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Discuss water base and discharge screen printing inks and curing methods. Share tips on getting the best results with the different ink manufacturers.



Intro to water based printing?

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Old January 25th, 2011 Jan 25, 2011 4:00:44 AM -   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Too much pigment or not enough heat energy and you lose pigment

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardGreaves
Unmodified, water-based inks from a commercial manufacturer have a specific ratio of resin to pigment. If there is more pigment than the resin can hold on the shirt, no amount of heat will make it stay, pigment will wash off like powdered sugar on a donut.

If heat doesn't move through the ink film and also heat the shirt - AND pigment is lost in the laundry, you didn't completely cure the ink.

Loss of pigment would be
proof of inadequate cure.





In April 2010 I posted a list of water-based articles

Water-Based Homework
https://www.t-shirtforums.com/screen-...tml#post673597

The problem is that even properly cured inks, let's say brand X yellow on Brand Y underbase, may wash out. Not all will but the chances are quite high.

As to the waterbase articles, yes, I've read those earlier from your post. Unless I miss or forgot some portions, then waterbase inks in the US are something like the Tulco Opaque or True Color(no webpage) inks which are often used as-is except when mixing colors or adding fixer/binders.

Many people here also use the above brand but they're said to be notorious for "incompatibility" with other brands or a likely washout when used on top of another brand of underbase - even when fully cured. Actually all inks have this problem but if you mix the white of the top colors with the underbase, that top color has a better chance of not washing out(compared to tulco).

For people(like me) who are aware of this, we just accept the golden mixing rule to avoid problems. But local threads contains many posts by people who are not aware of the need to mix white ink having the same brand or series as the top coat, into the underbase, and have encountered the washout problem. And curing is not the problem.

Just for sharing: Majority of waterbase printers here prefer mixing a more opaque superwhite/white ink with a Wetlook/Neutral/Clear ink. More wetlook gives more glossiness, transparency and color while more superwhite results in more opacity and gives a matte finish. Some printers have their own preferred ratio to achieve different glossiness or opacity.




Last edited by BroJames; January 25th, 2011 at 04:18 AM..
 
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Old January 25th, 2011 Jan 25, 2011 8:04:45 AM -   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Too much pigment or not enough heat energy and you lose pigment

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroJames
The problem is that even properly cured inks, let's say brand X yellow on Brand Y underbase, may wash out. Not all will but the chances are quite high.
Mr Greaves is correct Angel, if you're inks are washing out they are not fully cured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroJames
As to the waterbase articles, yes, I've read those earlier from your post. Unless I miss or forgot some portions, then waterbase inks in the US are something like the Tulco Opaque or True Color(no webpage) inks which are often used as-is except when mixing colors or adding fixer/binders.
Most of the water based inks we've tested, beta tested, and produced with have additives in addition to the pigments to keep them wet, to keep screens from drying, and for maximum penetration and discharge when applicable. We mix all inks from a base, and 99% of the time with pigments, wetting agents, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroJames
Many people here also use the above brand but they're said to be notorious for "incompatibility" with other brands or a likely washout when used on top of another brand of underbase - even when fully cured. Actually all inks have this problem but if you mix the white of the top colors with the underbase, that top color has a better chance of not washing out(compared to tulco).
I have not had the same results on this topic either, all inks actually do not have this problem. We use a Matsui base and Rutland pigments and have never had a problem as described as above, in fact, the reason why we mix up the base and the pigments is because we found this to yield superior results in both opacity and color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroJames
For people(like me) who are aware of this, we just accept the golden mixing rule to avoid problems. But local threads contains many posts by people who are not aware of the need to mix white ink having the same brand or series as the top coat, into the underbase, and have encountered the washout problem. And curing is not the problem.
I really hope you don't think I am singling you out Angel, I just want to be certain that other forum members are getting accurate information, or at least a different take on the information you are providing from a shop that has had completely different experiences than yours.

You can mix up manufacturers and mixing systems when mixing white inks. We do it.

In almost any situation, it is not absolutely necessary to use an underbase when printing with discharged water based inks. It can be done, but it is not necessary.

Curing is absolutely the issue if your inks are washing out.
 
Old January 25th, 2011 Jan 25, 2011 8:58:14 AM -   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: Too much pigment or not enough heat energy and you lose pigment

Dan and the gang at Forward Printing printed Murakami Screen USA's show shirts for the ISS Show in Long Beach this past weekend. I will post a photo of one here shortly after we unpack from the show. They have achieved a pure white print with absolutely no 'hand' to the ink.

Thanks Dan, Kevin, and all at Forward for this great print. They did the research, engineered their own mix, and produced one of the finest Discharge prints I've ever seen, and I've been doing this for 30 years.
I'll post the photo shortly.

