The skirmishes are everywhere – roller glazing and stripping, white blankets, pH and conductivity drift, plate blinding and picture framing. Calcium buildup problems are popping up all over the pressroom. Sometimes it is only a little flare up like plate blinding, quickly taken care of by replacing the plate. But other times it is an all-out war with buildup on rollers and blankets causing poor print quality and lost press time.
Calcium is a formidable opponent. It can attack from different positions, strike when you least expect it and cost a great deal to remedy.
The three main sources of calcium in the pressroom are water, red inks, and alkaline papers and coatings. For today’s printers alkaline papers seem to be presenting the greatest frustration. Fighting calcium contamination caused by these papers can be a tough, tedious and ongoing battle.
Why do today’s alkaline papers contain so much calcium? It is cheap and it gets the job done. For much less cost than Titanium Dioxide, calcium provides the same benefits — enhances whiteness, opacity, and an alkaline pH that keeps the paper from yellowing. A typical alkaline paper is 15 per cent by weight calcium. According to industry experts, this is going to remain the same or get even higher, so calcium buildup problems are not going to go away.
It is time to prepare your assault! Following are some tips to help you avoid the bloody battles with calcium and keep the presses running, no matter what kind of paper you have to use.
|The Possible Culprit||The Symptom||The Solution|