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How to Mix Ink: Ink Mixing for Pad Printing & Screen Printing


Ink mixing is a basic but very important step to achieve a quality imaging with screen printing or pad printing. If it is not done properly, the entire printing process can get very frustrating and, in turn, may cause a loss of production and a waste of valuable time and energy.

Before you start, it is essential that you be using the proper equipment. Unlined mixing cups (no wax), mixing sticks and a quality electronic scale with an accuracy of .1 grams are all very important. Without these items, ink mixing becomes guess work, causing the quality and precision of the print to suffer.

Step by Step Ink Mixing:

1. Zero or tare out the scale (make sure it is on a level surface).

2. Add the ink to a mixing cup. Try not to use less than 40 grams as it will not flow well in the cup or inkwell once mixed.

3. Add appropriate hardener ratio (4:1 for 1000H = 25%, 20:1 for HGL = 5%).

4. Mix these two ingredients completely. Note: pad printing and screen printing inks that are activated with hardener 1000H/1000KGL have a pot life of about 8-10 hours.

5. Begin adding thinner at a ratio of about 5%-10% then re-mix.

6. Continue to add thinner at a “drop by drop” rate until a working viscosity is achieved. Adding all the thinner at once tends to “shock” the ink. Typical mixing ratios are 15% thinner to the weight of the ink. Remember, it is easier to add than to take away. This also helps to prevent ink over thinning.

Please note that Sapphire Pad Printing & Screen Printing Inks are highly opaque and take more thinner than most inks. The adjustment of the viscosity of the ink depends on the quality of thinner that is being added. Generally you should never exceed 20-25%; however, dilution varies from series to series.

If you follow these simple steps it should help to improve your pad or screen printing process. If you ever have any questions please contact me, Pete Baxer, at 1-978-646-8980 and I will be glad to help you.

_ _ _

Inkcups Now Corporation ( http://www.inkcups.com ) is a manufacturer and distributor of pad printing and screen printing supplies, equipment and innovatory computer to plate laser plate-makers. The company is committed to supplying traditional and innovative products at competitive prices and providing excellent technical support. The consumables are manufactured in-house, enabling rapid turnaround and thorough quality control. Offices are located in the U.S. (MA, CA, GA, RI) and Canada. For more information please visit http://www.inkcups.com/dotNet/pages/2j_inks_sapphire.aspx or call 1-978-646-8980.

Sapphire pad printing and screen printing ink series are non toxic inks that comply with California Proposition 65 and European EN 71 Toy Safety standard. MB and J3 series are also Class VI certified. With Sapphire pad printing and screen printing inks you can print on almost every substrate: various plastics, metals, glass, untreated polypropylene, wood, nylon, cotton, rubber, soft touch substrates and more. This pad printing and screen printing ink product line works perfectly for promotional products, electronic devices, medical products, tag printing, automotive parts etc. The Sapphire printing ink truly is a superior product! To convince you Inkcups Now offers free ink adhesion test. Please request free ink adhesion test here: http://www.inkcups.com/dotNet/pages/2h-registration.aspx


Submitted by:

Pete Baxer

Pete Baxer, is ICN’s Chief Ink Specialist and Tech Support Manager. Before joining ICN, Pete worked as a production manager for a promotional products company for 8 years.






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