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Can expired emulsion still be used?

 
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Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 27, 2020 5:47:27 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can expired emulsion still be used?

Hello, odd question. I know. But I I herited screen printing materials. I'm primarily practicing right now. The emulsion is about 3 years old, and very expired. But, can I use it?

I've tried so far. But I'm very new at this and my exposure times ranging from 3 minutes to 5 all tear up when I use the pressure washer to reveal the exposed design.

Now, I'm not sure if its me, or the emulsion. I'd like to use it, as it's good practice .

And if it's not the emulsion, WHY is my screen wiping out? I coat each side twice, let it dry over night 12-24 hours. Expose 3-5 minutes. And it years to heck when I wash out

I'm so exasperated.
 
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Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 27, 2020 8:29:57 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can expired emulsion still be used?

To determine the correct exposure time, you should do a test, as much depends upon your light source and the particular emulsion you are using.

Make a test pattern with some small text, large text, fine lines, thick lines, and halftones if you will be messing about with those. Lay this out so it fits in an area like 1.5" to 2" tall and around 10" wide. Repeat it down the film 8 or 10 times, however many times it fits. Cover all but the first instance of the test pattern with a piece of opaque black paper. Expose for "X" amount of time. Move the paper to uncover the next instances of the pattern. Expose for another increment of "X" time.

As an example, if you have 10 instances of the test pattern, and your time interval is 10 seconds, then you will have 10 test exposures ranging from 10 seconds to 100 seconds. This is the way to get your exposure time dialed in without wasting an entire screen for each tested time.

As to your emulsion? Yes, it is *probably* good and dead. Old emulsion will not expose, as it is the reactivity to light that fails with age. You'd probably be wise to start with fresh emulsion and get your exposure time dialed in with good stuff.

That said, I have had a bucket of emulsion that still worked fine over a year past its expiration date. But it was kept in a cool place. Emulsion that spends significant time in hot rooms ages quickly. Manufacturers typically state that emulsion should be good one year from the date it was made, if kept out of heat.

I like Saati PHU (the original, not PHU 2 which is slower to expose). It is a poly emulsion, so no Diazo to add.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 28, 2020 11:32:23 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can expired emulsion still be used?

Was the bucket unopened? If so, did you add the diazo sensitizer? If you're just using emulsion, it will wash out.
 
 
Old 1 Week Ago Jul 31, 2020 3:02:22 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default

It was opened, and previously mixed. I've experimented 6 times with it. With exposure times between 1 minute and 5. Each Instance, it washed out terribly, and when it did, they all blew out.

I'm saddened it's the emulsion. As I figured it would be good practice. Using good emulsion is a waste in practicing, because I'm due to make various mistakes.

Noobie question: are ALL emulsions mixed with diazo upon opening? I Believe there are pre-mixed varieties, from the Ryo-net classes DVD. I have orange emulsion and have cause to believe it's a pre mixed variety.
 
Old 1 Week Ago Jul 31, 2020 5:02:20 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can expired emulsion still be used?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threedaysgrace7x
It was opened, and previously mixed. I've experimented 6 times with it. With exposure times between 1 minute and 5. Each Instance, it washed out terribly, and when it did, they all blew out.

I'm saddened it's the emulsion. As I figured it would be good practice. Using good emulsion is a waste in practicing, because I'm due to make various mistakes.

Noobie question: are ALL emulsions mixed with diazo upon opening? I Believe there are pre-mixed varieties, from the Ryo-net classes DVD. I have orange emulsion and have cause to believe it's a pre mixed variety.
Diazo emulsion has a lifespan that starts when you mix in the Diazo. The life is SHORT!

Not "pre-mixed," there are simply emulsions that are not based on Diazo. Polymer emulsions, or Poly, like the Saati PHU I mentioned in my first reply. In general, Poly exposes more quickly, so you can get by with a weaker light source. Much easier to work with, in my opinion (having started with Diazo like every newbie ;-) ).

Poly should be good for at least one year from date it was made. Probably twice that long if kept in a cool environment.

Get fresh emulsion, and good quality stuff, the stuff you plan to use going forward. Getting the emulsion coat smooth and the right thickness/thinness, getting the screens dried, and getting the exposure time right ... this **** is the HARD part that stops a lot of first timers. No point getting it perfected and then switching to an entirely different emulsion.

Enjoy
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Old 1 Week Ago Aug 1, 2020 6:53:18 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can expired emulsion still be used?

Come on guys... The short answer is throw it away it is too old.
Diazo mixed emulsion has a shelf life of a month but can stretch it
out to 6 if it isn't opened too often. Photo emulsion is good for 6 to 12
months maybe out to 24 if not opened. Dialing in your exposure
times for the first time should only be done with fresh emulsion. There
are already enough factors like mesh size and coating counts without
getting bad results from the emulsion itself.
 
Old 1 Week Ago Aug 1, 2020 6:56:13 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can expired emulsion still be used?

Do not use old emulsion. It will not expose properly( i.e under expose). Under exposed emulsions are extremely difficult to reclaim.


I had a container of old emulsion. Trying to save some money. This decision cost me more money than a bucket of emulsion.



6 frames could not be reclaimed.
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