One thing about curing discharge for companies that have only a short electric oven. You can dry the ink through your oven partially, and then complete the discharge process in a heat transfer machine. Put a piece of Teflon or shirt fabric over the image and experiment with time and temp to achieve the full color change of your discharge ink.

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Old January 25th, 2011 Jan 25, 2011 10:29:12 AM -   #34 (permalink)
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Default How does ink know it's on the bottom

Angel,

Just because we haven't experienced your symptoms doesn't mean it isn't happening to you.

You have found an answer when you "mix the white of the top colors with the underbase, that top color has a better chance of not washing out(compared to tulco).

Dan K and pioneers like Charlie Leach from Pavonine have been showing the world for 30 years how to print light colors on darks with soft hand, which means they don't use base under final colors.

How does "brand X yellow on Brand Y underbase" know it was mixed with inferior competitors products or that yellow is the surface layer?

If you are using white (no product named) as a top color, what are you using as a base? White ink that reflects infra-red energy may slow down your cure so the two layers can mix.

As long as you hide the actual products we can't actually duplicate your problem.


If the individual inks cure separately, but when they mix somehow reject each other I would expect you would see mottling or marbling, but they would still cure.

If your combo "may" washout, the variable isn't the ink - but the cure. How do you 'know' the ink is cured?

If the top layer peels off the base it sounds just like the plastisol mistake of flashing base ink on the platen above gelling temperature and the inks never get a chance to bond when un-cured. The top layer can peel off the base even if both are completely cured.

Are you flashing water-based inks like they were plastisols?

Plastisol Rules Do not Apply
Flashing works very well with plastisol, but the principles of printing an image on dark garments with water-based inks is vastly different compared to "100% solids" plastisol where nothing evaporates.

Water-based inks do not lend themselves to fill in the shirt holes with an ink deposit film because 80% of the ink (water & additives), evaporates and the wet film thickness shrinks to 20% solids at best and takes on the texture of your shirt fabric.

High opacity water-base inks can produce a matte, cloth like finish by coloring individual knit threads, not the air space between them by welding them together with a smooth surface film.
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Old January 25th, 2011 Jan 25, 2011 1:50:04 PM -   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: How does ink know it's on the bottom

Here are the photos of the 100% Discharge Print done by Forward Screenprinting that I promised to post.
The white is fabric soft and brilliant. The detailed banzai tree is also a work of art. Thanks again to the crew at Forward Screenprinting, you made our day!

You can send me an email if you would like the high resolution versions of these photos.

Curing of waterbase and discharge requires stong air flow at adequate temperature, often for 1.5-2 minutes in a gas fired oven. For optimum cure all water must be evaporated from the ink. Once you experience a successful waterbase/discharge run going back to plastisol will be tough. the softhand and brilliant colors achieved in their print was a combination of their dedication to experimenting with their inks, chosing the right mesh counts, and engineering the print to print nonstop. The white around the tree has a 55 line halftone and is as bright as any plastisol white could be.

Thanks again to Forward Screenprinting, destined to be a Golden Squeegee Award company in my opinion.


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Old January 25th, 2011 Jan 25, 2011 2:00:44 PM -   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

Holy moly. Thank you Alan, I did not expect this. It was excellent to meet you [again?] this weekend!
 
Old January 25th, 2011 Jan 25, 2011 8:49:47 PM -   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

Dan, Greaves, and others. There is no doubt that improperly cured inks will wash off. What seems puzzling even to us is the "properly" cured inks washing out. I say properly because washout is not a problem with inks of the same brand/series. Specifically an upper coat on top of an underbase of different brand or even same brand but different series.

How do I know the inks are properly cured? I don't as I did not cure them. But again, they happen only to inks of different brands and not of the same brand. Not all will but there is that possibility. Time and again, newbies have unknowingly encountered this problem.

The reason why I mentioned tulco, which is specific, is that their inks are notorious in this regard, incompatibility with other brands and even their own "brand" but different series. Aside from that, I cannot say anything from first hand experience because as posted, people who are aware of this do not apply different brand or series of inks on top of another brand/series. Many old time printers have tried them with unfavorable results.

As to curing, for the same reason above, I cannot speak for others that they were properly cured so maybe I need to change my statement here. When I was still using predominantly tulco inks, a number of printers who have used or are still currently usi9ng them advised against mixing it on top of other brands/series. Top coats of one series(tulco RC series, their opaque inks as I recall from one) applied on a tulco superwhite underbase(RC series) washed out. Both underwent the same curing process that they have been using with all their prints.

If both ink mixes underwent the same curing process and one washes out, can't we equally suspect that the variable may be the ink?

