The Ultimate Bleed Blocker: Guardian Gray™ 7043

7043-guardian-gray

Combat Your Toughest Dye Migration With Guardian Gray™

International Coatings is proud to introduce its ultimate bleed blocker: Guardian Gray™ 7043.  Guardian Gray™ 7043 is a revolutionary bleed blocking underbase that protects against dye migration (bleeding) on even the toughest polyester and performance fabrics, including highly volatile sublimated polyester substrates such as camouflage prints.

Guardian Gray’s proprietary formula uses a unique hybrid technology to combat dye migration and stop it in its tracks.  In addition, Guardian Gray has a wide curing range of 275°F – 320°F (135°C – 160°C), making it suitable for use on a wide variety of ink system top coats and substrates. Guardian Gray is fast flashing and prints beautifully through 86-160 t/in (34-63 t/cm) screen mesh.

Recent beta tests at independent print companies delivered outstanding results. Guardian Gray™ 7043 was easier to work with than other bleed blockers tested and yielded better blocking results, especially with hard-to-block sublimated polyester fabrics.

September 27, 2016 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Why You Should Avoid Over-Flashing Ink

flash-2Here is a recent tip from Mark Brouillard that was published in Printwear:

Flashing ink is a standard practice in the industry, especially when printing a white underbase on a dark substrate. However, many printers are unaware that they actually can over-flash their inks. So what, you may ask? Isn’t the purpose of the flash to cure the ink so that other colors can be printed on top?

The purpose of the flash is to get the ink to a “gel” state so that the next coat of ink printed on top of it does not pick up the flashed color. It may also be used to help minimize the amount of wet ink accumulating at the back of the next screen. Most inks achieve a gelatinous state when the ink reaches 180 degrees F to 200 degrees F, depending on the ink. The ink film should just feel dry to the touch, not completely cured. Test the flash by slowly working up to the proper temperature.

As production progresses, keep an eye on the temperature as the platens heat up and the flash temperature or distance to the substrate may need to be adjusted. When the ink is over-flashed, it can cause inter-coat adhesion problems with the subsequent ink layers, meaning the other inks printed on top may not adhere fully to the over-flashed ink layer. The inks may become very tacky, peel off the over-flashed ink, or even partially wash off.

September 20, 2016 at 4:35 am Leave a comment

Summer Quiz Grand Prize Winner

summer-quiz-over

Our summer quiz series has officially come to an end. Thank you for participating and testing your screen printing knowledge.

Congratulations to the winner of the seventh week’s quiz, James D. We have emailed you your $10 Starbucks gift card. Enjoy! The correct answer was “Stencil, Squeegee, Ink, Substrate, Machine”.

Now to our GRAND PRIZE WINNER. The Grand Prize winner was randomly chosen out of all the correct entries we’ve received.  So the more you participated, the better your chances.

Congratulations to the grand prize winner of our Summer Quiz series, Leroy C! We will be e-mailing you shortly for your choice of either a quart kit of our special effects or color matching system.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks, color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

 

September 13, 2016 at 5:19 am Leave a comment

Understanding Off-Contact Screen Printing

Understanding Off Contact Blog

An example of an off-contact shim

Here is a new article, recently published in Impressions magazine, written by Kieth Stevens about the subject of Off-Contact:

Many years ago, I thought I knew everything there was to know about screen printing. After all, I was printing T-shirts and various other pieces of clothing on an old hand press and was getting pretty good at it — or, so I believed.

Then came a job opportunity at a large local sign shop, one that does the location signs inside hospitals and parking garages — big stuff, using smelly vinyl inks on plastic, etc.

To demonstrate my prowess in screen printing, they had me demo my setup and printing techniques. As I was in the process of showing them how valuable I was going to be to their company, the guy conducting my interview asked me what I was doing. Where was my off-contact? I said: “My what?”

Needless to say, I was humiliated. I still got the job, but they had to retrain me on the proper setup of the screen.

What is Off-Contact?
Off-contact is the amount of distance between the coated and imaged screen mesh and the substrate (the fabric or item on which you are printing). The proper amount of off-contact allows the screen to peel away from the printed substrate immediately or very soon after the squeegee has passed the image area.

