PROTEK® 3341 – the protective recovering layer for your CFRP core
INOMETA’s lightweight, rigid, low-inertia carbon fiber roller cores are engineered and manufactured to a deliver long, smooth-running, vibration-free service life that far outlasts their rubber covers. When the worn covers need to be replaced they are mechanically stripped off the CFRP core. Only experienced tool operators are expert enough to remove the worn rubber covers from the cores of your inking and dampening rollers without damaging the structural integrity of the core. INOMETA’s PROTEK® 3341 is a red ceramic-reinforced composite based layer that protects the core from operator error.
Today’s changing printing and covering processes
Printing and converting processes are evolving faster than ever before. And lightweight CFRP rollers have played a key role in energizing the speed and precision that today’s printing press OEMs and end-users alike have come to expect. And so have today’s rubber cover materials. Every mainstream printing and converting technology from high speed web offset to high quality gravure to twelve color flexo running multiple substrates has come to depend on both the core and the cover to be optimally tuned. Trouble is, while the carbon fiber core is impervious to the friction, heat, ink, corrosive solvents and other chemicals inherent in today’s high speed printing process, the rubber cover must be replaced.
Carbon fiber core may be damaged during stripping process
Even the highest quality rubber cover must be removed from the CFRP roller core and reapplied several times during the life of the press. The rubber cover is removed by means of a stripping process. Whenever a CFRP roller core goes through this process, even in the hands of a true craftsman, there is always a danger that the carbon fiber core may be damaged. If for instance, some of the CFRP material is removed during the stripping process, the OEM’s specs are compromised. The core’s rigidity and vibration dampening qualities may suffer. The cores’ concentricity and balance profiles may be altered. Even the slightest imbalance or inaccuracy can lead to a considerable deterioration of print quality.
Core needs to be protected during the stripping process
The advent of faster running and increasingly precise press performance coupled with an even more demanding press room environment has had a significant impact on rubber covers. More is demanded of them than ever before. And that means they must be stripped off and replaced often. Even under the eye of an experienced craftsman, the stripping process is a delicate one. End-users, OEMs and rubber cover manufacturers have approached INOMETA and asked for two things: Firstly a way to speed up the removal of worn rubber covers from the CFRP core. And secondly to insure that the structural and performance characteristics of the CFRP core are not affected by the cover stripping process.
Strong red as indicator color
With the recovering layer PROTEK® 3341 integrated into the core, the service life of the CFRP roller core can be extended considerably. The protective layer provides aceramic-reinforced compound boundary between the valuable CFRP roller core investment and the rubber cover. Until now, when removing the worn rubber cover, the lathe operator couldn’t always know when the surface of the CFRP core was about to be reached. This was, in part, due to the fact that the core and the rubber cover were both black. But now, thanks to the strong red color of the PROTEK® 3341 layer, it’s easy for the operator to know when the CFRP core surface has been reached. As clever as the red indicator color is, the real added value is INOMETA’s ceramic-infused coating. PROTEK® 3341 is resistant to wear, pressure and abrasion.
Surface properties that are second to none
In addition to the high-pressure resistance and maximum tensile strength, the extreme stability of the PROTEK® 3341 layer ensures optimal resistance to the frequent removal of the rubber cover for numerous recoverings. PROTEK® 3341 has a smooth and even surface which is both antistatic and heat resistant up to 160°C – both are optimal properties for vulcanizing new rubber covers. PROTEK® 3341 is easy to clean with normal cleaners and solvents such as acetone, ethanol or benzene. On the whole, PROTEK® 3341 ensures much easier handling and maximum process stability when renewing the rubber cover. Those who wish to protect their CFRP rollers should not delay and have PROTEK® 3341 applied during the next recovering process. All new CFRP rollers are of course available with PROTEK® coating.
Coating: PROTEK® 3341
Description of coating
Composite coating for CFRP rollers on a fibre- and particle-reinforced epoxy resin basis
- very high resistance to wear and tear resistant to abrasion
- very good resistance to corrosion
- high degree of hardness: 90 Shore D at 20°C
- pressure resistance 120 MPa
- very high tensile strength
- excellent crack resistance due to unidirectional fibre orientation
- excellent adhesive strength on CFRP > 25 MPa
- permanent temperature resistance 90°C
- max. vulcanization temperature 160°C (short term)
Durable CFRP rollers for printing units and other applications
“It’s very easy to remove the rubber layer,” according to customers after the re-covering process with INOMETA’s PROTEK® 3341 layer. “The properties of the PROTEK® surface, which is hard and smooth, are ideal for removing the rubber cover. There were no signs anywhere that the brushes ‘grabbed’ or tore out parts of the core surface.”