December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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62 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 the screen from the dip tank, take the fol- lowing steps to ensure that the screen is as clean as possible: 1. Thoroughly rinse the frame. This is a step which many printers miss and pay for later. Any residual chemicals remaining on the frame will inevitably drip onto the mesh, resulting in stencil contamination during coating. 2. Start at the top left or right corner of the screen and pressure wash across the screen in a circular motion with the intent of driving the chemistry, stencil, and contaminates down the screen as you go. 3. Repeat step one. 4. Rotate the screen and repeat steps one through three. GHOST IMAGES Should you not remove all possible con- taminates from the mesh, some issues may occur, such as ghosting. Ghost images are the product of trapped residual ink particles within the knuckles of the mesh. Depending on the quality of the screen, this can occur on a short or long production run. The objective of a proper screen-reclamation process is to eliminate the residual ghost image to minimize print- ing issues in the future. The greatest threat that ghost images pose is the obstruction of proper ink flow through the current image area. The result here can be larger image areas appearing lighter where the ghost image resides. One key to minimizing ghost images is to utilize high-tension screens. Lower- tensioned screens will not reclaim as easily. SCREEN RECLAIMING TIPS Shown here is the result of residual chemistry left on the screen prior to coating leaving possible breakdown points on the screen. (Image courtesy the author)

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