Anyone visiting our website over the last few months has noticed that we are currently out of the Jet LSL 73SP plates we normally carry and recommend for use in making photopolymer gravure and intaglio plates. The pandemic has been a challenge for supply lines over the entire planet, and one of the key components of these plates is temporarily unavailable.
We don't want to leave printmakers without any options, so we have now tested two similar plates from Jet USA: the LSL 83SM and the LSL 43SM. We are happy to report that these plates are very suitable for photopolymer gravure and other photopolymer intaglio methods.
The key differences are as follows:
- The LSL 83SM plates are slightly thicker. The LSL 83SM plate is 0.83mm thick, while the LSL 43SM plate is thinner than our original plate and measures 0.43mm.
- The finish on the 83SM and 43SM plates is closer to a matte finish instead of the glossy one on the 73SP. This means that wiping is slightly different, but is easily done. It behaves more like copper in the way it grips ink and how it is wiped. The super-soft wiping fabric we sell makes the final wipe of these plates very easy and controllable. The 83SM plate on the other hand is very close in terms of surface finish to the old 73SP plate.
- The exposure time for the LSL 83SM plates when using direct-to-plate technique are the same as the LSL 73SP plates.
- The exposure time for the LSL 43SM plate when using direct-to-plate technique is shorter than the LSL 73SP plates. Our testing shows it to be a 1/2 stop faster, e.g. around 6 minutes instead of 8 using our UV-LED light source. The DTP approach is very exposure-variation tolerant and using a slightly shorter exposure for the LSL 43SM plates is probably all you will need to modify.
- For those doing direct-to-plate methods, the plate will require a slightly higher ink load of matte black ink. The QTR maximum mK ink load that works well seems to be around 40% for the LSM 83SM plate and 50% for the LSL 43SM plate.
Since we don't know when we will get more of the LSL 73SP plate material, we will have a large stock of all of this material for sale so our customers can continue to make plates.
Starter DTP profile for LSL 83SM plates using QTR and Epson P800
Here is a link to a QuadToneRIP profile for the LSL 83SB plate material that works on the Epson P800 printer.
Starter DTP profile for LSL 43SM plates using QTR and Epson P800
Here is a link for a QuadToneRIP profile for the LSL 43SM plate material that is linearized for the Epson P800 printer.