Counterforces are known by many names such as Force Plates, Forces, Counters, Counter Dies, Counterforce Plates, Male Dies, and more. Counterforces can be made of many different types of materials and processes and the most popular of them are mentioned below.
Resin based systems are either UV cure or 2 part epoxy, usually backed onto fibreglass boards. These resins are available in different shore hardness from around 70°A to around 80°D. Counterforces made from these resins have a clean and crisp finish, is hard wearing and retain incredible detail from your Die. These Dies are suitable for short to long embossing runs and are available for hot and or cold Embossing.
Ultra UV Counterforce – For everyday embossing and debossing for short to medium run length. Available in Hot or Cold resin versions with polyester or fibreglass backing in different harnesses. Very flexible if using polyester backing sheets or the thinner backing boards. Adaptable system growing in popularity.
Vulcan KV Laminate Counterforces – For everyday embossing and de-bossing for short to medium run lengths. A counterforce can also be produced with a harder and more durable image by mixing a hardener additive powder in with the Vulcan KV powder. Vulcan KV counterforces are fairly flexible. This system is for cold embossing only.
Bakelite / Phenolic Counterforces – A hard and durable counterforce but not very flexible.
Titan Epoxy Counterforces – Can be used Hot or Cold. Ideal for use with fluted foiling dies, reducing press make-ready times. This product is an alternative to the Vulcan KV and Ultra Counterforces, but with improved durability and heat resistance.
Hermes resin impregnated Polyester mat counterforces – Can be used Hot or Cold. Ideal for use with fluted foiling dies, reducing press make-ready times. An additional alternative to standard Vulcan KV, Titan and Ultra counterforce, but with improved durability.
Icarus Paste Counterforces – Heat activated pastes for counterforce manufacture are easy to make and are more suitable for in-house manufacture and use.
Libra Multi-Layered Laminated Counterforce materials – Heat Embossed plastic sheets for Counterforce manufacture are easy to make and are more suitable for in-house manufacture and use. Recommended for short Embossing runs on paper.
Juno Two Part Powder/ Hardener – embossing powder is mixed with a liquid hardener to create a counterforce. This system is more suited for in-house manufacture and use.
Taurus Embossing Board – Embossing board is a board made of many layers of a special type of paper and is used to produce a counterforce directly of the die on the press. This board will faithfully make a detailed counterforce retaining the most intricate details. The main limiting factor is that it is only suitable for short runs and for embossing paper.
Brass Forces – a high end product manufactured like the die using a CNC process offering durability and precision. These would be made for fluted foil dies, braille, emboss and de-boss. Suitable for very long runs but can be expensive.
Copper / brass magnetic counterforces – reduce make-ready times as the counterforce will stick into a steel platen. While traditional Counterforces are mounted with double-sided adhesive tape or mechanical clamping / fixing.
Metal counterforces can be engraved or etched. If etching it is important to etch the female die to the correct depth so that it will fit into a metal male counterforce leaving enough room for the substrate. The male counterforce has to be etched slightly deeper than the female die. When embossing, the gap will allow the counterforce to bottom-out without marking the texture of the surrounding substrate.
Made-High Counterforces – A layer of the non-image surface of the counterforce is machined away resulting in the raising the emboss image off the base to reduce the risk of background marking and bruising.