polymer plate storage?

Just wondering where and how you store your plates after you’re done using them? Or do you discard them?

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Store them flat and face up. We put them in a ziploc bag at around 50-60% humidity. You can send them to Boxcar Press to recycle if you know you won’t use the plates again.


dicharry is correct about the ziplock bag storage idea. I would suggest blowing into the bag prior to closing. Carbon dioxide preserves the photopolymer, oxygen attacks it.

Industry information, however, indicates that they should be stored vertically, not horizontally. Hanging folders in a file cabinet is a useful storage arrangement. Polyester-backed plates may curl and buckle (depending upon their size configuration and surface area) but there is not much you can do about that.

Note that storing plates is not all that useful. They lose their tack and resilience rather quickly and thus their printing qualities. You are far better off saving the film negatives and regenerating when you need to reprint.

At one time, the industry had carbon dioxide baths for reviving photopolymer plates but then began to think of them as disposable. The photopolymer itself breaks down relatively quickly as far as solid waste material goes.



Great info… thanks!

Sounds like even more reason to use copper for those jobs that see multiple runs.


I store my plates in ziplocks and in a flat file. I try and weed out anything that is over a year old. Unless its your personal work saving client plates over that old is a waste of space especially when you can remake a plate so quickly. I have had to reuse plates on occasion and would rather just make a new one after a year although I have used a few plates that were over 3 years old earlier this summer and they worked fine, just a bit tough with some curl.

Thanks for all the great tips! I guess I don’t need to save everything….except for maybe business cards.