Author Topic: White Ink opacity issues  (Read 1862 times)

Offline mk162

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White Ink opacity issues
« on: May 14, 2024, 08:26:16 PM »
Man do I feel like a rookie posting this, but recently we are having a dickens of a time getting a good white print on blends like the 6210 or tri-blends.

We are running OneStroke ELT through a 150s mesh with a 155 or 180s highlight, with a smash/flattening screen after the flash.  Still, they look weak.

We are running our pressure around 20-25psi. We've stood the squeegee up to almost 0 degrees and run it down as far as 15 degrees.  We changed squeegee speeds, checked off contact, flash times, cure times, tried a myriad of white inks, etc. Our tensions are great. We've tried swapping squeegees, different durometers, new blades, etc. We just can get anything that looks great.

It's pissing me off because we used to excel with our whites and we can't get back to it.  I should be able to figure it out.


Offline Evo

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2024, 08:38:47 PM »
EOM? Get them stencil walls thickened up maybe?
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Offline mk162

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2024, 08:51:10 PM »
EOM? Get them stencil walls thickened up maybe?

I'll check them.  I didn't think of that for some dumb reason.

Offline mk162

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2024, 09:14:01 AM »
We are running right at 10% EOM, I might bump it a touch and maybe add a second pass on the squeegee side.

Offline 3Deep

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2024, 09:33:05 AM »
I bought one of those double blade squeegee's and found it works really well on 135 140 150 s mesh with the ELT white then a 160 regular mesh for a highlight, sometimes a little thicker print than I want but the white is good....plus all shirts just don't print the same for some crazy reason.
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Offline balloonguy

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2024, 10:22:48 AM »
I print a good amount of these. I use house blend of 40% clear and 60% smooth white through 156 on the base (double stroke) then top white is all smooth white through a 156, 135 or 110 depending on art. I find the based down base coat makes it easier for me to get a nice smooth base with less pressure. The top coat sits nicely on top of the thin base.
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Offline Atownsend

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2024, 05:09:58 PM »
I haven't used the ELT before... but i'd question the ink if all other variables check out. With thin thread and a top white that should be bright unless its bleeding fo some weird reason. Did dryer settings recently change? New batch of ink?

Also... unless it has halftones i'd ditch the 150/48 thin thread and rock 135/55 for the base screen. Slightly thicker thread but with better open area since there are fewer and can take higher tensions and more abuse 150's are fragile for us... Joe Clarke (RIP) turned me on to that years ago and its been game on ever since. Clears white ink so easy with light pressure.

Offline Rockers

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2024, 02:58:03 AM »
I haven't used the ELT before... but i'd question the ink if all other variables check out. With thin thread and a top white that should be bright unless its bleeding fo some weird reason. Did dryer settings recently change? New batch of ink?

Also... unless it has halftones i'd ditch the 150/48 thin thread and rock 135/55 for the base screen. Slightly thicker thread but with better open area since there are fewer and can take higher tensions and more abuse 150's are fragile for us... Joe Clarke (RIP) turned me on to that years ago and its been game on ever since. Clears white ink so easy with light pressure.

The open area is the same. Both have an open area of 51% but the ink volume of the 135-54 mesh is higher. Tension level is not significantly higher either. But I shall give it a try.

Offline mk162

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2024, 08:46:33 AM »
We'll try some 135s.  I am not a fan of that since I prefer a thin ink film.

We've gone back through anything that could have changed, and came up with nothing.

Offline whitewater

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2024, 09:24:30 AM »
It could be the chemistry of the ink changed and none of us know... and here people are chasing the way they do things to see if its them..

Im just throwing that out there...LOL

Offline mk162

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2024, 09:34:58 AM »
It could be the chemistry of the ink changed and none of us know... and here people are chasing the way they do things to see if its them..

Im just throwing that out there...LOL

I wondered the same and ended up testing almost every ink I could get my hands on.  We had the same problems with all of them. 

One thing I did notice was it seemed to be our highlight that was the problem, so we switched that as well.  Same issues. Top colors print better than a highlight white.

Offline mk162

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2024, 09:58:32 AM »
So we upped our EOM from roughly 10% to 15%, which are both in what the manufacturer recommends.  Zero difference.

We checked off contact again and dropped it to almost zero.  then went higher than recommended.  Still nearly zero change.

i took the flash down so low that a gnat fart the next county over would blow too hard and cool the bulbs too much.

Switched angles, pressures, speeds, dwell, hard flood, soft flood. double stroke, single stroke, soft or hard squeegee, inks, etc.

Almost no changes in print until it got too far out to get a good print.

I am absolutely baffled.  The only thing we haven't tried is a new emulsion, but I don't see how that would fix it, we've been running this since before we had issues.

Offline whitewater

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2024, 11:46:30 AM »
.

" i took the flash down so low that a gnat fart the next county over would blow too hard and cool the bulbs too much. "


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Offline farmboygraphics

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2024, 11:59:40 AM »
Has anything changed in the shop? New AC unit, maybe higher humidity in the shop? I've never had environmental factors affect the print, that I'm aware of, but it sounds like you've
exhausted all other options.
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Offline mk162

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Re: White Ink opacity issues
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2024, 01:26:45 PM »
We haven't changed anything that I can think of.  At first I thought it was ink related because it seemed to start on a new batch of ink, but we've changed to all different brands with zero luck.