Why is it Necessary?
Keep in mind that I was working with highly volatile substances when I first began working for the sign shop. Vinyl ink can dry out in the screen quite quickly and if the screen doesn’t peel away from the substrate, it can leave rings, or can even stick, making the printed image useless. This is only one of the problems you may encounter in screen printing if you don’t have enough off-contact.

Another consequence of not having enough off-contact is a blurry image. As the squeegee is drawn across the screen in a certain direction, it pulls the stretched fabric underneath, pulling the image along with it. As the squeegee continues across the image, the image may move ever so slightly. If it’s a large image, then the blurring can be particularly pronounced.

The amount of blur also depends on mesh tension, which is measured in newtons. Tighter mesh requires less off-contact because of how the mesh wants to snap or pull back from the image. Looser mesh requires more off-contact to get the mesh to pull away from the printed image. This, in turn, can exasperate the distortion of the image further.

Do I Need a Built-In Adjuster?
There are many ways of achieving the amount of off-contact needed, even if your press does not have a built-in off-contact adjustment function. One method is to add “shims” beneath the screen, which can be done by using a paint-stick, cardboard or washers to raise the screen where it contacts the substrate. Coins also can be used as simple shims. Dimes are the thinnest and may create an ideal gap between the screen and the substrate. For thicker substrates such as sweat shirts, a variety of coins can be stacked to achieve the ideal off-contact gap.

Even experienced printers often use shims to maintain the off-contact level from the back of the screen to the front. As pressure is put on the screen during printing, the front of the screen tends to tip downward, even on a press with a built-in off-contact adjustment feature. Using a simple shim is a great way to keep the screen level during printing.

The proper amount of off-contact depends on a number of factors. Some people recommend a distance of 1/16” to 1/8”, but it really depends on the surface thickness and the mesh tightness. Suffice it to say that the screen needs to release from the printed image right as the squeegee passes over the image, or at least prior to the screen being pulled up either by hand on a manual press or by the head of the automatic machine. If this is achieved, then you’ve got good off-contact!

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs.

 International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

September 8, 2016 at 5:10 am Leave a comment

Two Days Left for Week 7’s Drawing!

Final Countdown

Final Warning!

There are two days left to qualify for week 7’s drawing! This is the final quiz and your last chance to enter the contest and qualify for the grand prize. Congratulations to the winner of the sixth week’s quiz, Rodolfo Z. We have emailed you your $10 Starbucks gift card. Enjoy!

Once a week, a screen printing related question will be posted. One winner per week will be randomly chosen out of the correct entries for a $10 Starbucks Gift card.  At the end of the summer, we will choose a winner from all the correct responses for a grand prize*. You are only allowed one entry per week. Good luck! Press HERE to be directed to the seventh quiz.

Have fun and good luck!  Be sure to fill in your name  and email address so we can send you the gift card.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks, color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

*Grand Prize winner’s prize to consist of either a quart kit of our special effects or color matching system.

September 6, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Last Chance to Prove Your Screen Printing Knowledge – Week 7 Quiz is Here

last-chance

Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s quiz. We will be contacting the winner soon, and email your $10 Starbucks gift card. Last week’s correct answer was “All of the above”. The versatility of the screen printing process allows for it to be utilized for a range of purposes, ranging from clothing to traffic signs and even medical devices. In addition, it is used in many industrial applications.

Be sure to enter this week’s quiz for your chance to win! Click Here for the link to Quiz 7!

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

September 1, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Two Days Left for Week 6’s Drawing!

Time is running out

There are two days left to qualify for week 6’s drawing! Congratulations to the winner of the fifth week’s quiz, Brooks A. We have emailed you your $10 Starbucks gift card. Enjoy!

Once a week, a screen printing related question will be posted. One winner per week will be randomly chosen out of the correct entries for a $10 Starbucks Gift card.  At the end of the summer, we will choose a winner from all the correct responses for a grand prize*. You are only allowed one entry per week. Good luck! Press HERE to be directed to the sixth quiz.

Have fun and good luck!  Be sure to fill in your name  and email address so we can send you the gift card.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks, color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

*Grand Prize winner’s prize to consist of either a quart kit of our special effects or color matching system.

August 30, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

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