Doctor Blades Basics
Updated: Nov 18
Flexographic printing presses use both anilox roller and doctor blade inking systems. These components are crucial for printing systems. There are several different types of doctor blades that you can use, but the best choice is dependent on the application. Just remember: anilox rollers do not require a lot of pressure from the blade. In general, a thinner blade edge allows for a clean result. An important thing to point is that the blade life is directly impacted by cell structures/types and the overall thickness of the anilox blade.
NOTE: The following are just a few examples of what the industry has to offer. If you would like to look at more feel free to check out the resources over at Daetwyler.
Doctor Blade Examples:
Strong, rigid, precise, and polished edge
Fast and accurate
Consistent print quality
Rigid tip design
Several arrangements for this type.
Lamella Edge (stepped)
Area is in constant contact
An industry standard
Consistent ink metering
Impact of Doctor Blade Wear
Blade wear can have three different causes: abrasion, fatigue, and corrosion. The doctor blades used in flexo are very similar to the ones used in gravure printing. Doctor blades used in flexographic presses remove excess ink from the surface of the anilox roller that applies ink to the printing plate. Doctor blades are very effective when it comes to ink metering. Doctor blades are arguably more effect than traditional fountain roller arrangements. Be sure to follow our blog for a more detailed look at this claim. We will be examining the pros and cons of doctor blades vs doctor rollers in a future post. See our main blog page and don’t forget to request a quote.
Key Takeaway Points and Considerations
The list of materials these blades are made from includes carbon steel, alloy steels, stainless steel, ceramic, plastics, and composites made from fiberglass and carbon fiber. It is very important to ensure the blade used is applicable to your needs.
In addition to offering the range of materials for the blades themselves, Doctor Blades come in a variety of tip types to promote efficient ink metering.
If your job calls for the thicker blades to be used it is important to note these blades increase the blade angle because they deflect less ink in the metering process. These thicker blades boast a wider area and spread the solution. This can be a great benefit and contribute to a more complete metering process. Make sure to change the doctor blade after every job. We recommend that you change your doctor blades after every shift change. Be sure to handle them with care!
Allison Blades. (2011, June). Retrieved from https://www.allisonblades.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4850/2017/05/FLEXO_June2011.pdf
Flexo Concepts. (n.d.). Flexo Concepts. Retrieved from https://www.flexoconcepts.com: https://www.flexoconcepts.com/tag/doctor-blade-chamber/
Flexo, T. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.teamflexo.com/products/daetwyler-doctor-blades/
Flxon. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.flxon.com/
Mark Andy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.markandy.com/supplies/flexo-printing-supplies/doctor-blades/
Printwiki.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://printwiki.org/Doctor_Blade