Pad Printing is a process that includes transferring of ink from a silicone pad to the object. The process is similar to using stamps. With the help of machine, you can hold the pad and the product in place. Then the silicone pad is pushed into ink plated stamp that takes the shape of your logo or design. After that the silicone pad is pressed onto the product, forming a printed image.
The pad printing process has the capability to print on 3-D objects. Following is the process of pad printing:
The design or logo that you want to be transferred is stamped onto the printing plate. This is referred to as a cliché. After the cliché is placed in the machine, the cliché is then filled with ink. The surface of the cliché is then cleaned leaving the ink in the image area only. As solvents vaporize from the design area the ink’s ability to stick to the silicone pad increases.
The pad is positioned directly over the cliché, it is pressed onto the cliché to pick up the ink. Then the pad is lifted away from the cliché.
After the lifting of the pad, it is at the vertical height of the cliché. You have to wait before transferring the image onto the object. In this stage, the ink has sufficient bond to stick to the pad. It can be cleaned easily but ink does not drip. Again the ink on the pad vaporizes from the outer layer, it makes the ink stickier.
The pad is pressed onto the object, matching to its shape and leaving the ink on the desired location. It is designed to roll away from the surface of the object instead of press against it flatly. A correctly designed pad will not form a 0-degree contact angle with the object. In such case, the air is trapped between and results in incomplete transfer of the image.
The pad is then lifted away, taking its original shape again. It goes through physical changes during the heat stroke that makes it lose its affinity for the pad. When the pad is pressed onto the object surface, the adhesion of the ink and object is more than ink and pad. As a result of this, the ink is deposited completely onto the surface of the object. It leaves the pad completely clean and ready for the next print cycle.
Advantages of Pad Printing
Pad printing is the most used method of printing as it is easy to use. Some other advantages of pad printing are:
- Every type of material can be printed with the ink.
- Multiple prints can be applied without the drying. Almost 4 colors can be used in a design.
- The pad printing takes up less space.
- The ink can be dried easily at room temperature.
- The resolution is better than screen printing.
Products Suitable for Pad Printing
See examples below...