The Versatility of Plastic and Composite Blades
The Potential of Plastic Blades
Just because metal doctor blades might be the industry’s go-to option, that doesn’t mean they are the only ones available to you. You might find that plastic blades or composite blades are better choices for specific equipment and jobs. That is why Allison Systems Corporation is the preferred choice no matter what your preference in doctor blades.
We offer an assortment of different doctor blades, containment blades, and end seals for flexo and gravure printing applications to help you get the results you desire. You will find blades made from fiberglass, graphite, Delrin, nylon, UHMW, and even polyester in a variety of different thicknesses. Contact us today with any questions about the durability and efficiency of our plastic and composite blades.
A composite material made from fiberglass for flexo doctor and containment blades on ceramic anilox rolls and abrasive inks. FR provides longer life than carbon steel metal blades with good metering quality. FR is best used with ceramic anilox rolls with <500 LPI screens.
FR is available in 20 mil thicknesses with a SLR (Seal Relief 15°) bevel.
DE can be used in flexo doctor and containment applications that require moderate metering quality. DE provides longer life than carbon steel metal blades and can reduce cut hazards associated with metal blades in chambered applications.
DE is available in 30, 50, and 62 mil thicknesses with UNH (Unhoned), STD (Standard 20°), and SLR (Seal Relief 10°) bevels.
Fiberglass Plus (FRS)
A composite material made from fine weave fiberglass for flexo doctor and containment blades on ceramic anilox rolls and abrasive inks. FRS provides all the features of FR and improved metering quality approaching that of metal blades. FRS can be used with any ceramic anilox.
FRS is available in 14 and 20 mil thicknesses with a SLR (Seal Relief 15°) bevel.
Delrin Plus (DET)
DET can be used in flexo doctor and containment and some gravure applications that require moderate metering quality. DET has all the properties of the DE material with added lubrication for long runs and abrasive inks.
DET is available in 30 mil thickness with UNH (Unhoned), STD (Standard 20°), and SLR (Seal Relief 10°) bevels.
A composite fiberglass material with added graphite lubricant to extend blade life. For flexo doctor and containment blades on larger ceramic anilox rolls, long runs, and abrasive inks. GR is commonly used for higher-end graphics in corrugated applications.
GR is available in 20, 25, and 35 mil thicknesses with a SLR (Seal Relief 15°) bevel.
Nylon Plus (NY)
NY can be used in special gravure applications that don’t require the wipe quality of a metal blade. The lubricant in NY can help extend the life of chrome cylinders.
NY is available in 62 and 90 mil thicknesses with UNH (Unhoned) and STD (Standard 55°) bevels.
Mylar (MY)/Polyester (PY)
MY/PY is a good choice for flexo containment blade applications since it can reduce back doctoring and allow debris to pass by the blade instead of trapping the debris behind the blade like metal blades can. To further allow debris to pass by the blade, use a blade width that is 1/16” to 1/8” wider than the doctoring blade.
MY is available in 7.5 and 14 mil thicknesses with an UNH (Unhoned) edge.
PY is available in 20 mil thickness with an UNH (Unhoned) edge.
PE can be used in corrugated and flexo doctoring applications that have coarse anilox rolls and don’t require the wipe quality of a metal blade as well as flexo containment blades. Since PE material is soft, use with caution because there is a risk of particle embedment that could lead to roll damage.
PE is available in 40, 50, 62, 80, and 90 mil thicknesses with UNH (Unhoned), STD (Standard 45°), and S30 (Standard 30°) bevels.
A plastic beveled edge shape with a nominal 20° – 55° bevel angle depending on material. Provides good tip support and wiping characteristics.
Seal Relief (SLR)
A plastic or composite material beveled edge shape with a nominal 10° to 15° bevel angle, depending on material. Long bevel profile to help reduce ink leakage past the flexo chamber end seals.
An unhoned plastic blade has a square edge and is typically used for flexo chamber containment blade applications and limited use as flexo doctor blades on low line screen corrugated anilox rolls.
Why Choose Plastic and Composite Blades
Revolutionary materials and multiple edge profiles have resulted in doctor blade options that deliver exceptional results. Advanced polymers offer best-in-class performance that provides longevity and durability while maintaining optimal performance standards. Carbon steel blades have a shorter life span than their longer-lived plastic and composite counterparts, so when you need to optimize your equipment’s performance, these blades may be the answer. And because some are designed using a combination of materials, they can provide more specialized results.
Composite blades and some plastic blades deliver close to the best qualities of steel with some advantages over steel blades. Worn blades are safer to handle than steel because they do not get as sharp as steel blades. However, they do get sharp, and safe handling practices must be followed. Another advantage is that they are less likely to contribute to anilox roll scoring.
When you need to know that your doctor blade will perform to your exacting standards, plastic or composite blades may be a good choice.