Custom Pad Printing Services in Australia
What’s pad printing?
Pad printing is an indirect photogravure process in which a 2-D image is transferred onto a 3-D object. Images are etched into a flat polymer plate. These etched images are filled with ink and a smooth silicone pad (silicone is ink repellent) is used to pick up the ink from the image and transfers to and prints the substrate of the product. This stamp is called pad and gave this printing process its name.
What’s the advantage?
Thanks to the flexible substance of the silicone the pad can adapt to the object during the ink transfer. This enables the unique ability for pad printing not only on flat, but also on uneven surfaces such as convex, concave circular and round. Pad printing provides fine detail printing, PMS colour matching and realitively high production rates. Many industries use pad printing as means to promote or brand their products and images or decals to the public and consumer.
What’s the difference?
Every printing method such as pad printing, digital printing, screen printing and hot stamping has its pros and cons that define if it is suitable or not for a specific application.
The printing methods might compete in certain areas, but usually has the advantages to print on almost every irregular or regular shaped object including material types. Variences include cost, production speeds and colour contrasts.
Pad Printing cycle
The ink thinner evaporates from the exposed surface of the ink left in the etched image of the polymer plate, the surface of the ink becomes sticky.
The silicon pad compresses down on the ink filled image of the polymer plate, the ink now sticks to the surface of the pad.
The silicon pad is then raised again, the ink now sticking to the pad releases and is removed from the image of the polymer plate.
The ink is now transferred with the silicon pad to the surface of the substrate. During this time the ink thinners has now evaporated from the exposed surface of the ink and becomes sticky again.
The silicon pad now compresses against the substrate of the product to be printed and the ink now sticks to the component.
The silicon pad will raise again finishing a printing cycle, the ink releases from the silicon pad surface and now remains on the component.