Steps in Intaglio polymer platemaking

Steps for polymer intaglio platemaking

  1. Print an inkjet positive and dry it thoroughly.
  2. Trim plate to size and peel protective plastic from photosensitive gold-colored side of plate.
  3. Expose the plate to the aquatint screen for the aquatint screen exposure  value. Check that the dull side of screen is against the side of the plate that was protected by the plastic. Remove the plate after the screen exposure.
  4. Lightly dust the polymer side of the plate with anti-offset powder and brush off any residual powder. You should not see any dust, but merely a loss of gloss on the plate.
  5. Position positive ink side against the plate and expose for the appropriate image exposure time. Place an appropriately-sized piece of Kreene plastic between the positive and the glass in the vacuum frame or printing frame.
  6. Wash out the plate for 3-1/2 minutes in room temperature water with a neutral pH (around 7) while brushing with the washout pad.
  7. Vigorously shake water off the plate and quickly dry it with the microfiber towels.
  8. Continue drying the plate with hair dryer set to hot until the plate is difficult to hold. Alternatively, dry the plate for 30 minutes in a convection oven at 150-175° F (65-80°C).
  9. Make a third hardening exposure for 3X the screen exposure.
  10. Print your plate.

We recommend the use of a vacuum frame for the exposure. particularly for larger plates. Poor contact between the plate and the aquatint screen or positive can result in blotchy fogged ares on the plate.