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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.



trouble with printing white water base ink

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Old December 21st, 2014 Dec 21, 2014 3:18:30 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default trouble with printing white water base ink

I'm new to the screen printing world. any help/tips would be appreciated and thank you for the help/feedback. I have not been able to find a consistency in being able to print with white water base ink. with other waterbase ink's like black I have been able to print with them since its really watery/runny.

I am using a manual press 2 color one station, a 70 durometer squeegee, I am using spray adhesive for the shirts to stick to the platen board (even heat them up so glue can be more sticky), I am coating my screens which are 156 with macdermid plus 6000. I have my screen set up so it is 1/8 of an inch away from the platen board and I even put a washer at the end to make sure it stays consistent. The inks I have been using are green galaxy's comet white water base ink ( from ryonet) and permaset opaque white (which I bought from mclogans). Before I even put it on the screen I like to stir/mix it around. I live in los Angeles so weather isn't to bad to use this ink.

I was thinking and next thing I was going to do in a different container to add/mix the white ink and a little bit of water to make it thinner. I don't mind if I have to do extra passes so the shirt wont show. I just want to be able to print using white ink. Has anyone tried this? what are the results of doing this?

I am able to print out 1-3 shirts at the most at times that come out good/decent or not even being able to get one shirt done. the other problems I run into with the shirts are shirt's will lack ink on the shirt, ink not getting on to the shirt in some spots when I make a pass and the screen getting stuck with the shirt.

I have tried a variety of things to be able to succeed but still not able to have that consistency. I have done pull and push strokes but mainly using pull strokes. I feel one of my problems is not knowing how to properly have the pressure for the stroke and the proper angle for the squeegee. I have tried hard and soft pressures and just can not find the right way to print. sometimes when I do a semi-hard stroke the screens gets stuck to the shirt and sometimes it does not.

if it comes out right at times I usually have a spot where it missed ink or lack of ink and ill dry using my heat gun and then do another pass to hopefully get that spot it missed.
2 passes then dry and another two passes is what I do if it gets to this point.

I do have a flash dryer but not enough room to be able to use it to dry my shirts and print at the same time.



any questions or info that will further help please let me know.

thanks -ZPM-

Last edited by ZPM; December 21st, 2014 at 03:28 PM..
 
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Old December 26th, 2014 Dec 26, 2014 9:15:14 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

Water based no off contact
 
Old December 26th, 2014 Dec 26, 2014 9:19:13 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

OK flood before you print so flood - print - flood since the patches are where the ink is drying in the mesh.

Load more ink in your screen but first ensure that you have mixed the ink until it is nice and creamy then load ink and flood the screen with ink covering the design, do your stroke no off contact with water based and flood again always keeping the design in the screen covered with ink.
 
 
Old December 26th, 2014 Dec 26, 2014 9:22:20 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

If you have ink drying in the screen due to printing to slow or not good flooding etc. Have a scrap piece of material on a separate platen and do a few strokes to force the ink through the mesh flood and carry on printing.
 
Old December 28th, 2014 Dec 28, 2014 9:39:26 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

Off-contact/on-contact is all about preference really. I prefer a bit of off contact.

You need to DRIVE wb ink INTO the shirt. Not lay it on top like a plastisol. So..press harder.

I'm in L.A. too and it CAN be tough to print WB here. But with practice and patience you figure it out.

Try adding a bit of water to the ink bucket and giving it a good stir. If the ink is sticking to your ink knife - then it IS going to stick to your squeegee which is going to make flooding much more difficult. ESPECIALLY with high opacity WB inks. Yes, I use PermaSet SC white and Comet White. And many other PS supercover colors as well.

I print pretty much exclusively now with High Opacity WB inks. You are pretty much going to have to do TWO passes on every print on a dark tee. Print/FLASH/Print.

If you do not get even coverage on the first pass, then you need to hit it again. WB is not as forgiving as plastisol, where you can just hit it again to "fill in" any areas.

And you need to flash it before the second pass, that could be one of the reasons why the screen is sticking.
 
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Old January 19th, 2015 Jan 19, 2015 11:07:07 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopharry
Off-contact/on-contact is all about preference really. I prefer a bit of off contact.

You need to DRIVE wb ink INTO the shirt. Not lay it on top like a plastisol. So..press harder.

I'm in L.A. too and it CAN be tough to print WB here. But with practice and patience you figure it out.

Try adding a bit of water to the ink bucket and giving it a good stir. If the ink is sticking to your ink knife - then it IS going to stick to your squeegee which is going to make flooding much more difficult. ESPECIALLY with high opacity WB inks. Yes, I use PermaSet SC white and Comet White. And many other PS supercover colors as well.

I print pretty much exclusively now with High Opacity WB inks. You are pretty much going to have to do TWO passes on every print on a dark tee. Print/FLASH/Print.

