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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.



Print quality degrading quickly after first print [includes picture]

 
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Old January 6th, 2015 Jan 6, 2015 10:25:35 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Question Print quality degrading quickly after first print [includes picture]

My first prints often come out clean, but then the print quality degrades a few prints in. Here is an example with the first print on the left and the third print on the right.

I'm printing 2-color black on white with Ultrasoft Union Ink plastisol.
I'm using 230 mesh screens.


A few notes about my printing process:
1) I'm applying heavy pressure on the squeegee. (This is an artifact of using viscous white inks on dark garments in the past; the Ultrasoft Union Ink actually seems to go through even the 230 mesh pretty easily—though it does take a few passes for sufficient opacity—I assume I should flash in between squeegees?)
2) I'm swiping the squeegee twice on each color before lifting the screen.
3) I'm using the plastisol straight out of the tub—no additives.

On the (bad) print on the right (see linked image above), I squeegeed the white ink twice, flashed it, then squeegeed it again. Then I applied the black.

Being fairly new to silkscreening, I'm wondering if this is due to:
1) Ink persisting on the downside of the screen? What would cause this? Too much pressure on the squeegee?
2) The platen heating up (from the flashing) and causing the ink to run? Does the platen or garment need to cool between squeegees?
3) Printing ink on ink—i.e. does tighter trapping help here? I.e. does the plastisol need to land on something absorbent—a shirt, not other ink? (Though this doesn't explain how the first print worked well...)
4) Or maybe something else?

Thanks in advance for your help,
Randy

Last edited by bison; January 6th, 2015 at 11:51 PM.. Reason: Highlighting as a question...
 
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Old January 7th, 2015 Jan 7, 2015 5:04:33 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Print quality degrading quickly after first print [includes picture]

I think your pressing 2 hard first of all...

Secondly i think you have your white ink under the black. If so this isn't needed. You could redo the artwork so the black lays directly on the shirt and only overlaps the white a tiny bit. But that shouldn't cause your problem necessarily.

You should be able to print the white, flash, print the white again, flash, print the black, done....

Also mix your ink, especially white ink. Mix it till your arm is going to fall off. Some people use a drill and paddle bit. The more you mix it the smoother and easier it will print.

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Jeron
 
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Old January 7th, 2015 Jan 7, 2015 6:48:50 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Print quality degrading quickly after first print [includes picture]

You also want to make sure you flash the white long enough. If white is still wet it might be the issue.
 
 
Old January 7th, 2015 Jan 7, 2015 7:46:49 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Print quality degrading quickly after first print [includes picture]

Also, try to do the black in one single stroke.
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Old January 7th, 2015 Jan 7, 2015 10:09:08 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Print quality degrading quickly after first print [includes picture]

It's not necessary to underlay the black but if you still want to do so it would help to have your underlay halftoned. Also you should only need to print the black with one stroke.
 






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