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Coated Aluminum - CTP

Computer to plate (CTP) press applications involve images being transferred from a computer directly to a printing plate (commonly aluminum). The plate can then be used for multiple print copies.

Grained and anodized aluminum, coated with UV, visible or heated-sensitive layers, is the most commonly used material for computer to plate (CTP) press applications. The process operates in a similar way to laser printing.

The CTP process requires a thin aluminum plate with a hydrophilic coating. Using heat or light, an image is cut through this coating to expose the hydrophobic surface. Different surface properties determine which part of the plate ink adheres to, creating an image for printing.

A smooth plate surface is critical to print performance. Since the surface of the plate is deliberately affected by heat or light to create the image, it is important that monitoring systems detect actual defects rather than intentional etching. Also, the inspection process must not affect the plate.
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