser or electronically engraved, you need to get rid of the etched copper layer. If you don’t do that, you will have a problem with the multiple printing of the images, including the current one and the previous one. There are three main ways you can remove the copper layer. You can remove them mechanically, electroplating, or chemically. Just make sure that the surface is clean.

  1. Copper Plating

The third step in gravure cylinder laser engraving is copper plating. Now that the gravure cylinder has been cleaned, we can now start the process of laser engraving.  There are several things that you need to consider to ensure a perfect engraving. The first thing is preparing for the copper plating of the cylinder. There several methods you can use, but degreasing and deoxidize are the most common. However, there are other methods used, and maybe one of them could be the best option for you. So, research widely before settling on one.

  1. Electroplating

The process of electroplating is simply all about adding a copper layer on top of the cylinder. The aim is to have a soft layer where cells of the image are etched using a laser beam. The process is done through electrolysis using a special machine. The size of the copper layer is determined by the depth of the etchings.

  1. Engraving

Finally, we can now engrave the gravure cylinder using laser technology. With the electroplating already done, you can start engraving or what some people call etching. The images to be engraved is in the computer in the form of dots. The laser beam will etch each dot on the gravure cylinder with varying depth depending on the ink density requirements.

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