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Discussion Starter #1
EXAMPLES:
One gallon ProChem DXP emulsion,
50 sheets of Ulano EZ film.

Price difference between the 2 examples?

How many screens from both examples?

How many screams, fist slams and tears from both?

Your opinion on quality?


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CCI ProChem DXP is a diazo sensitized dual-cure direct emulsion.

EZ Film is a fairly new, inexpensive direct film that adheres to mesh with capillary action. Direct films are liquid emulsion coated on polyester at the factory. You want a high solids content? Direct films are 96% solids and smooth as glass on the bottom.

Direct films are usually adhered to mesh still wet from the degreasing rinse, before pinhole-causing dirt and dust can settle on the mesh.

It's like licking an envelope, then pressing the stamp onto it. Water held in the mesh openings with surface tension - softens the top layer of the film, which is drawn up into the mesh by capillary action and the natural adhesive qualities adhere it to the mesh. Liquid emulsions are all natural adhesives.

Too much water doesn't work well, not enough water doesn't work either.

A single pass with a window squeegee forces the softened emulsion further in to the mesh (typically up about two-thirds of the mesh thickness) and skims off excess water, speeding drying time (typically 15-20 minutes). The film backing sheet keeps the stencil bottom flat and independent of the mesh weave during drying, so that the surface Rz value is low and, consequently, printed edges are sharp.

Direct films don't take more than 30 minutes to dry even in humid conditions, but direct emulsions always take longer because they can be 50% to 80% water.

Direct coating of emulsion onto the mesh is more time consuming because it requires several coats to get a smooth stencil surface because the stencil shrinks and takes on the texture of the mesh as it dries.

Because the film contains sensitizer, it requires no mixing, developer, post-processing chemicals, or controlled-temperature washout. The very simplicity of the wet processing procedure enables unskilled workers to produce stencils of consistent and very high quality. The reliability of the system virtually eliminates rejects, makeovers, and downtime.

Normally, a press-ready stencil an be made in about a half hour, speeding stencil throughput and reducing labor costs. Water adhered, direct film stencils are capable of 10 to 30,000 impressions.
 

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2 Questions I have about the EZ film.
Is it suitable on all mesh counts, and can one use solvent on it?
 

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2 Questions I have about the EZ film.
Is it suitable on all mesh counts, and can one use solvent on it?
EZ Film is designed for plastisol printers using 110-156 threads/in mesh.

It is sensitized with SBQ so it should be cleaned up with mild solvents suited to plastisols.
 
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I have been using both Ulano EZ Film and also Chromaline Chroma-Blue and have had varied results from both and was hoping someone here may be able to help me.

In using the EZ Film on 110 mesh I was originally exposing using a Halogen work lamp and tried times ranging from 3 minutes to 20 minutes. Reguardless of time the EZ Film would always peel away at points while washing out.

The Chroma-Blue seemed to work well enough through my results would vary and I decided it was most likley due to my inconsistentsy in coating and made the desicion to swith to the EZ Film.

I have since built an exposure unit using a 1000 Watt Metal Halide at about 20" away and burned my first screens yesterday using the Chroma_Blue at 1 min. and 2 min. exposure times. 1 min was good though I saw much emusion washing away leading me to believe that I may have coated too thick and it was not dry. So thin layers of emulsion then dried inside the washed out areas. At 2 min, the exposure was too long and did not wash away though I still saw emusion washing away so again I think it was too thick.

I have since reclaimed the screens (about 1 month old from GM Graphics, 110 mesh, abraded with Ulano MicroGrit, Ulano Stencil Remover, Fran-Mar D-Grease) and have adhered EZ Film to them all.

Any suggestions before I waste any more time, chemicals, money and sanity?
 

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Exposure is at minimum, a combination of the UV opacity of your positive, the stencil & the UV energy to expose the stencil.

Basic adhesion has to do with UV energy moving all the way through the stencil to completely harden/cure it. If it "seems" to be under or over exposed, you aren't measuring your exposure.

Mesh thickness is the main variable determining ink deposit. Each different thickness of stencil requires more UV energy to move all the way through a stencil to cook it "well-done", not medium rare like a nice thick Porterhouse. Remember, we can only expose from 1 side, not flip the meat like a cook.

