Kreene, a flexible and matte transparent plastic, is used in a platemaker’s vacuum frame to hold films securely against photopolymer plates during exposure. But over time, it’s the nature of kreene to get wrinkled and lose flexibility. When you find that your kreene no longer creates a smooth seal, it’s time for a kreene replacement! At Boxcar Press, we replace our kreene every few days, but we process a lot of plates. With lower use, kreene can last for several months.
To replace your kreene: cut out a square of kreene to the size of the previous kreene piece (your kreene will be slightly larger than the grooves in the vacuum table). If your platemaker has one, pull the round bar out the previous sheet of kreene. Affix the new sheet of kreene to the bar with double-stick tape. Lay the kreene in position on the vacuum table and turn the vacuum on. Work out any wrinkles in the kreene so it remains flat. Using double-stick tape, affix the kreene edge opposite the bar to the vacuum table. You can then roll the kreene out over your vacuum table and start exposing your polymer plates. To increase the life of your Kreene, roll it out flat in your platemaker at the end of the day.