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  • Let's talk Waterbase

    Have you been hearing more and more about waterbased inks lately? You should be. Everyday more printers are either completely converting to waterbase or adding it to their list of offerings to customers. Did you know you can use waterbase to print on many substrates other than just tees? Wood, cardboard boxes, paper and hats are a few awesome and versatile options! Check out these videos and get on your way to successfully printing waterbase with ease...

    https://www.screenprinting.com/pages...-galaxy-videos
    https://www.screenprinting.com/pages...ing-free-ebook
    https://www.screenprinting.com/pages...en+galaxy+inks

  • #2
    I just got my kit... I know this is probably a stupid question, but as far as what I want to be printed on the shirt, is that something I work on myself with a printer or something. I have a design idea and everything already...

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Yellowshirt. I am trying to get an understanding of your print set up. Do you have a screen printing press, printer, exposure unit etc?

      Comment


    • #4
      I have printed single color waterbase successfully but ran into a "disaster" situation a month ago when I printed a Comet white underbase with red highlights. I flashed the white and printed the red - ran it through the conveyor 3 times at the slowest speed and in the wash test the red completely washed off. Should I be printing WOW instead of flashing the underbase? The white did not wash out at all.

      Comment


      • Leinbacher
        Leinbacher commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Todd! I'm sorry that happened, what a pain. I wonder if your base was over flashed. Let's see what Chuggins thinks!

    • #5
      Hi Todd!

      I assume you have a shorter electric dryer? As for flashing, we actually want our base to be flashed dry. Its kinda the opposite from plastisol in this respect.

      Here is an excerpt from an upcoming Print Wear article I wrote about WB ink cure:


      Water based inks cure by first evaporating ALL the water in your ink deposit. After this, the ink layer can start to climb, getting hotter, and reach cure temperature. Cure temperature with WB is not an exact temp like it is with plastisol. With WB it's about maintaining a temperature range and holding in that range. In the U.S. we tend to look at 320 degrees since it pairs up with traditional plastisol temps. The WB ink layer needs to reach and hold at approximately 320* for as long as possible, 30 seconds is a good target time at temp. While ink companies state cure is 320* for 2-3 minutes, this is simply to ensure that you keep the garment in the dryer long enough to reach and hold at cure temps.

      If the tunnel of your dryer is on the short side, typically 6 foot in length or under, and you do not have forced air, we recommend adding a low cure additive to the ink like Warp Drive. Warp Drive will chemically cure your ink once the water has evaporated. So, if needed, you can hang the shirt up to dry and then cure, or you can run the garment through your dryer long enough to evaporate the water, carefully stack them at the end of the dryer, wait 48 hours and the ink will be fully cured.


      Let me know if this has helped or if you have any questions!

      Comment


      • todd
        todd commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the input -- great info on "overflashing" - I may have not flashed the underbase long enough based on my "plastisol habits". I do have an 8' Riley Cure and do run the belt at the slowest temperature and run the shirts through at least twice and typically 3 times. The other part of the equation that I forgot to mention was 65% poly garments - it was a fine dance between getting the garments too hot, watching for bleed (it was actually a mess from bleed as well), and probably a poor choice to run 100 shirts without doing a thorough test. Lesson learned - don't rush the learning process by jumping into the deep end of the waterbased pool on a rush client job and not accounting for poly bleed (no gamma blocker). Is most of this covered in the online waterbased course?

    • #6
      Todd,

      If you are at all uncertain about a garments possibility for bleed, and you dont have either the print head capacity or Gamma Blocker bleed blocking base - add warp drive for insurance. You can add warp drive even if you are using gama blocker for extra insurance if you need it.

      With Warp Drive, you just need to evaporate the water from the print and wait 48 hours. The Warp Drive will chemically cure the ink in the 48 hour timeframe. Think of water as an inhibitor to cure - once the water is out, cure will happen.

      Do not do any wash testing or stretch/cure testing until 48 hours is up.

      Comment


      • #7
        Will water based inks also cure with time like the 48 hours / longer or only with Warp Drive added?

        Comment


        • #8
          DanaArts,

          WB Inks need heat to cure. Specifically heat over time.

          The only way to "air cure" will be with the addition of Warp Drive. Once ALL the water is removed from the ink, then the Warp Drive will begin to chemically cure the ink over the next 48 hours.

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by Chuggins View Post
            DanaArts,

            WB Inks need heat to cure. Specifically heat over time.

            The only way to "air cure" will be with the addition of Warp Drive. Once ALL the water is removed from the ink, then the Warp Drive will begin to chemically cure the ink over the next 48 hours.
            Great topic!
            I am moving away from plastisol as much as I can (unless absolutely necessary or explicitly requested by client). I have a starter shop with occasional large orders, and I have a flash not a conveyor. Curing requires finesse and patience with my setup. Some of questions regarding WD, which I have a sample that came with the kit but have not used at all:
            So no heat at all (no conveyor/flash) needed if warp drive is mixed with WB inks?
            Just hang to air dry?
            Once WP is mixed with ink, how long will that mixture last?
            Does it have to be used immediately or is it possible to store for some time?
            Does it apply to WB ink from mixing kit (clear base+opaque base+pigments) also?

