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Image by Codioful (Formerly Gradienta)




Böttcher’s specialized elastomers have been developed to meet all of your needs, whether you use solvent or water-based inks. We offer fiberglass covered sleeves and flat sheets with mylar backing of excellent quality for direct engraving. During engraving, the material becomes “ash” leaving no smears and an impeccable surface with crisp edges and precise, sharp screen dots. Our sleeves for tint and solid background colors offer uniquely full ink coverage, which has been confirmed again and again by our customers.

Our state-of-the-art rubber covered cylinders and sleeves for gravure impression, available as both conical and tapered sleeves, also boast a superior surface. Böttcher prides itself on its precise sleeve geometry with optimum concentricity and cylindrical values which gives us the ability to meet all of your flexography and rotogravure printing needs.


Developments in direct laser engraving have opened new possibilities for the flexographic printing industry. Direct engraving has the potential to improve quality while improving cost efficiency. Start-up waste, registration, make-ready time and print speed all favor the choice of direct engraved flexo sleeves.

Direct engraved sleeve technology offers a number of distinct advantages:

  • Elastomer covered sleeves can be changed quickly.

  • Various working widths can be realized using a single mandrel size.

  • Fewer additional cylinders are required for a given press, reducing investment costs.

  • Low sleeve weight facilitates ease of handling.

  • Only sleeves need to be transported; mandrels and cylinders remain in place.

  • Storage of rubber covered cylinders is no longer necessary.

  • Sleeves can be stored vertically requiring less warehouse floor space.


One of the most basic types of sleeves is the Tint Sleeve, also known as a flood coat. This is a rubber product generally used to meter ink. They are used to apply inks, adhesives, primers and clear overcoats as well as for creating continuous stripes on a web. Böttcher has a single material that can be used on a tint sleeve with any type of ink.


Laser Engraved Sleeves are sleeves that are manufactured and then images are engraved into the sleeves to be printed. The rubber is vulcanized and thus directly adhered to the sleeve. This prevents any cupping or curling. The sleeve is reusable and it can be recovered. The image is applied using digital direct laser ablation.


A significant difference between traditional presses and new flexo presses is the use of a fixed mandrel at each print station. Sleeves of any thickness can be mounted to the mandrel with air pressure being used to expand the sleeve and then by removing the air pressure causing the sleeve to tightly grip to the mandrel. This is called an interference fit.

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