Miracle Plate
Miracle Plate

More information on Miracle-plate technology

The Miracle Plate technology has demonstrated a unique concept – that of switching an uncoated litho ‘blank’ plate from hydrophobic to hydrophilic.  No coating is necessary  - meaning huge financial and environmental savings to the printing industry.  The technology is robust and can be used on press with no changes to pressroom practices.  The technology could be used in either of 2 ways:

a)      Use once.  The uncoated blank is imaged and printed and the plate can be re-cycled in the normal way.

or

b)      Use several times.  If the ink is removed after printing and the plate allowed to revert to its hydrophobic state (either naturally or by heating) it could be re-imaged and then the whole process repeated.  The technical challenge would be re-imaging a plate which has been bent for press mounting.  However, there would be technical solutions to this, such as having matched clamping systems on both the printing press and the platesetter.  Another option is a re-usable printing ‘cylinder’ which would slide on and off the press and could be conveniently incorporated into a platesetter system.  The technology is completely safe to use in white-light

 

The technology is described in complete detail in patents GB 0816697.7 and GB 0910791.3

 

 

The photomicrograph on the right shows the effect of the pulsed laser.  On the left the laser has rendered the uncoated grained/anodised aluminium hydrophilic.  The unimaged area on the right is optically different and is hydrophobic.

The image on the left is a photograph of a print sample from the miracle plate.   Print performance is just the same as with any other grained and anodised aluminium plate.  Once the plate has been printed the ink is removed.  The plate (or plate cylinder) is removed from the press and a short period of heating in an oven forces the surface to revert back to the normal hydrophobic state.  Significant mechanical wear of the graining/anodising would prevent infinite re-imaging/re-use.  JPI have demonstrated 5 cycles of re-imaging.