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The photolab workhorses: artwork protect films are becoming standard as fine lines become the norm.

by:Mingtao      2020-12-17
In a recent column, I discussed photolab processing techniques and proposed ways to get the most out of artwork.
This month, we shifted our focus to growing reliance on art-protected films.
Artwork protective film, or APF for short, is a laminated film based on usually thin and transparent pressure-coated polyester film
Sensitive Adhesive for artwork to improve its durability and service life.
The high-performance Active Power filter also includes a chemical-resistant sliding coating that enhances its ability to protect the underlying artwork.
APFs has been available for more than a decade.
The initial development was 0. 0005\"-
Thick polyester film with adhesive coating, protective film for direct lamination to the selected production tool (
Heavy nitrogen or silver-based).
Their task is simple: prevent potential destructive scratches on the photo tools put into production to expose the anti-expose-coated PCB. Ascratch-
The free photo tool means less time to recreate the photo tool film and expose and develop the panel.
With the movement to finer lines and spaces, the active power filter film with finer line edge resolution is enhanced.
In addition to the finer line edges, the new generation APFs also improves scratch resistance and adds a layer of top coating to the active power filter material, which makes cleaning ink and scratch resistance
The gold standard in today\'s industry is 0. 00025\" (6[micro]m)
Polyester film with 2 [micro]
The M adhesive and top coating reduce wear and make it easier to remove anti-inks and LPI inks.
To integrate finer resolution attributes, a manufacturer has introduced 0. 000125\" (3. 5 [micro]m)-
Thick active power filter for ultimate product
Fine copy.
In the past, many manufacturers only considered using active power filters for a long timerun boards.
However, it is more important than ever to reduce scrap rates, rework time and cost, and to improve the cycle time of the production workshop.
The company is aware of the value of using the protective film because the cost of the active power filter dropped significantly at the end of the yearuser level.
Most APFs on the market today are made with the \"coats\" on the top.
This coat is designed to give the user the best of both worlds: it combines a \"hard coat\" that effectively reduces scratches and wear and a \"slippery coat\" with a non-slip coat\"
Easy to clean and remove LPI ink and prevent residue.
This top coating is formulated with a slight matteagent that improves alignment with the PCB panel. (
Purist, remember: you can also use the APF without a coat. )
It is relatively simple to apply and use active power filters.
The first step is to determine which type of laminating machine will best meet your needs.
It should be noted that the lamination process is cold lamination;
Heating is not required.
Most active power filter manufacturers offer a laminating machine in two configurations: a desktop unit and a separate floor unit.
The compact design of the Atable top layer press is suitable for placement on the afable of the photolab clean room.
Typically, this style can accommodate an active power filter up to 24 \"500 wide. Floor-
The most common of the model laminating machines include a bracket, a tacky adhesive device to clean the photoelectric tool before lamination, and a HEPA filtration system to maintain a clean laminating environment.
The footprint of the standby space is larger than the desktop unit and can accept a movie width of up to 30.
Next, decide which active power filter thickness--6 or 3. 5 [micro]m--
Best suited for your specific application.
As far as I know, the vast majority of stores have chosen 6 [micro]m thickness.
This gives users an excellent image reproduction of up to 0.
003 \"line and space.
Note: If it works below 0.
003 \"line/space, consider 3. 5 [micro]m APF.
You also need to decide which matching roll material is best for your operation. (
The supporting roller material acts as a carrier/backing material during lamination. )
You have two basic choices.
Polyester Film-
Perfect for cleaning--Or paper rolls.
My experience is that most stores using active power filters today prefer paper companion rolls.
Photolab technology tells me that paper rolls are easier to use than polyester film materials.
With the completion of the laminating machine, film thickness and roll material of your choice, you are now ready to load the artwork protective film into the laminating machine.
This is easy if you follow the thread map and suggestions provided by the manufacturer. (
I have 10 thumbs up and even I can do it soon! )
Once the press is threaded, run a few feet in the unit to verify the correct tracking.
Visual inspection is then carried out;
Look at forwrinkles \"roll \"---
Where the actual lamination occurs--
Smooth any wrinkles.
When you see a smooth, non-
Connect the folds of the active power filter to the paper or film companion roll and you can laminate the photography tool.
To eliminate any doubt, atrial lamination is performed using a piece of waste film.
While active power filter products are designed to facilitate cleaning and reduce the appeal to dirt and debris, the environment, including the artwork itself, is absolutely important without dirt and debris.
Next time we will explore the application technology using APFs in depth.
InteliCoat technology, senior manager of Jarvisintelicoat. com).
He can reach jjarvis @ intelicoat. com.
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