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  1. #1
    Aaron Gein's Avatar

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    Default Printing on powder coated metal?

    I may have the opportunity to print the metal housing for some guitar effects pedals. They are powder coated. I'm assuming I'll probably need to use a multi purpose solvent based ink or an enamel ink? Any suggestions or advice?...I've only ever printed with plastisol and waterbased ink. Would TW 5000 possibly work? Do enamel inks air dry, or do they need to be baked on?

  2. #2
    Premium Member
    Andymac's Avatar

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    I'm working with a couple of companies on exactly this. The two main inks used in this application are epoxy and enamel. Epoxy is a 2 component ink, you add a catalyst to the ink to initiate drying, and have a 2-4 hour window to print the ink before it starts to harden. Low temp baking accelerates the hardening - with small parts, you can throw them in an oven at 200-300f for a few minutes, and the ink becomes rock hard, bonded to the powdercoating.
    Enamel inks are solvent evaporation inks that will give similar results, but not as strong a bond. You print the part and let the ink dry. Enamels take a while to dry, you can ccelerate this with baking.
    I don't think you will get the scratch and abrasion resistance with other types of inks, as they have trouble bonding to the powdercoating.
    Whatever you decide to use, test it, but make sure you let it dry for at least 24 hours before trying any scratch tests. with airdry epoxies applied without using an oven, full cure does not happen for at least a week even though the ink is dry.
    Andymac

    services www.squeegeeville.com
    equipment www.tmiscreenprinting.com

    Todo es empezar.

  3. #3
    Aaron Gein's Avatar

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    Thanks for the info Andy! Sounds like epoxy ink is the way to go. Any suggestion on brand? How badly does that stuff stink?...I have a couple really big windows in my studio that I can open for ventilation, but no ventilation fans or anything like that. Am I going to stink out the other tenants in the building?

  4. #4
    squeegeethree's Avatar

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    Yes, you are going to really stink up the place with Epoxy inks. Be prepared to buy other tenants in your building booze to make amends. We typically get away with using only enamel but we just did a job where we printed enamel tests on two different samples of powder coated white. They were on a polyester coating and one of the tests stuck perfectly and the other came right off. Guess which sample we did the scratch test on and which one the client picked Found out too late that you have to scratch test all of the colors.

  5. #5
    andydiesel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeegeethree View Post
    Yes, you are going to really stink up the place with Epoxy inks. Be prepared to buy other tenants in your building booze to make amends. We typically get away with using only enamel but we just did a job where we printed enamel tests on two different samples of powder coated white. They were on a polyester coating and one of the tests stuck perfectly and the other came right off. Guess which sample we did the scratch test on and which one the client picked Found out too late that you have to scratch test all of the colors.
    That really sucks ass, I woulda kicked a hole in the wall. how big was the run?

  6. #6
    squeegeethree's Avatar

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    One big piece of metal but it was a rush.

  7. #7

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    Do share your work after completion with us to see hoe does it look.

    powder coat

  8. #8
    failsafe's Avatar

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    Naz-Dar's ADE series epoxy is sold as an improvement over their old ER series. It's a quicker bonding ink and if mixed right then you get good bonding results as soon as the next day. It's 5 to 1 normal ratio but there are other catalysts for different applications.

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