Now, to elaborate on my statement that inks of the same brand will not wash out. In many cases, it will. This may seem like a contradictory statement but as I mentioned earlier, the various brands of ink we use here has at least 2 types. A transparent wetlook(clear or neutral) and an opaque superwhite or simply white. As a practice,we do not just apply a, for example tulco wetlook, on top od a tulco superwhite. You mix the superwhite with some white wetlook or better, your top coat is also a mix of superwhite + wetlook. Otherwise, there is a good chance it will wash out whatever the brand.

I am wondering that since you do not have a superwhite or wetlook (or whatever they're called), could your inks already be a pre-mix of these two inks?

Dan, I've used Dainippon pigments on different brands of bases. The problem is not the pigment but the inks of different brands. For example, Matsui colored inks on Rutland underbase.

BTW, adding fixers does not prevent the washout.

I hope I am not sounding too insistent. I am not. I just hope to find the reason why as I use waterbase inks and understanding why or solving the puzzle would be of interest.

On duplicating the problem, it is not isolated to certain ink brands. To anyone who wish to try, just use a different brand of top coat on a different brand of underbase. Not all will washout but the chances of it happening is there.

This washout is not just an urban legend because many printers have tried it and learned the hard way. Just seems senseless in view of the overwhelming advice of printer's who have actually tried it. Nevertheless, I am thinking of putting this "puzzle", urban legend or not, to test.

One last thing. How many waterbase users use fixers or fixing agents?

Thanks for those who replied.




Last edited by BroJames; January 25th, 2011 at 09:37 PM..
 
Old January 26th, 2011 Jan 26, 2011 8:58:27 AM -   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

Hello Angel,

No doubt you are having issues with your inks. Its hard to pinpoint why since I've never used the brand you mention. Here is just how I look at both waterbase and discharge printing, curing and analysis:

Discharge - I never underbase. All art is separated 'butt to butt' with no overlap unless I want some colors to mix wet on to wet for secondary colors. Anytime I have put a discharge underbase down and discharge on top, the colors do not come out as vibrant. I prefer to use the pigment of the ink for color, and as stated here too much will not bind properly no matter how much I cure it.

The only time I use a base is if I am placing plastisol over a discharge base to achieve a soft hand. No wash issues here, but curing can be a challenge in a small oven.

Waterbase: Same as Discharge, separations are butt to butt, unless I want to overlay and allow the colors to mix during the print process wet onto wet.

The discharge print on inexpensive dark garments can be back dyed by the shirt dye. Black and navy shirts that have not be completely rinsed in fabric manufacturing can cause the print to be duller after washing. Not as much an issue on waterbase since it is printed on lighter grounds. In the near future Acrylic Waterbase inks will be the rage. They print like waterbase, have incredible soft hand, and opacity equal or greater than plastisol.

Fibrillation is my biggest enemy with waterbase, or discharge to a lesser extent. If you print with fine meshes above 180 the print may look fine, but after washing the fibers in the shirt stand up and lessen the amount of color. Saturation of the fabric using S mesh with more open area, or lower mesh counts for solid areas can fix this, but not eliminate the issue on fuzzy ring spun shirts with longer fibers.

Fabric weight also plays a part in how well a shirt discharges. A 4.8oz 24 singles fabric is much easier to create detailed discharge than a 6.1 oz Ring Spun 14 or 18 singles weave. The 4.8 can use finer mesh with less ink laydown than the 6.1 oz.

In my exeperience a 20 ft gas fired oven is needed to handle the load of 1-2 auto presses since the shirts need to cure for 1.5-2 minutes. When your shirts come out of the oven rub the printed portion onto a white piece of fabric. If you see color transfer your oven temp/time is out of whack. Slow the belt down, make sure you have fresh filters, and the oven is maintained for maximum airflow. No pellons stuck in the blower area, all jets free of clumps of shirt fibers, your flame in the inspection window is blue not yellow.

If you are using an electric oven with limited air circulation you can create a print that feels dry, but in reality not all binder is cross linked, not all water is completely evaporated from ink film. You can post cure in a transfer press, but this needs to be done immediately as it comes out of the oven and is only a fix not a good long term solution.

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Old January 27th, 2011 Jan 27, 2011 3:38:34 AM -   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Buffington
Hello Angel,

No doubt you are having issues with your inks. ...
Fortunately NO, I'm not. I do not print different brands of ink on top of another brand.

I am really surprised oh how different our use of waterbase inks are. I really thought they are the same.

As to curing, again note these 2 links to the wetlook and superwhite inks that are the backbone of most waterbase printers here.

TULCO Superwhite Rubberized Textile Ink
TULCO Wetlook Rubberized Textile Ink

Note the recommended curing temp and time under Curhing Method in the above link. It reads:

15 seconds or more with a heat press or flat iron at 130º
C-150ºC


Also note the recommended curing temp and time of the following link of an ink which is recommended for use without an underbase. They're the same as above.
TULCO Opaque Rubberized Textile Ink

Again, inks of same brands or series, of which the inks in the above links have two. A RC(local) series and SH(imported) series. Mix the same series and inks won;t washoff. Mix different series and they washoff. Same curing time and method.

