Easiway has long been a manufacturer of a complete range of of screen & press washes and emulsion removers for screen printers. We do not manufacture emulsions, screen mesh or screen printing inks, but we do inter phase with these products daily. Over time we have spent thousands of hours trouble shooting inks, emulsions and screens from the smallest silk screen shops to the largest industrial plants imaginable. Easiway wants every customer to get the most benefit from our products and many times it results in recommendations in procedures that do not directly relate to the Easiway products.
Sometimes the most basic things, no matter the size of shop, gets over-looked. These tips are 5 quick reminders of some of those steps:
If you don’t have a back-lit sink or washout booth, get 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 less screen re-shoots.
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 on the print side. It will also be exposed ‘harder’ on the print side of the screen and resistant to washing outside the image area. If you wash from the image side, removing emulsion from non-image areas is more likely.
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. Remove excess water after washout.
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.
When possible accelerate screen drying. This reduces the chances of an image being blocked by clear residue from water running into the image
These are simple tips, but overlooked. Review your procedures in this area and screens will process faster and have less break-downs on press. Even the most experienced shops over time will cut steps!
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