The ability of polyester fabric to produce a uniform, controlled and repeatable deposit thickness becomes important to the screen printer interested in continu-ally producing a high quality printed product, and it becomes critical when attempting to control proper-ties such as color and appearance, electronic values and weatherability of that printed product.
Process control of wet and dry ink deposit thick-ness and uniformity is fundamental to establishing consistency throughout the print run in the areas mentioned above, not to mention reproducing the desired characteristics when the job is reprinted at a later time. With the demand for high quality screen printing increasing and competition growing in the industry, greater process control will become neces-sary to maintain a cutting edge in the marketplace.
In light of this, the Screen Printing Technical Foundation has completed a capability study on nine polyester fabrics of different mesh counts printed with UV inks. The areas of interest included in this study are the thickness of deposit (both wet and cured), the uniformity of deposit, the effect of five UV inks from different manufacturers, and the level of control achieved with a computer controlled screen printing press as compared with a manual screen printing setup.
An examination of polyester screen mesh was pur-sued due to the fact that it is one of the most, if not the single most, influencing factor on ink deposit in the screen printing process. By evaluating the perfor-mance of the mesh under controlled conditions a good picture of the screen’s process capability and degree of influence on ink deposit can be determined.
With a greater understanding of polyester mesh and its effects in the process, the screen printer will be better equipped to make decisions concerning mesh selection for any particular printing application.
For more detailed information, please see the article "Polyester Mesh Capability Study with UV inks" contributed by Screen Printing Technical Foundation