Flexographic printing: Where does tape come in?

Flexographic printing has come a long way in a short time. Improved technology has made the process faster and more precise. The many uses of flexography include offering a speedy way to apply designs and label information to various packaging materials. A flexible plate creates the design by using a raised image. Manufacturers can select from many colors, and the method is economical. 

So, what role does tape play in flexographic printing? 

Tape's uses in flexography 

Double-sided adhesive tape is the best solution for flexography. The tape balances two critical performance aspects. It has the right balance of tack while also allowing for clean removal. 

What does that mean for the user? The tack level is essential to keeping the plate in place. A sturdy tape prevents the plate from moving during the printing process. When you finish the job and it's time to demount, the tape has to come off easily. You don't want to leave any residue on the cylinder or plate after the job. Taking time to clean the plate of tape residue adds time and hassle to a project and makes it last longer than you want. 

You should be able to rip the tape off without leaving anything behind. At the same time, the tape must withstand pressure well to get the job done. 

Plate mounting

Plate mounting tape eliminates plate edge lifting and bubbling. It should bond to the plate or cylinder securely, leaving no room for lumps or bumps. A tight fit ensures a clean printing job, cushioning the plate from vibrations. The tape provides the support you need between the press and the plates. 

Proper ink transfer

Using the wrong tape will result in a subpar printing job. The tape that secures the plate to the printing surface must display the right thickness and softness. Otherwise, printing defects can occur, such as: 

  • Excessive dot gain
  • Feathering
  • Halos
  • Trapped air or tape that is too thick can cause these issues. 


A high-speed press operation causes a lot of vibration. The adhesive mounting tape used in flexographic printing should absorb those vibrations to allow for a clear, accurate transfer of the image to the substrate. The right tape will create better results in the image transfer. It should also perform well across multiple print runs. 

Plate edge sealing

The fewer problems you run into in flexographic printing, the more print runs you can carry out without an issue. The tape you use needs to contribute to the continued productivity of the printing schedule. The best tape prevents messes from the solvent that can get beneath the plate, delaying printing. 

Find the right flexographic printing solutions from tesa

The best tape for flexographic printing will make the process easy, save time and improve productivity. You can find the right solution for your needs with tesa. We'll help you select the best tape based on your needs and your unique situation. Contact us today to set up a consultation.