Swiss Folex and Flint Group Flexographic Products have jointly developed a laser ablative dry film for imaging on infrared laser systems, such as digital flexo or letterpress imagesetters. The imaged LADF film can be used for the UV exposure of analogue flexo, letterpress and offset plates, as well as for screen printing stencils and for image control.
The new film is said to offer very high resolution – up to 10.000dpi, depending on the laser system – as well as high contrast and reproduction of even the finest details, making it suitable for most applications. The matte film surface enables the exposure of small size pad printing plates up to large flexo plates. The thickness of 175 micron ensures good handling properties and a high dimensional stability.
According to the partner companies, LADF film “minimises the process tolerances and allows a reliable and repeatable quality in film processing”. In addition, the film is claimed to exhibit outstanding scratch resistance.
After ablation, no further processing steps are required; there is no need of chemicals such as developer or fixative, and no cleaning is necessary. The new film can be handled in daylight, so there is neither a need for a darkroom nor for UV protection. It is also suitable for all standard IR lasers used in flexo and letterpress applications, so no additional investments are required.