Bridge & Plate Sleeve Maintenance

Harper Plate and Bridge Sleeves are specially designed and manufactured to meet your printing requirements. In order to assure you maintain optimal print quality and maximum useful sleeve life, we are providing the following guidelines and cleaning product recommendations.

Bridge & Plate Sleeve Maintenance Bridge & Plate Sleeve Maintenance


All mandrel surfaces must be clean.  Use non-filming solvents or cleaners appropriate for the mandrel surface and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth. NEVER MOUNT SLEEVES ON ANY WET SURFACE! We recommend keeping all unused mandrels clean by covering them with a Shield-Pro™ cover from our HarperScientific division.

HEX sleeves are designed to be mounted and removed using clean compressed air with its line pressure between 85 and 120psi (6 to 8.3 bars). It is equally important the air supply has sufficient volume (flow, CFM) to maintain the required pressure at the mandrel.  Check to insure mandrel air outlet holes (ports) are open without any debris and the air supply is moisture and lubricant free.


After demounting printing plates from our sleeves, remove any residue, such as tape, inks, oils and lubricants as soon as possible. Use non-film leaving cleaning solvents in concentrations of less than 20% of the following: acetate, acetone, ethylene, isopropyl and normal propylalcohols. For water based inks use cleaners such as the AltraWash™ Blue. The X-Cel™ pads are also recommended for removing surface stains. Do not clean sleeves with products such as Scotch-Briteor sand paper!

Prior to mounting new plates, allow appropriate time for the sleeve to dry completely.  In maintaining optimal sleeve surface quality, NEVER apply solvents that contain oil or lubricants and NEVER apply acids, un-buffered alkalizes, salt solutions or bleaches of any type.

Keeping the bore of the sleeves clean is equally important.  All chemicals that can be used on the surface can be used to clean the inner liner (base sleeve).

Learn more about HarperScientific cleaners and cleaning supplies at:

AltraWash™ Blue at

X-Cel™ pads at

EZ-Bore™ at


Bumping or dropping a sleeve can cause damage to its surface.  Follow proper care when handling and storing sleeves.  Sleeves need to be vertically stored in a rack or system that has a padded base and a upper guide that prevents the sleeve from tipping over. HarperScientific offer a family of SleeveWraks™ to protect all Harper sleeved products. Learn more at

DO NOT STORE SLEEVES HORIZONTALLY FOR LONGER THAN A FEW HOURS. Horizontal storage can distort and create unacceptable T.I.R. (total indicated run-out), which will affect print quality and impact fit.  This storage process may void warranties.  Also never stack sleeves on top of each other, nor should any other weight be placed on them.  We recommend storing sleeves at ambient temperature of 60- 80°F with humidity of less than 50% and never in direct sunlight or heating source.

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