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Ceramic and Hard Alloy Printing Plates

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000046329D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Brownlow, JM: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The plates used for intaglio (relief) printing of paper, such as currency, are generally Ni/Cr on a steel plate. They wear out rapidly and must be frequently replaced. Harder materials have not been used because the engraving process has not been capable of making deep grooves. This problem can be solved by the use of ceramics and hard alloys for the printing plates. Laser-enhanced etching and reactive ion etching are used to provide the desired patterns.

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Ceramic and Hard Alloy Printing Plates

The plates used for intaglio (relief) printing of paper, such as currency, are generally Ni/Cr on a steel plate. They wear out rapidly and must be frequently replaced. Harder materials have not been used because the engraving process has not been capable of making deep grooves. This problem can be solved by the use of ceramics and hard alloys for the printing plates. Laser-enhanced etching and reactive ion etching are used to provide the desired patterns.

Ceramics, and ceramics containing carbides and/or nitrides, are much harder than the coatings used on conventional printing plates, and are much more wear resistant. Hard alloys such as WC can also be used. Laser-enhanced etching is used to pattern the materials, using either aqueous etchants, such as KOH and NaOH, or a gaseous atmosphere, such as SF6 or Br2, together with an appropriate laser. Photo or pyrolytic decomposition of the gases leaves them locally in a reactive state in order to etch the material.

A second etching technique uses reactive ion etching to obtain the pattern in conjunction with a mask deposited on the printing plate material. Although this type of etching is slower in etch rate than laser-enhanced etching, it is a batch process.

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