There are some typical screen printing issues you may face as a screen printer. If you are a screen printer, ensure to handle those issues, so they don’t affect your productivity and business.
Maintaining color density is difficult in halftone printing. That is because proportional densities of the four process colors determine hues in this process. Several factors determining the amount of ink flowing through a particular screen can disrupt these proportions.
The most common cause is a varying level of platens that results in a change in the critical off-contact distance, which leads to a visible shift.
Screen printing is one of the easiest printing methods. Operating a screen printing machine requires minimum technical but some practical knowledge. Sometimes, printing quality may vary for many reasons. Every piece of screen printing machine has a considerable impact on the printing quality. So, any problem in any part of the printing materials seriously impacts the job’s outcome. For all these reasons, if any situation, even if it is a minor one, arises, fixing it as early as possible is very important. If you have screen printing machines or a screen-printing business, it is vital to have sufficient knowledge of the problems of your screen printing machine.
Adjusting the Screen Tension
The performance of a screen printing machine deteriorates with loose screens. Suppose the screens of your screen printing equipment get flexible to make them tighten with the help of an efficient person. Screens in tight conditions perform well. It is crucial to ensure that all screens perform simultaneously for a particular print function. The dissimilarity of screen tension causes the problem of registration.
So, check again and again to resolve this issue. Adjust the screen tension to maintain an equal tension level if any discrepancy is found. It ensures better output without any significant fluctuation of the quality.
Penetration of Ink into the Shirt
Generally happens due to excess pressure applied to the screen. The ink may be too thin, the squeegee may be too hard, or the fabric’s weave is excessively open, and this penetration happens. Check the pressure of the squeegee before every action. It’s advisable to set it at a minimum level. For more assurance, run some trial operations to observe the ink condition at the garment’s underside.
Solving the Problem of Over-Flashing
This problem is the ink dries on the screen. For this problem, the screen mesh’s open parts get clogged. Due to excessive heat during the printing process, this problem happens. The issue of overheating can solve by using proper off-contact. After the squeegee passes over the garment, the screen peels away from the print and thus maintains a minimum contact with the heated print.
It is the incidence of turning the white print into a color one. Usually, it happens on polyester or garments containing polyester-blend. Polyester garment dye gets released at a high curing temperature of the screen printer’s ink. Dye migration may occur this way- white ink turns pink on red fabric and gray on black fabric. So, avoid garments like camouflage fabrics that are excessively prone to dye migration. Ink selection is also essential to prevent dye migration. Low-bleed, low-cure under-base inks should be used. If you have no option of changing the garment prone to bleed, it is wise to use special gray or black blocking ink designed to absorb the dye.
Sudden Movement of the Garment During Screen Printing
If you start printing with a screen printing press and the garment on which you are printing starts moving midway through printing, the entire operation is seriously affected. It isn’t enjoyable. It is advisable to use special industrial adhesives that resist the unwanted movement of the garment. Some types of adhesives and water-based types are very suitable for use. They are less affected by the heat of the printing unit than other types.
Solving the Ink Deposition Issue
This issue hampers the quality of printing significantly. For manual screen printing, it is advisable to flood the screen before each printing as it pushes the ink into the area printed. Automatic screen printers do the flooding of the screen before each printing. If screens are not flooded, it will require applying excess pressure on the print stroke. Causes the penetration of ink into the fabric. So, loss of money, ink, and time will be the ultimate result.
Another trick for avoiding ink deposition is maintaining a sharp squeegee edge. It ensures a smooth release. The irregular edge of the squeegee affects its performance seriously. Use soft or squeegees whenever required depending upon your requirement. You can save the ink by adjusting the angle of the squeegee. Maintain consistent pressure to make the troubleshooting during a running printing operation easier.
Problem with Emulsion
Emulsion quality ensuring is another crucial issue of screen printing. Notice whether the bottom of the screen’s shirt side contains a thicker emulsion deposit. If not, confirm it. Different emulsions hold the ink during the pressure acting as a gasket and resisting the movement of ink. If ink moves unwantedly, then uneven edges may originate. The emulsion of thick type ensures an increased amount of opacity. In the absence of enough emulsion on the bottom of the screen during printing of fine details, distortion of the dots may happen. So, it is essential to ensure the quality and proper thickness of the emulsion to bring the desired quality by the screen printing machine.
What to do with the cured Prints?
Curing the ink is critical. Poor or improper curing may result in the disturbing quality of printing. The entire layer of ink needed to heal at the prescribed temperature for a sufficient period. Without maintaining time correctly, it is not possible to ensure adequate curing. It is wise to run the screen for one minute through a dryer at an appropriate temperature may ease the issue extensively.
So, we may conclude that the problems with a screen printing machine are not very complicated. The issues, unique or costly mechanisms are not required. Some little consciousness or tricks may solve the entire problem without spending money. But, it is essential to know the issues and locate the sources of a problem.
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