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Pad Printing Technology
 
 
 
Step 1: Flooding
           The image to be transferred is etched into a printing plate commonly referred to as a cliche. Once mounted in the machine, the cliche is flooded with ink. The surface of the cliche is then doctored clean, leaving ink only in the image area. As solvents evaporate from the image area the ink's ability to adhere to the silicone transfer pad increases.
 
Step 2: Pick Up
           The pad is positioned directly over the cliche, pressed onto it to pick up the ink, and then lifted away. The physical changes that take place in the ink during flooding (and wiping) account for its ability to leave the recessed engraving in favor of the pad.
 

Step 3: Print Stroke
           After the pad has lifted away from the cliche to its complete vertical height, there is a delay before the ink is deposited on the substrate. During this stage, the ink has just enough adhesion to stick to the pad (it can easily be wiped off, yet it does not drip). The ink on the pad surface once again undergoes physical changes: solvents evaporate from the outer ink layer that is exposed to the atmosphere, making it tackier and more viscous