Water-based flexo polymer plate: HD Quality, no more solvents

Compatible with both water- and solvent-based inks, Aquaflex enables quick production of ready to use plates, eliminates processing solvents and the corresponding disposal expenses and allows easy mounting and placing, while minimizing buildup and downtime spent cleaning the plate for printing. And these are only a few of the many benefits of Aquaflex.

Since its introduction to the European market some years ago, Aquaflex has proved that you don’t have to use solvent-based plates in order to achieve quality printing results.

Aquaflex has multiple benefits:

• Quick production (40 minutes for a plate that is immediately ready to use!)
• Colour density comparable to rotogravure: sharper nuances. 1% dot gain is between 3 and 5% for flexible packaging
• Elastic mounting and easy placing
• Excellent ink transfer and fewer buildup downtime spent cleaning the plate.
• Compatible with any type of ink: solvent-based, water-based or UV.
• No bump. Stable plate. Extra long runs.
• Elimination of solvents and related costs.

But let’s examine all these benefits one by one:


The first great benefit of Aquaflex plates is quick production: when a set of plates needs to be replaced urgently, a trade shop can save the client possible buildup downtime by producing water-based digital plates in 40 minutes, whereas, in the same time span, solvent-based plates would only be at the end of the washout step. If we compare Aquaflex to any solvent-based plate, the benefits are apparent: processing an Aquaflex Optima plate (1.14 thickness) takes 8-10 minutes for exposure, 8-10 minutes for washing, 10 minutes for drying. Aquaflex is ready for printing in 40 minutes… set against the over 2 hours needed by solvent-based photopolymer plates!


Colour intensity is the main obstacle keeping flexo printing from entering the rotogravure market. With Aquaflex, however, it is possible to obtain colour density comparable to rotogravure with no need to produce multiple plates for the same work, thus making pre-printing work quicker and easier. Most importantly: many of the problems that are commonly encountered in printing with extreme screens do not arise when using Aquaflex. Solvent-based plates usually produce faded images and can lead to dot gain in high lights. In many competitors’ plates printed dots of 1% manifest results between 7 and 11% and can suffer from (riempimento), resulting in unclean printing in halftones. On the other hand, Aquaflex Optima has excellent colour density, which means sharper nuances, and to this day 1% dot gain is between 3 and 5% in flexible packaging.


Optima offers excellent ink transfer, releases colour very well and allows to minimize, if not eliminate, buildup downtime spent cleaning plates.


And this is just the beginning! Solvent-based plates tend to swell and detach themselves from the double-sided tape, forcing printers to use sealing glues. Furthermore, because of their reduced elasticity, the plates can have problems in the placing phase. Optima remains on the tape, its edges do not swell and both placing and registering are greatly improved.


Another advantage recognized by various printers is that with Aquaflex you no longer have to adjust pressures. The plates last much longer, do not swell and allow extra long runs, while being suitable for all types of ink: water-based, solvent-based and UV.

NO MORE SOLVENTS: Aquaflex is environmentally-friendly

With a much quicker production and the elimination of solvents and all related costs, the short and long-term impact of Aquaflex on the environment and on companies themselves cannot be underestimated. It means putting an end to disposal, forced aspirations, repeated medical controls because of the use of perchloroethylene or naphtha, which is forbidden in many European countries. Thanks to the efficient ceramic filter, the water used for the production of Aquaflex plates can even be re-used!


Aquaflex is the ideal solution for trade shops wishing to sign up for a kind of production that is quicker, more suited to the needs of printers and environmentally-friendly.
At last, here comes a water-soluble flexo plate that can vanquish competitors’ solvent-based plates!