The stencil could be a film as thin as photocopier paper on the bottom of the mesh. Regardless of the number of coating strokes or mesh thickness or emulsion, you need to completely cure the entire stencil - all the way through to the inside - or the un-exposed inside will peel off or dissolve with water, like un-exposed stencil should.

You have the answers in your hands
The purpose of UV exposure is to change the stencil from something that unexposed, will dissolve with water, into something that won't dissolve or breakdown with water. If the stencil breaks down - it's under exposed. Conversely, if your image area doesn't dissolve - your positive failed to stop invisible UV energy from hardening/curing the image area.

To measure stencil hardness (resistance to developing or cleanup solvents), I suggest a US$10 Stouffer 21 step gray scale to simulate 21 different exposures. This is a standard photographic darkroom test positive that's been used since the 1930's. Put it on every screen you expose for the rest of your life.
Exposure FAQ Screen Making Products how to measure exposure

If you changed or bought new stencil materials from someone and they didn't check to ask how you were measuring exposure - they didn't do a very good/complete job.

Chromaline ChromaBlue & Ulano EZ Film are sensitized with SBQ and don't change color when exposed. You have to use a hardness scale to determine if it is completely cured. Whoever sold you SBQ products without a way to measure exposure didn't care if you wasted your time guessing.

Positive comparison
Next time you expose any screen, test if your positive completely stops UV energy. Tape a dime (or any thin coin), or a piece of aluminum foil to the outside edge of your stencil. No light will penetrate the dime and that area should wash out like a dream compared to your positive.
 

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I recently switched to Ulano EZ film after seeing it demonstrated at the Texsource Open House in N.C. It works GREAT and SAVES TIME! I can't praise this stuff enough! Once reclaiming your screens and degreaseing/dehazing, you rinse, then head straight to the drying room, apply the EZ film, and place in the drying cabinet. All in one step with no additional drying times... The only downside is the limitation on size... I use it on all my smaller screens and still use a liquid emulsion on my larger/oversized screens. I also use liquid emulsion for jobs which require a thinner layer of ink (Corogloss/Coroplast signs). Also, I've used it successfully on half tones up to a 230! If you have a problem applying liquid emulsion correctly and worry about getting waves in your coating (which most certainly affect print quality), this is the way to go... It's a nice thick stencil that will give you good results....

A trick I learned as well... If you're tying to get a VERY thick stencil, a sometime desired print, you can apply the EZ-Film to the print side of the screen as normal, then pour liquid emulsion on the top of it on the print side, right in the center, and squeegee down and outwards to coat the rest of the screen and get the bulk of the emulsion to the edges of the screen frame. Then dry... it provides a slightly thicker stencil...
 

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I also am in the process of making the switch for the majority of my screens. I have used it on two different jobs and cannot believe how easy and clean the process is now. It dries fast and burns easy...the sheet said that for my setup I should burn at 4mins and it work perfectly. The instructions said that it can be stored for 2 years and stored on the screen unburned for 1 year (WOW).

I am not worried about the size, because that size will cover all of my print sizes. The one thing I did not like is the max of 156 mesh, but it sounds like you had luck at some higher mesh. I also seen that Kiwo (my normal emulsion) had a similar product that went higher in mesh count. I have some, but have not tested.

Overall I love the EZ Film and plan on using it or a product like much more often.
 

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I also am in the process of making the switch for the majority of my screens. I have used it on two different jobs and cannot believe how easy and clean the process is now. It dries fast and burns easy...the sheet said that for my setup I should burn at 4mins and it work perfectly. The instructions said that it can be stored for 2 years and stored on the screen unburned for 1 year (WOW).

I am not worried about the size, because that size will cover all of my print sizes. The one thing I did not like is the max of 156 mesh, but it sounds like you had luck at some higher mesh. I also seen that Kiwo (my normal emulsion) had a similar product that went higher in mesh count. I have some, but have not tested.

Overall I love the EZ Film and plan on using it or a product like much more often.
I have been using EZ Film with a 500 watt galogen light for 9 minutes and it works great. I started having problems with my film positives sticking to the film, I believe from the heat of the lamp so I purchased a new exposure unit. The new unit has 6 15watt black lights. I tired doing a step test starting at 3 minutes with 30 second intervals and worked up to an eight minute exposure time with zero success.
 