            Cheers,
            Octavio

            Comment


            • #10
              Hi Chuggins,

              My husband and I have only learned and used water based inks. We're running into issues when we have a 3-4 color job, we PFP the underbase, making sure the underbase is dry to the touch, when adding the colors we sometimes experience speckling. We're using comet white and green galaxy inks. Any idea what causes this? Mainly caused in sweatshirts and thicker cotton tees. It's beyond frustrating and the prints look bad!

              Comment


              • #11
                Hi Octavio,

                We have a ton of information on how and when to use warp drive in our product page, but I will summarize it here.

                So no heat at all (no conveyor/flash) needed if warp drive is mixed with WB inks? You NEED to have all the water 100% gone from the ink layer to fully cure. The best way to do that is by flashing out the water. Think of water as an inhibitor to cure, once its all gone, it will cure.
                Just hang to air dry? See Above, but yes, you can hang up to finish curing. You want the garment to be able to breath while it finishes curing.
                Once WP is mixed with ink, how long will that mixture last? Once Warp Drive has been added and stirred into the ink, that ink has an 8 hour pot life. After that, the ink is typically thicker and some chemical reactions are starting to take place.
                Does it have to be used immediately or is it possible to store for some time? See Above.
                Does it apply to WB ink from mixing kit (clear base+opaque base+pigments) also? This applies to ALL water based inks. Our Ready for Use colors, the mixing system, all specialty inks, etc.



                A word of caution: Do not use Warp Drive and Slipstream together, if you can not heat cure at 300*. The ink layer will NOT cure without hitting 300*

                Initiate Warp Drive to drastically speed up the curing process and lower the temperature needed to cure Green Galaxy Water Based Ink! Warp Drive Low Cure Catalyst is ideal for screen printers who want to use Green Galaxy's water-based ink to print on dye migrating polyester fabrics, or for those who do not have optimal

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by Chuggins View Post
                  Hi Octavio,

                  We have a ton of information on how and when to use warp drive in our product page, but I will summarize it here.

                  So no heat at all (no conveyor/flash) needed if warp drive is mixed with WB inks? You NEED to have all the water 100% gone from the ink layer to fully cure. The best way to do that is by flashing out the water. Think of water as an inhibitor to cure, once its all gone, it will cure.
                  Just hang to air dry? See Above, but yes, you can hang up to finish curing. You want the garment to be able to breath while it finishes curing.
                  Once WP is mixed with ink, how long will that mixture last? Once Warp Drive has been added and stirred into the ink, that ink has an 8 hour pot life. After that, the ink is typically thicker and some chemical reactions are starting to take place.
                  Does it have to be used immediately or is it possible to store for some time? See Above.
                  Does it apply to WB ink from mixing kit (clear base+opaque base+pigments) also? This applies to ALL water based inks. Our Ready for Use colors, the mixing system, all specialty inks, etc.



                  A word of caution: Do not use Warp Drive and Slipstream together, if you can not heat cure at 300*. The ink layer will NOT cure without hitting 300*
                  Very well explained Chuggins, thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by Primalteeshop View Post
                    Hi Chuggins,

                    My husband and I have only learned and used water based inks. We're running into issues when we have a 3-4 color job, we PFP the underbase, making sure the underbase is dry to the touch, when adding the colors we sometimes experience speckling. We're using comet white and green galaxy inks. Any idea what causes this? Mainly caused in sweatshirts and thicker cotton tees. It's beyond frustrating and the prints look bad!
                    Hi Primal,

                    One of the things I have learned about water base inks, is they like to have some good solid downforce contact (maybe apply a little more pressure?) and a slightly slower print stroke than most people think. This allows the ink more time to print clean and lay down smooth (fill in the nooks and crannies), we want the finished ink layer to closely resemble the smoothness of paper - if possible. On heavier 100% cotton and fleece garments this is a little more difficult to accomplish considering the loft of the material we are printing on. But if you start with what I suggested above, you will be ahead of the cure.

                    Once your Comet White base is printed smooth, flashed dry to the touch, print your colors with just enough downforce to print clean and smooth. Just like you did with the white. Make sure to print/flood/print each color. That 2 stroke of the color also helps with cleaning up any speckles you are experiencing.

                    Let me know if you need any clarification on what I have written above. Its always difficult to convey with words what is best understood visually.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Thanks! Will try this out, would it also help if we used a triple durometer squeege to get more coverage/pressure?

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by Primalteeshop View Post
                        Thanks! Will try this out, would it also help if we used a triple durometer squeege to get more coverage/pressure?
                        The triple duro blade will actually lay down less ink. The print will be very smooth, but thinner. If you find you need a thicker deposit, use a 70 duro or even a 65/90/65 (there is a 62/90/62 option if you can use squeegee roll material). Make sure the blade has a sharp edge and start with a good flood, print, FLOOD again, and print. This will give you a better cleaner deposit.

                        Make sure your platens stay warm. With the platens warm, we get a small amount of flashing (evaporation of the water) so the second stroke gets an even better ink deposit.

                        Comment


                        • Primalteeshop
                          Primalteeshop commented
                          Editing a comment
                          All these tricks! It's been a learning curve, but we're not about to give in!
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