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5 Quick & Easy Post Exposure Screen Reminders

5 Quick & Easy Post Exposure Screen Reminders

Easiway has long been a manufacturer of a complete range of reclaiming chemicals and equipment for screen printers. Easiway does not manufacture emulsions, screen mesh, or screen printing inks, however, we do interface with these products every day. Over time we have spent thousands of hours troubleshooting inks, emulsions, and screens from the smallest silk screen shops to the largest industrial plants imaginable. Easiway wants every customer to get the most benefits from our products and often times it results in recommendations in procedures that do not directly relate to our products.

Sometimes the most basic things get over-looked, no matter the size of the shop.

Take a look at our 5 Quick & Easy Post Exposure Screen Reminders:

1. If you don’t have a back-lit sink or washout booth, invest in one or make one. It is much easier to properly wash exposed screens in a back-lit environment. It will reduce washout time and therefore prevent screens from weakening when they are over washed. Half-tones will be washed correctly, easier, and will result in fewer screen re-shoots. Easiway offers an affordable solution for our DIY customers. Our E-32 Washout Booth comes with an opaque backing allowing customers to buy light kits from a local hardware store, which can be easily mounted to the back of the booth or to the wall where the booth will stand. 

2. Gently wet both sides of the screen and allow to stand for about a minute. Wash emulsion from the print side of the screen. Emulsion, when coated properly will be thicker and exposed ‘harder’ on the print side of the screen and more likely resistant to washing outside the image area. If you wash from the image side, removing emulsion from non-image areas is more likely.

3. Always blot the screen for excess water removal. Larger shops use vacuums. This does two things; Screens dry faster and through-put of screens to press is faster. Secondly, excess water weakens emulsion before it fully dries. 

4. If you use a vacuum, make sure the nozzle is designed for removing water (several companies make nozzles designed for exactly this purpose). When you use a vacuum always inspect the nozzle before each use for ‘nicks’ that could damage emulsion and fabric.

5. When possible accelerate screen drying. This reduces the chances of an image being blocked by clear residue from water running into the image.

Always remember to review your procedures in this area so your screens process faster and have fewer break-downs on the press. Even the most experienced shops over time will cut steps!
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