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How thick (microns) is ez film? Ive written Ulano a few times, and no one called me back, and I emailed as well, with no success. I also have read that its not reccomended for higher mesh counts. May I ask why? If not, what Ulano film would be the best to use for higher mesh counts?
Thanks!!!!
 

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How thick (microns) is ez film?

Ive written Ulano a few times, and no one called me back, and I emailed as well, with no success.

I also have read that its not reccomended for higher mesh counts. May I ask why?

If not, what Ulano film would be the best to use for higher mesh counts?
Direct films (films that are adhered to mesh before exposure), soften & dissolve if they haven't been hardened with exposure. The softening with water must happen for the film to embed in the mesh enough so it can survive a print run.

Ulano suggests the range of mesh each film thickness on their web site.

Products>Capillary Film
CDF Capillary Film Menu -Let us coat your screens

Mesh thickness determines ink deposit and direct film is second only to Indirect film as the perfect stencil that isn't effected by the texture of the mesh like direct emulsion that shrinks into the mesh as it dries.

If you want to put a direct film on higher (thinner) mesh counts you just have to deal with the new variables it creates - like a stencil that's much thicker than the mesh.

At the bottom of every single page of the Ulano web site is their toll-free phone number if you want to discuss their products. Email is much more time consuming. Whom did you write to?
Support Menu of Screen Making Products
Contact Ulano

Fleury266 had positives that were sticking the stencil & positive together. That means there's water present.

Infrared heat from an incandescent lamp at 1,000 degrees F will cause moisture from the air, positive or stencil to come to the contact surfaces which will make them sticky.


Fleury266 switched to 15watt black lights that output about 9% invisible UV energy.

Reading the Tech Data Sheet, Ulano lists 40 watt Black Light exposure at 4 minutes. Just with math alone, 9-10 minutes would be a starting point in a perfect world.
http://www.ulano.com/MSDS/techdata.htm

I don't know what type of failure zero success means to help with a diagnosis, but I preach that every stencil ever exposed should use a US$10 Stouffer T2115 21 step guide to simulate 21 different exposures that measures stencil hardness (resistance to dissolving). See Post#8 above.
Exposure FAQ Screen Making Products how to measure exposure

Whoever sold you SBQ products without a way to measure exposure didn't care if you wasted your time guessing.
 

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Richard,
I see you say "former" Ulano tech support.

what are you doing now?
I suffered a stroke in January 2009 and they didn't want or couldn't use me at Ulano anymore. To their credit, they waited until November to ask me to clean out my office and never asked for me to return my cell phone, although I did when I moved.

No need to pay Brooklyn rent, so I moved in with my old friend Gena Conti near Detroit and still haven't recreated my control room of computers & TVs in this 1901 house without air conditioning.

I still taught all my Printwear Show seminars last year and this year - pushing myself by wheelchair to the Fort Worth Convention Center in April 2009, but walking the half mile in Long Beach last week.

I have no regular job at this time. My left side is still very weak and I type with one hand.
 
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Very sorry to hear this Richard, I truely wish you the very best of luck and a complete recovery. Your advice as always been invaluable to all of us.
 

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Hey Richard,
Im sorry to hear about your physical troubles. I wish you the best.
I guess I should have read your description more carefully. I didnt realize that you arent with them anymore.
Thanks for the advice anyway.
 

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just wanted to personally thanks you sir! as a newbie your advice has been extremely beneficial!! i am going to try some of this film for sure but really the article on exposure and using a Stouffer guide was the best i've read !! it makes much better sense to me then the 'other' ways of complicated guessing and manipulating whole screen sections for a test. anyways i wish you a full recovery form your stroke and commend your strength and commitment to the industry.

john Dykstra
owner Paradox Printing
Kenai, AK
 

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just wanted to personally thanks you sir! as a newbie your advice has been extremely beneficial!!
I am happy to help.
I will be at the Indianapolis Printwear Show at the end of May 2010.

Call for help, but I like answering on this forum so many people can read about solutions or diagnostics.

Richard Greaves
646-807-8580
[email protected]
 
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