Gravure Sleeve Cylinders

Sleeve Gravure Printing Cylinder

A gravure printing sleeve mandrel is the engraved image carrier utilized in gravure printing and generally consists of a steel cylinder base or a foundational metal structure that supports the engraved image-bearing layer.

  • The gravure printing cylinder is used in publication printing for magazines, newspapers, add inserts, catalogues.
  • Other substrates such as gift wrapping, wallpaper, postage stamps, thin film, nylon, etc.
  • Packaging printing, including polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, laminates for furniture, vinyl, BOPP.
    1. Steel gravure cylinder bases undergo an initial plating process, where they are lightly coated with either copper in a cyanide bath or with nickel.
    2. Following this, each cylinder is transferred to an acid copper sulfate bath and allowed to grow to the desired size.
    3. The meticulous management of the production process for a high-quality cylinder ensures an exceptionally precise engraving surface, promoting optimal image quality and preserving cell wall integrity.
    4. After the engraving process is finished, the engraver applies a chrome layer, and polishing stones are employed to rectify any inaccuracies in the plating.

      Base material: Steel welding pipe/seamless steel tube
      Plating material: Engravable copper, then chrome
      Surface hardness: ›HRC50
      Roughness: ≤Ra 0.16
      Diameter: 100-400mm
      Length: 320-1800mm (normally 50mm longer than rubber roller)
      Engraving by: Electro-mechanical, laser, or chemical etching.
      Thermal deformation: ≤0.01mm
      Concentricity: 0-15 microns
      Straightness: ≤0.2mm

      • Variability: Variable wall thickness offers greater diameter variability compared to thin-film technology.
      • Durability: These cylinders are easily electroplated, enabling them to withstand increased printing pressure and high-volume print runs without experiencing cell wall breakdowns.
      • Quality: The copper image-carrying layer ensures the highest degree of structural and functional integrity, resulting in consistently high print quality.
      • Consistency: Color laydown and image rendering quality remain consistently stable.
      • Versatility: Continuous image data enables seamless print runs and accommodates a wide range of porous or non-porous flexible substrates.
      • Ink Laydown: The depth and size of engraved cells allow for greater ink laydown compared to other processes.
      • The use of different shafts at various stages of production, such as engraving, plating, and printing, can introduce inaccuracies into both the engraved and printed images.
      • Since gravure printing necessitates one cylinder for each colour, it becomes costly for short print runs.