If you do not get even coverage on the first pass, then you need to hit it again. WB is not as forgiving as plastisol, where you can just hit it again to "fill in" any areas.

And you need to flash it before the second pass, that could be one of the reasons why the screen is sticking.

How do you find the Comet white compared to a plastisol white? I bought a gallon of Comet and I am disappointed.

Do you ever print Comet white on black shirts?
 
Old January 20th, 2015 Jan 20, 2015 8:16:23 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillaKeem
How do you find the Comet white compared to a plastisol white? I bought a gallon of Comet and I am disappointed.

Do you ever print Comet white on black shirts?
I pretty much print all WB on NOTHING but black tees, tanks, raglans, and hoodies. If I offer a print in a variety of shirt colors on my site, people choose black 99% of the time.

What did you not like about Comet White? PermaSet is superior to it IMHO. But Comet White works well for hoodies. It also stays wetter in the screen.

It has very little hand, but what hand there is, sort of has a different feel than PermaSet.

In comparison to straight up plastisol, there's really no comparison IMHO, I like it much better. I'm done with plastisols unless I get a custom order for a shirt and they insist on it. But I only do like 2 custom jobs a year. Just not enough time running my "brand" and then also doing custom jobs. I don't like haggling either, and I especially don't put up with being lowballed.

With either ink (permaset or comet white) you should be getting great coverage with a print/flash/hit. In my eyes it covers better than plastisol.

Have you been printing water-based long? Or is Comet White your first WB ink?
 
Old January 20th, 2015 Jan 20, 2015 5:08:18 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopharry
I pretty much print all WB on NOTHING but black tees, tanks, raglans, and hoodies. If I offer a print in a variety of shirt colors on my site, people choose black 99% of the time.

What did you not like about Comet White? PermaSet is superior to it IMHO. But Comet White works well for hoodies. It also stays wetter in the screen.

It has very little hand, but what hand there is, sort of has a different feel than PermaSet.

In comparison to straight up plastisol, there's really no comparison IMHO, I like it much better. I'm done with plastisols unless I get a custom order for a shirt and they insist on it. But I only do like 2 custom jobs a year. Just not enough time running my "brand" and then also doing custom jobs. I don't like haggling either, and I especially don't put up with being lowballed.

With either ink (permaset or comet white) you should be getting great coverage with a print/flash/hit. In my eyes it covers better than plastisol.

Have you been printing water-based long? Or is Comet White your first WB ink?
wow, its impressive that you exclusively print wb on black garments. I've been printing with wb for almost a year now. I had a pint of Enviroline white that I was dickin around white and thought it was decent, so i bought some Comet White.

The Comet White seems to crack more frequently in comparison to white plastisol, but I most likely need to cure it for longer.

Also, Comet whit has the same characteristics as plastisol.. it lays on top on the garment instead of sinking into the shirt and dying the fibers.

I understand that white ink has alot more pigment in it.. meaning its thicker. but if the whit ink was thinner, there would be no way it could dye the black fibers or the shirt..

Maybe I just don't understand how to print white wb ink on black/darks shirts correctly... If I print white plastisol on black, I have no problem...If I print white wb on black, I want to give up screen printing and run out into traffic.
 
Old January 20th, 2015 Jan 20, 2015 5:35:34 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

You must not be curing it correctly, because I don't have it crack. I mean, I've had test prints crack but it was because of cure time. 320 for 2 minutes on the conveyor, or cheat it a bit at 360 for 90 seconds.

Also, it SHOULD be dying the fibers. You have to drive it down into the shirt. It shouldn't be laying on top like a plastisol at all.

Also, you CAN thin it down a bit and it won't lose opacity at all. You just have to experiment with how much water you add. If you add too much it'll get weird.

But the end result shouldn't be anything like a plastisol print at all. It should be driven down into the garment and after the cure it's like any other WB print. I don't find it much different than printing any other WB ink, like say a black WB ink. Of course it is thicker. But I print them both the same way. Try printing it HARDER when you are doing it. It might just take a bit of adjusting to get the right results.
 
Old February 9th, 2015 Feb 9, 2015 9:26:23 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

Ok, I will try driving the ink into the shirt more.

I was made a few test prints the other night and they are starting to come out better and the hand is awesome.

I believe in curing them correctly. I turn down my belt speed and lower the temp.

Most of the prints were still cracking after my stretch test. They arnt cracking after the wash test so I know I'm curing the ink correctly.

When I stretch test, the shirt fibers pull apart and I can watch the ink "crack " or "pull apart". Once this happens, the black of the shirt beneath the ink is exposed. The print still looks good, until it's stretched. the slightest pull exposes the black. Even the shirt folded, it separates the fibers and you see vertical pin striping.

Now this didn't happen with every print. Some prints were 90% perfect with some vertical pin striping in random spots, or near edges.


