The gravure cylinder manufacturing process includes three major steps: measurements, base forming, and copper plating. Although all three stages are critical, the base forming step is very crucial. It is the one that determines many things about the machine gravure cylinder. But the most crucial thing is the choice of the material.
Many base materials are used in the industry today, but steel metal remains the number choice for many. But why is that? Well, so many factors make steel the ideal material for a gravure cylinder’s base. They include:
Steel Is Dimensionally Stable
The first reason why steel has remained the go-to material for most gravure cylinder manufacturing processes is its dimensional stability. The coefficient of expansion for the steel material is known, and this makes it easy to work with. The manufacturer already knows what to expect, and all factors can be kept constant throughout the manufacturing process.
Hard and Strong
The mechanical properties of the base material during the gravure cylinder manufacturing process are another crucial factor. Most cylinder application requires a product that can withstand rough conditions. That’s what steel offers.
Steel Is Relatively Cheap
The steel material is relatively cheap compared to most of the alternative materials. If you try aluminum as the base material, then it will be very costly to get the same features as steel. So it will cost less to make the cylinder base, and this means the overall cost of the gravure cylinder will be lower.
Available and Recyclable
The availability of the material is key when it comes to manufacturing. Steel is in plenty and the fact that it’s recyclable means that it is readily available. Therefore, the manufacturer is guaranteed a constant supply of the material hence a constant production. Being recyclable also means it is good for the environment, as there is less exploitation.
Easy To Machine
One of the major processes in gravure cylinder manufacturing is machining. After the base material has been put in place, you need to ensure the right cylinder diameter has been achieved. It is only through machining that this can be made possible. Steel is quite easy to machine, and this means improves the manufacturing speed.
Known Deflection Rate
The making of metallic parts of the size of gravure cylinder or bigger shafts can be tricky. You need to be very accurate with the deflection rate, especially with printing cylinders. For the steel material, the deflection rate is already known, which makes it easy to deal with, unlike most alternative materials.