[[abstract]]The main purpose of this research was intended as an investigation of the impact of different exposures and hardness of the photopolymer plates on flexographic printing quality. The hardness of the photopolymer plates, back exposures and main exposures were independent variables in this research. The concerns were to examine the variations and differences of dot gain, solid ink density and print contrast, which were resulted from the three independent variables. A 23 full factorial experiment was used for the study. Through the design of experiments, eight treatments for the practical printing experiment were constructed. The resulting printed dot areas were measured and analyzed statistically. The following conclusions were found: (1) the hardness of the photopolymer plates and main exposures were the significant factors at 2% and 10% dot areas, and (2) the harder photopolymer plates and the shorter main exposures could reduce the dot gain significantly. In contrast, (3) the softer photopolymer plates reduced more dot gain than the harder one did at 50% and 90% dot areas. To sum up, the hardness of photopolymer plates has the highest degree of impact on corrugated printing among the three independent variables. In comparison, the back exposures had less, even not significant, impact on flexographic printing quality.
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