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Ink's and emulsion's viscosity

1124 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Twisted Grafix
Hello guys,

I have a question about what does make viscosity important when we talk about emulsions and inks.
Can anyone please explain to me why viscosity is important or can anyone quote me any article which explains that?

Thank you
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Viscosity is the thickness of the liquid.

The lower the viscosity, the faster it flows, and the thinner the deposit. For example, water has a lower viscosity than honey. Because it flows faster, it will lay a thinner film on the mesh for emulsion. Ink will increase the dot gain because it spreads after going through the screen. To help correct this, a higher mesh needs to be used. Think general purpose ink vs CMYK process ink. General purpose is typically 86-230 mesh, while CMYK is typically 230-305 mesh.

Using a high viscosity emulsion will yield thicker stencils, which will allow more ink to be deposited through the screen.

A higher viscosity ink will "stack" better on the shirt instead of spreading, but will be harder to print through a finer mesh.

Same principle as engine oil. 5W-30 is thinner than a 10w-30 or 20w-50 oil. Much like engine oils, emulsions and inks can be used in many different situations, but there is a purpose for each, and although they will work, there is a correct usage for the given combo.

A thicker stencil can help with some specialty prints, like HD Clear. It can also allow a better deposit on a higher mesh screen because of the thickness. On the other hand, it will be harder to get small dots or thin lines to expose properly due to the thickness causing overexposure on fine dots.

If in doubt, grab a couple samples from emulsion and ink manufacturers. Tell them what you are looking to do and ASK QUESTIONS!!! They are here to help. Their success depends on your success. Taking time to try stuff out will make you a better printer and help you understand the "why" things work the way they do.

Hope this helped!
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@Twisted Grafix

Yes it helped a lot. Thank you for the quick response. :)
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