To get a solid stencil, printers need to use a high-quality emulsion. The screen printing market is saturated with all kinds of emulsions. With three options, Baselayr makes emulsion simple. One of those options is Baselayr Long Lasting Emulsion. To learn more about why a screen printer would use this emulsion, the inks it can handle, coating tips, and dialing in exposure times, continue reading.
WHY USE IT
Baselayr Long Lasting is a high-quality, high solids emulsion. It’s easier to expose and faster to burn compared to other diazo-mixed emulsions. If exposed correctly, the stencil rinses out quickly, and reclaiming is painless. It’s a durable emulsion that stands throughout water-based or discharge ink runs. No matter the ink the printer is using, the stencil will hold all details throughout production.
One of the best features of Baselayr Long Lasting Emulsion is its forgiveness. If a printer is working in a darkroom that isn’t life-safe, using an exposure unit with a weak light source or learning how to coat and burn screens, Baselayr Long Lasting is the best emulsion to help achieve great results.
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INKS THE EMULSION CAN HANDLE
- Water-based ink
- Plastisol ink
- Discharge ink
TIPS ON COATING SCREENS
The type of ink will determine how to coat a screen. Thinner inks like water-based ink need either a 1x1 (one coat on the t-shirt side of the screen, one coat on the squeegee side) coat or a 2x1 coat.
When printing thicker inks like plastisol ink, the mesh count will also factor into the coating strategy. For mesh counts below 230, a 1x2 or 2x2 coat works. For mesh counts higher than 230, 1x1 or 2x1 coats are a better choice.
In the end, coating techniques drill down to the type of ink a printer is using, the design needs, and what works best for production. If a printer tries something new, test before running production.
FIGURING OUT EXPOSURE TIMES
When implementing a new tool or supply, printers need to test it out before running production. Not only does a printer need to learn the nuances of the new supply and how it works with their tools in their environment, but they also need to see how other factors may affect the end result. Stencil thickness, mesh color, mesh count, the moisture content in the screen, quality of exposure unit, etc. will affect exposure times.
Luckily, there are guidelines that can help decipher exposure times. The following factors are what printers should consider when selecting exposure times:
- Low mesh counts=longer exposure time
- High mesh counts=faster exposure time
- Yellow mesh=longer exposure time (produces more detail resolution)
- White mesh=faster exposure time
- Thick stencils=longer exposure time
- Thin stencils=faster exposure time
- Coated screens with moisture will lead to under-exposure, making it difficult to rinse out the image.
- Coated screens with little to no moisture will lead to proper exposure, resulting in the best detail resolution in the stencil.
Printers working in a less-than-ideal darkroom environment; learning the craft; and printing with plastisol, water-based, or discharge inks should take a look at Baselayr Long Lasting Emulsion. It burns quickly, captures fine detail, lasts against aggressive inks, reclaims painlessly, and is forgiving. The choice is simple. Use Baselayr Long Lasting Emulsion today.