The future development of the hottest blanket

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The future development of blanket

since Reeves established the world's first blanket production line in 1953, blanket has crossed a period of time. The position of blanket in the printing field has not been shaken by the progress of times and technology, but has been paid more and more attention by all parties due to the introduction of a large number of high and new technologies. It also plays an important role and expectation of more and more reliable performance. An important proof is that the world's top printing machine manufacturers such as Roland, Gauss and Mitsubishi have spent a lot of money and time in recent years to design their own blanket professional testing machines and systematically select the most matching blanket for their new printing machines

before looking forward to the future development trend of blanket, we should first understand the role of blanket in printing and its related performance characteristics, and also see the future development direction of printing industry. Even in the face of the emerging new printing concepts, offset printing, as an economic, efficient and high-quality printing means, will still be the giant of the printing industry in the foreseeable future. This ensures that the blanket directly related to offset printing has a broad space for development. From the perspective of the current development trend of offset printing, the industry generally agrees that the rotary printing machine will gradually replace the sheet fed printing machine as the protagonist of offset printing; The proportion of paper and non paper surface printing using UV ink will continue to increase. In short: the speed of offset printing machine will be faster and faster, and the objects of offset printing will become more and more

for a long time, blanket has been entrusted with the mission of serving as a medium to transfer ink and bear pressure during offset printing. Because of this, the reduction, ink transfer, rebound response speed and durability of the blanket have always been the indicators that major blanket manufacturers strive to improve. However, with the continuous improvement of printing speed, blanket is expected to undertake more, one of which is to offset the vibration produced by the printing press during high-speed operation. As we all know, the higher the running speed of the machine, the greater the vibration of the machine itself. No matter how hard the printer manufacturers try, the vibration of the printer itself inevitably increases while the speed of the printer continues to increase. These mechanical vibrations will directly affect the printing quality in the printing process. Therefore, while trying to reduce the mechanical vibration, the printing machine manufacturers also hope that other printing consumables can help them overcome this problem. For this reason, before launching news ¨ net90 rotary machine, Gauss tested all current rotary blanket, and finally selected Vulcan editor 10 with special elastic layer structure as the installed blanket to recommend to customers. According to Gauss' test results, this blanket can effectively absorb the vibration generated by the printing machine during high-speed operation, so as to ensure that the printing machine can print high-quality products at the designed highest speed

in order to better explain the future of blanket, we need to summarize the classification of blanket first. For a long time, people in the industry in China have used to divide the rubber blanket into two categories according to whether it has foaming structure (also known as microporous structure): ordinary rubber blanket (conventionalb L A N K E T) and air cushion rubber blanket (compress able blanket). At present, the popular classification method in the world is to distinguish the blanket according to the model used. In this way, the current blanket can be divided into three categories: sheet fed blanket, commercial rotation blanket and newspaper rotation blanket. Another classification method is to divide the blanket into non UV blanket, UV blanket and compatible UV blanket according to the ink suitable for use. We can also divide the blanket into four layers, three layers and two layers according to the number of layers of cloth used in the blanket blanket. Air cushion blanket can be divided into open and closed holes according to the micropore structure; It can also be divided into chemical foaming and physical foaming according to the way of producing micropores

according to the current development direction of science and technology, we can boldly predict that ordinary blanket will basically withdraw from the market. The rubber layer of ordinary blanket has no specially designed micro TL (there will be some bubbles introduced in the production process, but these bubbles usually have a negative impact on the quality of the blanket). The rebound speed and degree of the blanket completely depend on the polymer properties of the rubber or polymer elastomer. Therefore, the blanket manufacturers basically choose the natural rubber with the best elasticity as the skeleton material of ordinary blanket. With the improvement of the performance of the printing press, the rebound speed of ordinary blanket has long been unable to meet the needs of high-speed printing. In 1964, hreeves company launched the world's first air cushion blanket. The air hole structure in the air cushion blanket can recover its shape faster after being subjected to printing pressure, thus giving the blanket a faster rebound performance, making it suitable for high-speed printing. At the same time, since the air cushion blanket can use rubber materials that are more resistant to organic solvents after using the pore structure to ensure the resilience, the durability of the air cushion blanket is also much better than the ordinary blanket using natural rubber. As long as there is no suitable high elastomer, the performance of ordinary blanket cannot surpass that of air cushion blanket. At present, most countries in the world no longer use ordinary blanket. Even the markets of less developed countries such as India have little interest in ordinary blanket. In China's market, the market share of ordinary blanket is still quite large, but according to recent research, more and more former ordinary blanket users have switched to air cushion blanket. It can be said that at present, the performance of ordinary blanket in the Chinese market is like the afterglow before sunset. The sunset is infinitely good, but it is just near dusk

