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Trelleborg provides unique blanket solutions at IFRA Expo 2009
(31-08-2009)

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Vulcan Metal News Active, which was launched to great acclaim earlier in the year, is only one of several industry-leading products for the newspaper sector that can be seen on the stand of Trelleborg Printing Blankets at this year’s IFRA Expo 2009, 12th – 15th October, Vienna. 

The unique Vulcan Metal News Active blanket has been adopted by several major newspaper groups and newspaper press manufacturers throughout Europe.  The attractions of the new blanket include excellent smash resistance and print quality.

Vulcan Metal News Active incorporates a new film backing and is the result of research by Trelleborg’s R&D team, along with its Italian distributor Printgraph, which has been the exclusive Italian distributor for Vulcan blankets for 30 years.  Its managing director, Roberto Levi, is the inventor of the Finito series of films and he has worked closely with Trelleborg specialists to develop this latest Finito product, while Trelleborg has perfected a method of adhering the new film to the blanket’s steel backing.

Conventional adhesive is attacked by a wide range of commonly used press blanket washing agents.  Regardless of whether blanket washing is carried out by hand or automatically the cleaning agent will, over a period of time, dissolve the adhesive, with the usual result being that the film separates from the blanket’s steel backing.  This means the press often has to be stopped and the blanket replaced, with subsequent loss of production. 

An increasing number of newspaper press manufacturers are producing presses with cylinders capable of printing 24-pages in one revolution.  Conventional rubber/fabric blankets cannot be used on these large size cylinders, which can be more than two metres wide, because the gaps created when they are fixed to the cylinders result in unacceptable gear marks and stripes on the paper.  Metal-backed blankets overcome this issue and can also cope with the faster running speeds.

As well as the Vulcan range, Trelleborg offers several leading blanket solutions to newspaper printers under the Rollin brand.  These include the recently launched negative feed blanket Polycell, which has a 3-ply compressible layer that makes Polycell extremely easy to mount, quick to clean and provides a fast rebound after the nip squeeze, enabling high ink pick-up, good transfer and extremely dense solids.  

Graffity is a positive feed 3-ply blanket that incorporates a thick compressible layer and a highly stable carcass.  The surface formulation and finish guarantee good solid coverage as well as excellent tone reproduction at maximum press speed, while the foam technology ensures long blanket life.  The Rollin blanket Hi-Page offers slightly positive feeding and is designed for large pagination presses.  It features a specially ground surface, which results in consistent high print quality and durability.  Trelleborg will complete its range of Rollin coldest blankets with the launch at IFRA of the 1.96 mm Rollin Folder, which will provide a neutral feeding on the press.

“The demands placed upon offset blankets are greater each year,” says Dario Porta, managing director of Trelleborg Printing Blankets.  “Wider and faster presses, new chemicals, automatic blanket cleaning systems plus environmental issues all have an impact.  Presses are more sophisticated in the number of processes they handle in-line, while everyone is looking to reduce energy consumption and waste.  The blanket plays a vital role in all of these areas.

“The technology involved in the creation of a successful blanket has never been more complex.  A blanket has to provide consistent dot reproduction, with good ink transfer on to a wide variety of stock, plus durability and resistance to smashes.  In addition to the newspaper market, Trelleborg supplies a comprehensive selection of innovative blanket solutions for the heatset web offset market, including cylindrical, metal-backed, blankets for UV applications and conventional blankets.”

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