I was p/f/p-ing with the above results. Even pfpfp-ing on a couple of the tests.

Now my question is, how many strokes are you making before flashing?

First I would flood, push stroke, clear screen, flash, repeat. Then I tried multiple flood/push strokes before flashing to get a lot of ink into the shirt before flashing. It seemed to work better for my coverage, but it doesn't seem very time efficient printing with so many strokes vs. 1 stroke, flash, 1 stroke.
 
Old February 10th, 2015 Feb 10, 2015 7:17:06 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

1. Before you stretch test the print, let it cool a bit, Meaning, if you pull a piping hot shirt off the conveyor and immediately stretch test it, you MIGHT see some cracking. Set it aside for a bit till it's normal temp, let the print cool and then try it. I've seen a HOT shirt crack. Dunno why that is. I mean I think I know. The print - and whatever is in the ink - probably needs a bit of cool down time with high opacity WB inks to cool and "bond" is my guess.

2. How hard are you pulling the garment in order to get it to crack? It sounds almost like you're stretching it like crazy to the point where it will crack no matter what? I always find cracks can happen around the top and the 4 corners. The cracking at the top made no sense, only way I could figure was it was because of the way I was laying the garment on the belt. So I make sure to lay all garment FLAT on the belt. Hoodies are a bit tougher because of the hood - of course. You only need to gently stretch with your thumbs in areas of the print it to see it crack - if it will. If you stretch it as far as your arms can reach, you might get cracking no matter what ink you're using.

3: I've never seen a print crack so much that it leaves the shirt exposed underneath. So either you are stretching too hard. It's still not curing correctly. Or, you are not driving the ink DOWN INTO the garment enough. If you're coming from plastisol, this may be the "hardest" thing to re-teach yourself. Luckily, for me, it wasn't that hard, I always drove plastisol the same way on the first hit anyway to matt down the fibers. Hit it HARD and you will learn how to work it. After I cure a tee, the print looks like it was almost "embossed" or "sunken down" down into the fibers. If that makes sense.

4: As far as p/f/p etc. Again, if you you're coming from plastisol, you can always cheat a plastisol print if you don't get even coverage on the first hit before the flash. Just "fill it in" on the second pass. WB - not so much. You want to make sure your "base coat" is consistent. Sometimes, you MIGHT have to hit it another time before you flash it. That can be due to a number of variables. But most likely it's because you just have to learn and figure out how exactly to work with the ink you're using. And that part usually is learned by repetition.
 
Old March 29th, 2015 Mar 29, 2015 6:43:49 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

I'm doing some research into wb and thinking of trying it. Something I'm unsure about and that's talked about here is curing. I have a workhorse odyssey conveyor dryer. I cannot control temperature , only speed. Is this going to be a problem when curing? I'm thinking and worried about scorching the shirt when it's in the dryer for 90 - 120 seconds. With plastisol now if I don't have the speed right it can get pretty toasty.
 
Old March 30th, 2015 Mar 30, 2015 7:48:08 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

If you can raise and lower the heater element, that's the other trick to tweaking the temperatures if you don't have a temperature control I guess.

Matter of fact, I do very few plastisol prints. But I do a couple. Although my dryer does have a temp control, I rarely adjust it much after I set it at the beginning of the day. If I need to print any orders with a plastisol print (I still have a couple designs that use plastisols) then I merely lower the heating element and speed up the belt. When I switch back to WB, I raise the element and lower the belt belt speed.
 
Old March 30th, 2015 Mar 30, 2015 8:56:38 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

I don't believe I can raise or lower the element. Its a pretty entry level dryer. What I'm thinking I'll have to do is fully open the heat panels at both ends and have a fan blowing through it to help keep the temp down and wb to cure. I'm probably going to get Ryonets green galaxy comet white and black to start, then get the warp cure that allows it to cure at a lower temp. I had a chance to get a vastex dryer for under 1k but didnt pull the trigger. Wish I would have now.
 
Old March 30th, 2015 Mar 30, 2015 9:21:54 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: trouble with printing white water base ink

Well, where there's a will- there's a way. I used to cure WB on a little Vastex D100. It was a PITA and took a lot of time. But I did it. Although it did have a temp control and you can raise/lower the element.

Point being - you can do it, you just have to figure out how. There's plenty of others who don't even have a conveyor that are curing WB. Now, how much production you do, and how badly it slows you down is another thing.

If it's gonna be a real time consuming thing, you may want to flash them dry - not even turn on the conveyor - and stack them. When you're done printing, turn on the conveyor and batch cure them - one after another. You may not need to do that though. That's how I did it with the D100.

The Ryonet WB inks are good. I've never used the warp drive personally so I'm not sure how it would affect things. For most dark stuff, especially 50/50 I use Supercover. Only thing I would use warp drive for is 50/50 and the Supercover needs no additives for that. Plus many more high opacity colors.
 






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