There are different types of ink that can be used in screen printing, but the most common type is plastisol ink. Plastisol ink is a type of ink that is made from PVC particles suspended in a liquid plasticizer. It is a thick, opaque ink that can be printed on a variety of materials, including cotton, polyester, and blends.
Plastisol ink is heat-cured, which means that it requires exposure to high temperatures to fully cure and adhere to the substrate. This is typically done by running the printed material through a conveyor dryer at around 320-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Other types of ink that can be used in screen printing include water-based inks, discharge inks, and specialty inks such as metallic or glow-in-the-dark inks. Water-based inks are a popular alternative to plastisol inks, as they are more environmentally friendly and can produce a softer feel on the printed material. Discharge inks are used to bleach out the dye in the fabric, creating a softer print with a vintage look. Specialty inks can add unique effects to the printed material, such as a metallic sheen or a glow-in-the-dark effect.
Screen printing inks come in different types depending on the type of material being printed on and the desired finish. Here are some of the most common types of inks used in screen printing:
- Plastisol Ink: Plastisol ink is a type of ink that is made of PVC particles suspended in a plasticizer. It is the most commonly used ink in screen printing and is often used for printing on textiles such as T-shirts. Plastisol ink is opaque, has a thick consistency, and requires heat curing to set.
- Water-based Ink: Water-based ink is made up of pigment, water, and a binder. It is a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastisol ink and is often used for printing on lighter colored fabrics. Water-based ink has a thinner consistency and is absorbed into the fabric rather than sitting on top of it.
- Discharge Ink: Discharge ink is a water-based ink that has an added discharge agent that removes the dye from the fabric, leaving a lighter color behind. It is often used for printing on dark colored fabrics and provides a softer feel than plastisol ink.
- Solvent-based Ink: Solvent-based ink is made up of pigments, resins, and solvents. It is often used for printing on non-porous surfaces such as plastic or metal. Solvent-based ink dries quickly and is resistant to water and fading.
- UV Ink: UV ink is a type of ink that is cured by ultraviolet light. It is often used for printing on non-porous surfaces and provides a glossy, high-quality finish.
It’s important to choose the right type of ink based on the type of material being printed on and the desired finish. Proper ink selection can ensure that the prints are durable, long-lasting, and of high quality.