air cushion blanket will dominate the market of blanket in the future. Therefore, grasping its development direction means grasping the trend that most of the input signals sent by blanket to servo valve in the future will be sine wave. From the current situation, there are two important factors that continuously promote the development of blanket. The first factor is performance requirements. This is the inevitable result of the improvement of printing speed and the diversification of printing objects. Another important factor is the economic factor. Due to the increasingly fierce market competition, all blanket manufacturers are facing the problem of reducing costs. Therefore, economic factors have also prompted great changes in the structure and production of blanket. Let's first take a look at the current development direction of air cushion blanket in order to meet higher performance requirements

with the emergence of a new round of transfer printing machines, air cushion blanket, which uses metal as the base plate to provide solutions for the increasingly complex global supply chain, has become active in the high-end market. Among them, the products that have been widely used include synthesi s of Vulcan (specially designed for MAN Roland lithoman s~hrotomans series machines) ~hmetalnews (applicable to regioman and co1ormanxxl of MAN Roland, uni1 iner 5 of Gauss, con~nander6/2 of KBA, etc.). Cloth braids have been used as framework materials for rubber blanket to maintain physical shape and performance. However, regardless of the development of engineering fabrics, the physical and mechanical strength and organic solvent resistance of woven fabrics cannot be compared with metal materials. Therefore, the air cushion blanket with metal substrate completely gets rid of the problem of expansion and contraction that has been perplexing the use. Organic solvents from ink and cleaning solution can not penetrate from the bottom to cause deformation and delamination of the blanket. In terms of ease of use, the metal based air cushion blanket is much easier to load and unload on the machine than the cloth based air cushion blanket. The seams of metal sleeve rubber blanket such as Vulcan synthes i s are less than 1 Shan, which can almost completely solve the problem of seam printing. So many advantages make the metal based air cushion blanket a star in the future

foaming layer is as important to air cushion blanket as engine is to automobile. In order to obtain better rebound performance, insiders are constantly improving the structure of the foam layer in the air cushion blanket. From the current trend, physical foaming plays a leading role. The biggest advantage of physical foaming method over chemical foaming is that it is easy to control and adjust the microporous structure, so as to ensure the stability of quality. At present, all the world-famous rubber blanket manufacturers use physical foaming products, most of which only use physical method to produce air cushion rubber blanket. In recent years, domestic manufacturers are increasingly using physical foaming method to produce air cushion blanket. There are usually two kinds of physical foaming methods: one is microsphere method; The second is salting out method. At present, most foreign manufacturers and all domestic manufacturers use the physical foaming method of microsphere. The so-called microsphere method is to mix the "hollow" microsphere and rubber into a foaming layer, and the "hollow" spherical cavity becomes a micropore and plays a role in springback. The principle of salting out method is to dissolve the salt grains mixed in the rubber with water and take them away to form microporous structure. The foaming layer produced by microsphere method is a typical closed cell structure, that is, each adjacent micropore is not connected with each other. The opposite structure is the open cell structure that the micropores are connected with each other. The foaming layer produced by salting out method is the open cell structure. From the current products on the market, the air cushion blanket with closed cell structure foam layer accounts for the vast majority

uv blanket is likely to be the protagonist of special-purpose blanket in the future. This is mainly due to the increasing demand for metal and plastic surface decoration, and the related printing mostly uses special UV ink. Compared with ordinary inks, UV inks have a chemical crosslinking process of light irradiation, which can enhance the adhesion of inks on non paper surfaces. However, UV light will generally accelerate the aging of rubber, and the chemical composition of the cleaning agent related to UV ink is also relatively special, so the blanket originally designed for ordinary ink can not adapt to the UV printing environment in many cases. For this reason, foreign countries have launched UV blanket (ll~hvulcan UV) specially used in UV printing environment and universal products (such as Vulcan combo) that take into account both ordinary printing and U V printing. One point that must be emphasized here is that when selecting blanket for UV printing, it is necessary to make clear the printing environment, such as the ink and cleaning agent, before you can choose whether to use special UV blanket or dual-purpose blanket

another trend of blanket development is to use less and less cloth layers. The conventional blanket with a thickness of 1.96mm uses four layers of cloth as the skeleton. Thanks to the development of engineering fabrics, the mechanical properties of woven fabrics have been greatly improved. Therefore, at present, only three layers of fabrics can reach the mechanical performance index that was previously achieved by using four layers of fabrics. Because of this, more and more products with a thickness of 1.96mm using only three-layer cloth have been put into the market and achieved considerable success. Now, products with a thickness of 1.96mm using only two layers of textile as the skeleton have appeared on the market. Reducing the cloth layer can effectively increase the thickness of the foaming layer, so as to improve the resilience of the blanket. From this point of view, less cloth layers can meet the requirements of improving performance. Economically, reducing the cloth layer can also save material and production costs

if the manufacturing of three-layer blanket is the result of the combined action of performance factors and economic factors, it is necessary to use calendering process to produce blanket

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