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Waterless Printing Plates

No dampening solution!

Waterless offset printing plates have an ink-repellent silicone layer on the surface, which has a low surface tension. The underlying layer is ink-receptive and therefore a printing component. This keeps the dot gain extremely low and there are no fluctuations throughout the print run.

The inking of the printing plate is therefore achieved after a few revolutions, so that waste sheets are reduced to a minimum at the beginning of the print run.

The conventional "wet" offset printing method requires two primary components - ink and water - to reproduce an image on press. Managing two different fluids in the printing press is a complex process, making the press operator's job of maintaining consistent print quality more difficult than it needs to be.

An Inherently Simpler, Superior, Greener Printing

Waterless printing is an alternative printing system that runs on standard offset presses. The key to waterless printing is a plate that uses an ink-resistant silicone coating to eliminate the need for dampening solution.

  • Waterless Printing

Silicon polymer (in green) is used to repel ink. The mixture of water, alcohol or alcohol substitute and etching fluid are not required in the printing process.

  • Conventional "Wet" Printing

Dampening solution (shown in blue, below left) is used to repel ink (in magenta). As the result, tainted water is discharged from the press.

By eliminating the dampening solution from the printing process, the waterless printing system provides improvements in productivity, quality, and an environmentally-friendlier operation.

IMPRIMA Waterless Offset Plate Range

Toray's new line of IMPRIMA waterless offset plates features many important new capabilities including long run lengths without post-heating, strong chemical resistance and super high resolution. Toray's versatile line of waterless thermal plates is suitable for use in diverse applications such as:

  • labels
  • CD/DVD
  • fine art reproductions
  • security printing
  • newspapers and magazines

It is also ideal for printers using UV curable inks for packaging printing on non-absorbent substrates as well as for sheetfed applications and publication printing on web presses that require exceptional image quality.

Waterless Advantages

  • A wider color space with richer and vivid colors
  • Sharper dots and denser reproduction
  • Highest-resolution, lenticular, and FM stochastic screened work
  • Ideal for press machines using UV and EB inks
  • Capability to print on plastics, films, foils and other non-porous substrates
  • Ability to offer clients an environmentally more responsible alternative beyond FSC, ISO, or wind/solar power


Waterless Printing

Conventional "Wet" Printing

Reduced Dot Gain

Consistent Ink Density

Waterless printing is a clear solution for forward-thinking print buyers who want to be associated with a simpler, superior and less wasteful print process.

Easily Adoptable Waterless

Waterless printing requires the following equipment. Most offset printers should be able to convert to waterless with minimal investment and training.

  • CTP Thermal platesetter (830nM)
  • Offset press with temperature-control capability
  • Toray processor or approved waterless plate processor (24" or 44")

Sustainability and environmental benefits

There are four key environmental benefits of waterless printing:

  • Minimal printing waste
  • Zero water consumption on press
  • Greatly reduced chemical usage for plate processing
  • 75% reduction of VOC emissions compared to conventional offset printing
  • No need for waste water treatment of spent fountain solutions
  • Aluminium printing plates are 100% recyclable through normal recycling channels

Complete elimination of dampening solution containing IPA and other pollutants

Waterless printers and print buyers are able to advertise the use of a sustainable, "green" printing process capable of reproducing high quality images on a wide range of materials.



The unique performance features of the Imprima line of waterless printing plates lay the foundation for the strong brand identification and the successful relationship between printers and their customers.