Alternative Uses for Catalyst

May 5, 2015 at 8:05 am Leave a comment

Catalyst3This week we are featuring a quick tip from Kieth Stevens, recently published in Printwear, on alternative uses for our 900 Catalyst. Did you know you can use it for other applications other than Nylon?  Here is Kieth’s tip: Generally, a catalyst is used for printing on nylon fabrics. It’s mixed with plastisol ink to help it adhere better to hard-to-print fabrics, but it can also be used for a number of other applications that printers may not know about.

  • A catalyst can be added to flock adhesive to promote better adhesion of the flocking fibers.
  • A catalyst combined with (black) ink (for black fabrics, for example), reduces the appearance of fibrillation, especially after the garment has been washed.
  • Adding catalyst can improve adhesion on most other fabrics, not just nylon.
  • A catalyst can also improve adhesion to leather or vinyl substrates, but it is crucial to test that the substrate can withstand the 320 degree F cure temperatures required to cure the ink.

Just remember that once a catalyst is mixed in with the ink, the ink has a pot life of about six to eight hours, so be sure to only mix enough ink to use for the job. To be on the safe side, mix what is needed from morning until break time, from break time until lunch, and then do the same in the afternoon. A catalyst is usable as long as it is pourable. When it is cold, it pours slower, but if it pours, it’s still good for use. If the catalyst is crystallized and hardened, it’s no longer usable. 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


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