In the world of screen printing, nothing disrupts your workflow quite like pinholes and fisheyes. These tiny imperfections on your screen can lead to flawed prints and wasted materials, which no one wants. But don't worry, we've got you covered with some handy tips to avoid these issues and keep your printing process smooth.
CLEAN THE DARKROOM
A clean darkroom is the first step towards impeccable prints. Dust, lint, and grime can be major culprits for pinholes and fisheyes. If you're in a high-traffic or dusty area, consider using a screen drying cabinet to protect your screens from contaminants. You can also create a DIY air filter using an old screen and a fan. This simple solution will help minimize particles in the air, keeping your screens dust-free.
CLEAN THE EXPOSURE UNIT
The glass on your exposure unit is prone to dirt, fingerprints, and adhesive residue. This dirt can obstruct the light, leading to pinholes. Regularly clean the glass with a glass cleaner, or use an ink cleaner to remove stubborn residues. A cleaner exposure unit means fewer pinholes and smoother printing.
Whether your screens are fresh or have seen some action, degreasing is vital to prevent fisheyes. Use emulsion prep, haze remover, and degreaser to remove oils, dust, and dirt from the mesh. This clean surface ensures better emulsion adhesion and fewer issues like pinholes and fisheyes. A thorough flood rinse should follow the degreasing process.
USE SOFT OR HARD WATER FILTERS
Mineral deposits in tap water can wreak havoc on emulsion durability and lead to pinholes. Investigate whether your tap water is hard or soft, and then choose an appropriate filter to remove mineral residues. Using clean water is a small but crucial step to minimize these issues.
HOW TO FIX PINHOLES & FISHEYES
Even with these precautions, pinholes and fisheyes can occasionally sneak in. To fix pinholes, use screen tape, a block-out pen, or clear nail polish if you're working with water-based inks. Backlight your screens to spot defects before production, allowing you to fill in pinholes and prevent printing disruptions.
By following these tips, you'll significantly reduce pinholes and fisheyes, ensuring your screen printing process runs efficiently. So, keep your screens clean and your prints flawless, and enjoy the benefits of hassle-free printing.