Your squeegee can significantly impact your printing – ensure you’re using the right one for the job.
Some squeegees are harder. Some feel softer. Why is that? Squeegees have different durometers. Durometers measure the hardness of the blades, and Specific print jobs require harder or softer blades. Let’s learn about the different durometers, their uses, and how to maintain them.
The right tools are essential for a screen printing machine, and the squeegee is one of the most critical tools of screen printing equipment. Before purchasing a squeegee for your screen printing machine, consider some options. Moreover, it would help if you examined the effect of every option/variable on your print and then chose the best squeegee for your screen printing machine.
Examine the Shape:
You can find the tip of the squeegee has several shapes. Those are as follows:
- Being with shaped Square or Straight-edge squeegee: The most frequently used squeegee blades are more suitable for standard screen printing works.
- Being with shaped Round or ball-nose: Competent to print with the ink deposited heavily. As a result, it improves print on heavier substrates and prints better using special ink.
- Usually, Round – or ball-nose – squeegees are for printers that need a heavier deposit of ink, such as when printing on heavier substrates or with specialty inks.
- Beveled squeegees used for Printing curved or uneven substrates keep the quality to approach on one or both sides of the blade widely.
The durometer measures squeegee rigidity, and the higher durometer refers to the blade being harder. The harder squeegee blades shear the ink completely. On the other hand, a more substantial ink deposit by the softer squeegees is left behind.
Soft squeegees range durometer is 50 to 60. These are suitable for printing on heavy substrates, controlling fibrillation, or taking special ink without leaving rich ink deposited.
Medium hardness squeegees are 70 durometers and suitable for screen printing machines to perform general screen printing jobs.
Hard /ultra-hard squeegees have 80 to 90 durometers, leaving a lighter ink deposit. They are perfect with high mesh count screens when printing fine features or four-color process printing jobs.
On the other hand, composite squeegee blades with layers of various durometers are also not available. The printing edge keeps a lower durometer and has the quality to mold easily alongside the screen. On the contrary, a higher durometer layer possesses the strength to prevent the squeegee from bending and losing shape.
Natural rubber, neoprene, or polyurethane are the material to make Squeegees.
Conventionally natural rubber is used to make Squeegees. Rubber blades cost less than other squeegees, but they have lost popularity and utility as they absorb solvents and get a quick breakdown.
Purchase neoprene blades to be d by expending more than rubber but less expensive than polyurethane blades. For having the quality to oppose collapse better than the blades made of rubber, neoprene has achieved popularity in choosing squeegees.
Polyurethane is the most durable squeegee blade but is too expensive//. For printing jobs that require extensive time and printing by automatic or semiautomatic presses. Polyurethane blades are frequently used.
Mind it that you are to provide foremost contemplation for the squeegee handle of the screen printing machine. For the handle, you need both holding up better to the rigors of printing and feeling relaxed in your hand.
Wooden handles are a permanently favorite as they are tepid and contented in hand. Conversely, they as well soak up dampness and solvents. Swapping out squeegee blades is typically more complex, with handles made of wood.
You can clean plastic or aluminum handles, engaging easy effort, and swap out the blades with the easy and quick process. So, it is wise to find handles with a user-friendly design to feel comfortable in your hand.
Consider several options to select the proper squeegee for the printing equipment.
- About the width of Blade – The squeegee blade should make it bigger nearly one inch away from your artwork on every surface; on the other hand, the blade shouldn’t appear excessively close to the structure of your screen, as this could demolish the stress of the screen.
- Regarding the Blade condition, Squeegee blades could improve nicks or bends. Due to the screens’ scratchiness, they could be uninteresting in excess of time. Be sure your squeegee has been in fine form and out of warping or spoiling because this could hamper your print quality.
- Taking care of the squeegee – Blades could soak up dampness and solvents. No blade is to be kept in a mixture. You should clean blades promptly following the use and keep enough squeegee blades in stock so that you can turn your blades to provide each blade sufficient time to dry at the interval of the printing job.
Being a screen printer, you should first realize the impact of numerous reactions on your print, then select the exact squeegee for every screen printing job. Proper selection and needed care can become a positive aspect to help to enlighten your printing jobs done by your screen printing machine.
When you understand how each squeegee variable affects your print, you can choose the suitable squeegee for each screen printing machine and job. The suitable squeegee and the proper care for the squeegee will help you to improve your screen printing.
Learn more: How to Select the Right frame or Mesh for Screen Printing Machine?