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+   T-Shirt Forums > T-Shirt Industry Information > Screen Printing > Plastisol Ink Screen Printing
Discuss the different plastisol screen printing inks and curing methods on the market. Share tips on getting the best results with the different ink manufacturers.



Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

 
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Old 4 Days Ago Apr 20, 2017 8:50:42 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

I have been getting streaky spotty emulsion in my screens for a while now, and I can't nail down just what the problem is. I figured it was contaminants left in the screen, or poor degreasing, or a combination of the two. So I did a bunch myself and really scrubbed them super well to compare to what my employees have been doing. Mine came out much better but I still see some of these streak and fisheyes in the emulsion.

The attached pics are of a batch done by a new employee, that came out aweful after having them degrease them twice. Mine come out much better but I still have the same problem on some screens. Can anyone pinpoint what exactly the problem is here?

Its driving me so insane that I'm about to throw away all my screens, scoop coaters, and emulsion and start over fresh. I feel like it's been happening much more now that I moved into my new office space. Is it possible my tap water is contaminated or maybe its too hard? Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated !
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Old 4 Days Ago Apr 21, 2017 5:51:19 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

Looks as if your emulsion is too thick. Try thinning it with a little water. Stir well and let stand several hours or overnight. God Bless.
 
Old 3 Days Ago Apr 21, 2017 2:34:41 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

That's something I've never hear / thought of. I'll definitely try that. I'm open to try just about anything at this point. Thanks you SO much for your input !!
 
 
Old 3 Days Ago Apr 21, 2017 3:04:12 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

And use distilled water to mix your emulsion. We have hard water here and the faucet water has caused me problems in the past.

Also that looks like it might be something on the screen, like grease even though you degreased it. Sometimes new mesh will be reluctant to take a coat of emulsion until it has been thoroughly cleaned a few times. Try a can of Bar Keeper's Friend and a green scrubby pad and scrub the living daylights out of it on both sides.

Before you reclaim these screens, try burning one. Often the emulsion can look awful but the stencil burns fine, especially if you don't have fine detail.
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Old 3 Days Ago Apr 22, 2017 9:00:29 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

I always use distilled water to mix emulsion. And I scrubbed the screens like crazy with CCI enviroline chemicals. First ink cleaner, then emulsion remover, and degreaser. Before degreasing, we usually use WD40, Goof Off, or various solvent adhesive removers, to remove stubborn spots and stains where masking tape covered reg marks and pinholes. I'm wondering if maybe the adhesive from the screen frames is getting back into the mesh during the degreasing process. I have tried 3 different screen tapes, currently using r-tapes blue screen tape, and all of them leave a ton of adhesive all over the frames. It just keeps building up and it's impossible to get it all off. I wish someone would make a tape that removed cleanly without a ton of residue.
 
Old 3 Days Ago Apr 22, 2017 10:43:28 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

For Tape.....ipg (Intertape polymer group) I get mine from Beckmar in SoCal. Don't know who else carries it. Get some of this and compare all others to it. The bar is set here. You will love it. It's white but it's not the same crappy white no lable tape that most suppliers carry. I prefer it for many reasons but less/no glue residue is a big one.
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Old 3 Days Ago Apr 22, 2017 1:17:42 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Streaky emulsion. Can't figure it out

I'm wondering if it is the WD-40 and Goof Off! I would be afraid to use chemicals such as those on my screens. I know we all (should) use a degreaser to remove the stains and chemicals associated with screen printing, but will they remove oils and solvents such as WD40? I really don't know.

As for the adhesive, question: are you leaving the tape on for an extended period of time? I used to pull the screens down and throw them on the rack and not worry about them till I was ready to reclaim them. I found that if I remove the tape immediately after I finishing printing, I had less problem with residue.

Note: if is a small run, I use cheap masking tape. Once again, if I remember to get the tape off quick, I don't have a problem with the residue.
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