Reclaiming Issues with Water-Based Inks (Permaset Aqua)
This is a rather serious issue for the business and had only recently started to occur with order runs of over 50, mainly with black ink, but occasionally reds and blues.
I use Permaset Aqua inks (for Fabric) and the ink is persistently sticking to the screen.
It washes off in all areas of the screen aside from where the stencil was, where there is thin outline of where the image was. It's not a ghost, as that is an incredibly persistent and angering problem, but never affects later stencils, this however does, as this thin line actively blocks the mesh.
I have spoke to all my stockists of emulsion and cleaning products and they suggest sledgehammer tactics, very strong chemicals (the strongest they stock, I use kiwo, so in this case i was recommended a mix of Combi-Clean and Pregan Paste)
For me tho, it's a very expensive option and seems incredibly hard work just to be able to use a screen more than once after a long print run.
Has any one used these inks before, and encountered any similar problems? I know they have a very high pigment count (hence the horrendous screen staining)
Thanks anyway, i'm considering changing inks really, but it's hard to find decent water colour fabric inks in the UK.
If you were to print better and have the ink clear from the screen completely after each pull I bet you wouldn't have this problem.
But let's address clogged up screens first. What are you using to clean the ink off your screens now? At what point are you cleaning the ink out? It's a lot easier to get ink out of a screen with the emulsion on that off imo. Try using ammonia and or denatured alcohol to get the ink out rubbing from both sides at the same time in the persistent spots.
The problem isn't with regards to ink drying in the screen whilst printing (i.e. clogging). That never happens, and i always wash the ink out straight after a print run, and usually if not always reclaim the screen instantly.
Even when i wash and reclaim the screen instantly, i'm left with a thin outline of my stencil actively blocking the mesh on the 'knuckles'.
I use screen wash sold by my ink supplier who is the main stockist for the inks in the UK and he can't seem to help. It is a strong solvent, like a powerful version of White Spirit which i scrub on with a rough sponge, this works, and removes part of the dried in ink, but not all, and it's far too much elbow grease to warrant reclaiming a single screen.
I use a powerful hose, it's not a pressure washer, but is damn powerful.
It probably would help but a power washer would take care of this in a heartbeat. my american to british translator tells me to tell you to "stop being a shoddy git" and buy one already.
I still say your knuckles are covered with dried ink or it could be that you aren't reclaiming properly.
Are you coating both sides of the emulsion with stencil remover and washing the printside from the bottom up?
Yep, i'm pretty damn sure it's the knuckles, but it spills over into the gaps of the mesh, therefore blocking the mesh.
I rinse my screen after removing the ink, brush my reclaimer on both sides, leave it for 2 minutes, wash it off, repeat if bits are left, never failed me.
Pretty damn certain it's not emulsion, as water based ink washes off the emulsion very easily, just not off the mesh where the image was.
I'll invest in a pressure washer tomorrow, thanks for the advice, i'll let you know how that pans out, if there are still issues i'll post a picture and you can see the damage.
Try this... don't let the emulsion remover sit for 2 minutes (you letting it sit was kinda what I was afraid of). If your emulsion remover is that crappy that you have to let it sit then try this instead... Get a white (softest) softscrub pad and move the emulsion around the screen for 2 minutes instead of letting it sit.
The fact that your problem has only recently started leads me to believe this could be a seasonal disorder of some sort. Emulsion remover should never be left to dry on a screen and it dries in the open areas first and works it's way out and it dries faster in higher heat. Just try this as an experiment next time. Might not be your ink after all.
I know, i have been printing in ridiculous heat recently (This is from the UK too haha..) I know about letting it sit for too long, that's a lost cause when that happens as nothing removes it. I paint the emulsion remover on (I use Kiwo products and specifically Pregasol-P as my decoater) so this moves the emulsion around, and i can actively see it turning to liquid.
Funnily enough, it states that i leave it for up to 5 minutes, but i generally over worry incase it dries on and remove it after 2 minutes to be safe as i can always put more on.
The only thing that has led me to believe it as an ink problem, is that the blocked mesh (or blocked knuckles) only persists around where the stencil was, so i'm left with a completely clean screen but with my ghost image (obviously) and then a thin line around where my stencil was, this may be because the ink doesn't get blown out fully where the stencil is as the emulsion layer prevents my screen wash from getting to it.. i don't know..
I think a high high power washer might do the trick, i don't know why i never thought of that, thank you for that suggestion though.
Well I've seen this happen as well, but you don't believe any of my explanations for it lol. Oh well you'll be able to blast your way out of it. Just make sure you get a good power washer. I've tried them all, you get what you pay for.