In the earlier days, silk was utilized as a screen for this conventional printing form. Therefore, the term “silk screen” came to be associated with screen printing. In the world of graphics, it is frequently referred as Serigraphy. After silk, polymer meshes were adopted in its place. With the development in printing technology and printing machines numerous advancements has taken place in the printing industry. And this applies to printing application in various industries like graphics, fabrics, etc.
What are the equipments used for screen printing?
Initially, the screen has to be finalized and mounted on an aluminum or wooden frame. Then the stencil is engraved on the screen to get the desired design. Depending on what is to be printed, the type of the ink has to be decided upon. The material to be printed upon also matters when you are selecting the ink and designing pattern.
In order to control the movement of the mesh, a rubber blade squeegee is fixed alongside. The material is held firmly by the machine base so that the screen produces the print without any disturbance.
Applications of screen printing
The material on which the printing work is done could be made of silk, cotton, paper, polyester, plastic, glass, metal etc. screen printing is used for printing on fabrics, posters, CD covers, t-shirts, snow board graphics, medical products, electronics etc. Screen printing can be customized to suit various marketing and advertisement printing needs.
Technique used for screen printing
The screen or fine mesh is fixed firmly on a stand. Then the stencil is carved out that depicts a particular pattern or design. This screen is fixed over the fabric or material to be printed. There is a fill bar which is used to fill ink into the stencil. The screen doesn’t come in direct contact with the substrate.
Then the screen is slid down slowly to conclude the infilling procedure which is steadied by capillary action. The movement is stabilized by the squeegee. Finally, the screen is moved up by the squeegee leaving behind the design created by the ink.
Cylinder, Flat-bed and Rotary are the three different varieties of press mainly utilized for screen printing purpose. Among these, Rotary is the most famous one.
Same screen can be used again for printing similar designs using different inks and material. However, for creating a different design, the entire screen has to be reclaimed. You have to change the stencil by using liquid or powdered stencil removers.
Stenciling is normally done by using photo emulsion technique which is a well established technique since the past 50years or more. Different types of inks are used for creating different designs with beautiful effects. Design pattern and flexibility depends on the material being used.
Plastisol is one of the most common inks used in screen printing. It gives a more durability and a beautifully plasticized texture. By enhancing the ink we can improve the quality of the print to a great extent, thus producing superior quality printouts.