Degreasing the screen is an important part of the screen prep process. Without proper degreasing, screens can develop pinholes, fisheyes, and other issues that will cause trouble when it’s time to coat a screen. One way to combat these issues is to use emulsion prep. So what’s the difference between a degreaser and emulsion prep? Why would screen printers use it? And what’s the best way to use it?
WHAT IS EMULSION PREP?
Emulsion prep is a high-tech degreaser that improves the lives of all emulsion stencils. It’ll remove all dust and oils from new and reclaimed screens. Emulsion prep also will improve image resolution and definition of burned screens. For printers needing a high-quality screen, emulsion prep is the answer.
RELATED: SET UP A SCREEN PRINTING DARKROOM IN ANY SPACE WITH THESE 3 STEPS
WHEN TO USE EMULSION PREP
Emulsion prep provides reassurance that a screen won’t pose any issues. Screen printers can use emulsion prep when degreasing a screen every time to eliminate any dust and oil from screens.
New to screen printing? Incorporate emulsion prep in the reclaiming process. The degreaser will get rid of any impurities in the water. Removing all the gunk prepares the mesh for proper emulsion adhesion.
Emulsion prep is also a huge help with water-based or discharge screens. It increases the screens’ lifespans, which helps when printing abrasive inks. With so many reasons to use emulsion prep, it’s a no-brainer.
HOW TO USE EMULSION PREP
After reclaiming or unpacking new screens, degreasing with emulsion prep makes a perfect next step before drying the screen. Here are five easy steps to properly clean a screen with emulsion prep:
- Mix one part of the emulsion prep with nine parts of water in a spray bottle. (Use in its concentrated form if desired.)
- Remove all ink and emulsion residue from the screen.
- Apply plenty of the emulsion prep solution to both sides of the screen with a brush or sponge.
- Rinse the screen with light water pressure from a hose. Remove all traces of the chemical.
- Dry the screen in a dust-free environment.
RELATED: TIPS FOR DRYING SCREENS PROPERLY IN ANY DARKROOM
Store the degreaser in a cool, shaded area. If stored correctly, the solution will last for two years from the date of production. It’s difficult to achieve a stellar print if the screen is shoddy. Using a degreaser like emulsion prep will help establish a top-notch screen. In the end, it’s worth the extra step.