What is plastisol ink for screen printing?
Plastisol inks are the most commonly used inks when it comes to screen printing on t-shirts. Plastisol has a couple different characteristics about it that makes it so good for screen printing. It comes in a very wide array of colors and the price of plastisol ink from suppliers is very inexpensive.
One of the best features about plastisol ink is the fact that it needs to be cured by a very high temperature for it to dry. This comes in handy in quite a few cases. One of the best benefits of this that you might not have thought of is the fact that the ink can stay in their bucket containers within the print area without drying from the air in the atmosphere. This gives the ink a very long shelf life and makes it pretty maintenance free. The other main benefits of this is that once the ink has been cured and bonded to the fabric of a t-shirt, it isn't coming off. It takes a really long time. Of years and hard wash and wear for the ink to weaken and crack. The other cool part of this non-drying characteristic is the fact that once the ink is on the screen, it still stays fluid enough to pass through the mesh and stay on the t-shirt. Once the ink is on the t-shirt it does not know and can be placed on the dryer for the final curing run in the same design as it was printed to the screen. The temperature of the heat to drive the ink is somewhere in the neighborhood of 300°F.
Plastisol ink can easily be mixed to match the desired ink color for the print.This is how we do ink matching with the Pantone Matching System. You can also mix different specialty inks with plastisol ink to create special effects such as glitter, metallic and glow-in-the-dark to name a few.
The ink does not bond with metals or glass. While plastisol ink rarely ever has a class application, the ability to not bond to metal is pretty important considering it makes cleaning the screens much easier. It also helps with the platens being metal as well because they can be cleaned for each use.
Another major benefit to plastisol inks being used for t-shirt printing is that there aren't any special care instructions when it comes to washing them. The only thing we recommend is to not hire on the actual printed design.
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