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Discussion Starter #1
hey ya'll

Ive got an issue with drying my stencils. Sometimes after I wash them out and hang them out to dry, the water/emulsion mix that is suppose to dry off runs back into the stencils and clogs the mesh back up. obviously an issue when its press time. What can I do to stop this?

For anyone that wants to know more about my specific process of drying this may help in a solution:

I use photopolymer emulsion with no trouble coating the screens. I let that dry. I then expose and typically the stencil gets washed out pretty easily. I then lay newsprint over both sides of the stencil, briefly, to dab up alot of the water. then I hang the screens horizontally in a rack with a fan blowing on them. dries in 30 min.

would it help to hang my drying screens vertically and let the water drip off you think?
 

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This sounds like a problem of underexposure. With proper exposure the emulsion crosslinks from the UV light. If this is a clear film that blocks the screen, more rinsing will probably help. God Bless.
 

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I usually postexpose my screens in the sun. Just 30 seconds of direct sunlight and the emulsion is completely crosslinked. But if you are underexposing, you may still have a clear slime from the emulsion to cover part of the image area. How are you calculating exposure time? Some type of exposure guide is almost a necessity. Do a seach on this forum for exposure calculator. There have been some very good posts in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
im going to add like 10 seconds to my exposure time, and then let the sun hit it after I wash the stencil out to see what happens. I dont think it is my screens being wet, I let them dry overnight.
 

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like someone else suggested blotting the image after washout helps remove the moisture from the edges of the stencil so you dont have the problem of underexposed emulsion draining back into the clear image area of the screen, then post harden.
 

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This doesn't help solve the root problem, but if you'll take some windex and spray the end of a q-tip and then rub the clogged areas with that, it helps to get the clogs out.You'll want to print through it a couple of times on a test shirt to make sure everything is opened up. Don't scrub it too hard though because you can break down the stencil edges. We've actually tried screen opener, but that wouldn't touch it. Windex was the thing that has worked for us consistently. That might actually save you from having to reburn a few screens. Hope that helps.

Oh, but definitely adjust your exposure times.
 

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i burn many screens each day. the problem sounds like under exposure. our exposure time stays the same, but sometimes we will have that happen. the side that is softer is always the side away from the light. what we do with every screen when we rinse to avoid any thing from running back in the image area is, run a standard window squeegee across both side followed by compressed air to dry out image area. it is amazing how soon you will be ready to block and tape when you are not waiting for that extra water to dry
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i burn many screens each day. the problem sounds like under exposure. our exposure time stays the same, but sometimes we will have that happen. the side that is softer is always the side away from the light. what we do with every screen when we rinse to avoid any thing from running back in the image area is, run a standard window squeegee across both side followed by compressed air to dry out image area. it is amazing how soon you will be ready to block and tape when you are not waiting for that extra water to dry
Ive never thought of the squeegee idea, I will have to try that.

I adjusted the exposure time up 10 seconds and found that it was just about as easy to wash the screen out, but had better results with the slime running back into the stencil. ill add another 5 and it will probably solve my issue. Ive had to reburn more than a couple of screens so this has really been helpful. thanks for all of the advice!
 

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Ive never thought of the squeegee idea, I will have to try that.

I adjusted the exposure time up 10 seconds and found that it was just about as easy to wash the screen out, but had better results with the slime running back into the stencil. ill add another 5 and it will probably solve my issue. Ive had to reburn more than a couple of screens so this has really been helpful. thanks for all of the advice!

when the burn time is corrected, it will also make them reclaim easier
 

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Discussion Starter #16
when the burn time is corrected, it will also make them reclaim easier
This just gets better and better! Next you guys will say that exposing the screens properly will bring the mayor to my house and give me the key to the city! Lol, just joking man, thats reallly good to know. Thanks.
 
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