Could some kind of "fast cure" additive be added to these inks? I think the longer drying evo inks(japan) I use more often now is a little similar th\o the inks you are using in terms of curing.

Are fixers or fixing agents commonly used in the US?



 
Old January 27th, 2011 Jan 27, 2011 8:19:14 AM -   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

Hello again Angel,

The inks were very helpful to understand your 'type' of water base ink. The key word in their description is 'rubberized' which means your inks are a lot like our friend Mark Gervais at Ngimbo in China where their waterbase is an acrylic version. This waterbase ink system is far different from what is used in the states, and probably much better in terms of opacity. The inks and methods I have described are for transparent water based inks with no opacity at all, or discharge. So it seems your ink system prints more like plastisol in terms of flash, base plates and overprints, but has a water base carrier and is a form of waterbase ink. Matsui 301 seems similar in nature. Thanks for the links, very interesting ink.

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Old January 27th, 2011 Jan 27, 2011 8:41:54 PM -   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

Yes, the rubberize inks seems to be one thing that contribute to the differences of our inks. Although other brand of wetlook/superwhite that are not rubberize ink have low viscosity too. Or maybe they're just not sold as rubberize.So how are your high opacity waterbase inks?

On transparent inks, I'll try taking some video of process waterbase inks. Maybe I also took the words watery and runny too literally.



 
Old February 3rd, 2011 Feb 3, 2011 9:01:28 AM -   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

I fell off this thread. Angel, it does sound like you are using one of the water based inks that behave more like plastisol when printed but clean up like the water based inks I mention. When I talk of water based and discharge inks (i don't believe discharge applies, or is used, when printing with the acrylic based and rubberized water based inks) I am speaking of completely different inks. The acrylic and rubberized inks behave somewhat like plastisol on press, where the inks we are printing result in absolutely no hand at all, we are essentially redying the fibers in the garments rather than printing ink on top of the fabric surface. Alan's posts are very helpful.
 
Old February 3rd, 2011 Feb 3, 2011 11:22:58 PM -   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

That is what I want to understand more, the differences in the waterbase inks we are using.

When you said, "When I talk of water based ...I am speaking of completely different inks." what inks are you referring to or what brand?

Just for reference, these are not rubberize ink but CMYK process inks sold under the aquasoft label here.

Source: TULCO Aquasoft Textile Ink

This is a white underbase for process colors. See under AVAILABLE BASE in the above link. Even ater 10 seconds in inverted position, the ink does not show signs of falling out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCufL..._order&list=UL

This is a process yellow. Also thick bodied.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKlgrBKjzsc

This is a process black. It is much more viscous and will fall out of the container if inverted for a few seconds. Still not watery.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEESyI9faN0




Last edited by BroJames; February 3rd, 2011 at 11:30 PM..
 
Old February 4th, 2011 Feb 4, 2011 12:19:10 PM -   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

We're still using Matsui discharge bright base and Rutland pigments.
 
Old February 18th, 2011 Feb 18, 2011 3:31:34 AM -   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intro to water based printing?

I would like to thank Alan, Dan, and Richard for your patience in answering my questions and in explaining the curing characteristic of the inks you use. I would also like to thank Bill Hood who took time to help answer my questions. Here is an excerpt:

Quote:
Tulco distributes inks that are formulated using chemicals from Dianippon, who is a world leader in the manufacturing of colorants and chemicals for the textile industry.

The confusion may be interpretation. These are two different inks, one(WETLOOK or CLEAR or NEUTRAL) being transparent, acrylic ink and the other(SUPERWHITE or WHITE) an opaque ink that does not appear to be an acrylic. They must be formulated different to achieve the transparency and/or opaqueness. This is a fact that must be of concern. Dianippon states on their website that users should avoid intermixing and overlapping different ink series. This statement alone should warn you that the inks are not the same, nor or they compatible.

The ingredient that makes these ink cure at a much lower temperature is the acrylic resins and rubber, both of which cure/bind at a lower temperature in comparison to other resins. Acrylic resins and rubber are available in a wide range of melting points.
.

It is now evident that the waterbase inks we use here are different than the waterbase used in the US and in some other countries. It seems that the faster curing(and faster clogging) inks found a market here as many printers use line table system where clogging problems would be less. The longer curing inks you have is better suited for the rotary or carousel press common in the US.

Your inks also have a different formulation combining the features of an opaque ink (superwhite) and a transparent ink (wetlook) whereas we, either due to our cheaper labor costs or to keep the price of inks here lower, have to mix them. I am not really sure about the later though.



 






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