Sticky Backing on Polymer Plates

Wondering if anybody has had any issues with the boxcar sticky backing adhering to the back of their boxcar polymer plates. We have tried cleaning the back with alcohol after exposing and burnishing the backing down to no avail. The backing just peels off like there’s a layer of oil on the back of the plates. Any thoughts?

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No issues here. It’s not the best film adhesive out there (though the price is right) but other than air bubbling and occasional failure to fully lay down to the base itself, no problems with backing.


Further note to this: I have only used their Toyobo brand plates in the non deep relief configuration. Never been a fan of the Jet brand.


Could it be there is some polymer residue on the back of the plate?

Are you washing out by hand or are you using a machine washout? Either way, you need to be sure that the water in the unit or tray is changed regularly.

I have also seen plates not stick to plate bases because of solvent residue. In our studio I have found this to be a problem with some “environmentally friendly” press wash solutions which either don’t fully evaporate or do so very slowly.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY


Not sure jtucker84’s question had to do with the sticking to the base but I can suggest that press washes should not be used on plate or base. Best to use fast drying type or plate washes, if you can find them, they all seemed to have vanished in the last year or so.


I was told that it could be a problem with humidity within the shop. This might be the case since San Francisco has gotten some rain recently which we haven’t seen in months. The adhesive problem just started and wasn’t a problem before, maybe that’s it?

never had a problem like that. I have had a slight problem with the adhesive pulling up when I apply it myself because I do not take the time to burnish/roll it down enough. When removing the plates from the boxcar base the adhesive sometimes will separate from the plate around an edge or two.

funny that you post this, because just about a week ago I noticed the same problem in our shop. Toyobo plates,and boxcar adhesive, and the sticky wasn’t sticking. just peeling right back off like it can’t quite hold tight to the back of the plate.
I have an alternate adhesive in house, something German, cant recall the name, and that seemed a bit better, but not much. I am too in the Bay Area, but I have used this sticky/plate combination for years and never noticed a real issue.
I had figured it may have been a new batch of plate material, with something weird on the backing, but that seems unlikely.
We did a pretty thorough cleaning on the platemaker and that seemed to help, but I can’t say for sure what the trouble was.
good luck.