Solar plate etching

Photopolymer plates are used in graphic arts for print newspapers and posters. In 1960, these photopolymer plates began to replace traditional metal plates and lead characters, effectively freeing workers from the graphic arts industry poisoning hazard of lead fumes generated when typesetting hacií (monotype or linotype). It was first used in "flexographic" printing (printing on flexible material such as cardboard or similar). Later he was increasingly replacing the lead typesetting. In the commercial recorded these plates were used only for processes in relief, so the plate has some thickness. A photopolymer consists of three layers: the back of steel about 0.3 mm thick (only support), the photopolymer layer (about 0.3 mm) and a protective top layer of clear acetate

The photopolymer hardens under sunlight (ultra violet). The unexposed parts are called monomers, which are molecules that are not connected between them and the washing with water (and a little sodium carbonate) are easily undone. When the material is exposed to light, because the molecules are polymerized are joined together, hard, and water will not come undone.

Dan Welden (a printmaker) found that exposing a plate to the sun, could get an intaglio high quality easily and quickly, hence the name "Solarplate (solar plate). Today, the technique is known everywhere as "Solarplate" or "embossed on the sun", a term that perfectly describes the way many writers work, exposing the plates in the sun on sunny patios and spending more time outdoors.


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