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All Continuous Dampeners that utilize the nip width of ‘soft’ rubber rolls and the ‘ink’s tack’ to carry moisture to the plate are designed to operate with a specific roller durometer/hardness and surface finish.
The surface finish and rollers hardness change when exposed to ink, solvents, plate and fountain chemicals, and paper bi-products, becoming gradually harder and smoother with use/age.
On average you should expect your soft dampener rolls to have an effective use life of 18 to 24 months if properly cared for.
Over-use of strong deglazers, rubber rejuvenators, and desensitisizers remove surface plastisizers and significantly ‘shorten’ the use-life of new rollers, and for this reason I strongly recommend ‘not using’ solvents stronger than roller wash for the first two weeks of use during initial ‘break-in’, or surface ‘conditioning’ period of all ‘new soft rollers’. This applies to both Ink and Dampener Rollers.
Over-use of strong solvents removes roller’s surface conditioning to where they cannot hold and carry ink properly, causing ink to strip from rolls, producing toning and ink banding accross plate, leaving excess ink build-up on blanket around sheets.
Once new dampener rollers have been in use for a few weeks, I recommend you use of a good water misible roller wash appropriately deluted to manufacturers’ specifications as your dampener wash, followed up with a final rinse of a mixture of 15% white kitchen vinegar and tap water.
This final rinse serves to flush-out and neutralize all straces of the strong detergents and solvents used in water misible washes that desolves paper contaminates.
A water/vinegar rinse leaves rollers with a clean and mildly acidic surface that has a stronger affinity to accept ink.
After new rollers are a couple of months old, an occasional application of an ink roller desensitizer/deglazer such as Varn’s Revitol is used as a ‘preventive maintenance measure’ to remove the papers’ contaminates that petroleum solvents alone cannot remove from roller pores.
Always follow-up all Revitol use with an application of water misible roller wash and then vinegar/water rinse.
Note: If after following these maintenance recommendations, and your Crestline or Stealth rollers are adjusted with proper nip contact, are parallel with each and you ‘still’ have ink and water control issues.
The final solution is then to replace all soft rollers with new rollers and start over again.