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Screen Printing 101

Posted by Angie Hartline on

Screen printing has always been and remains a very versatile part of Xymox Technologies product offerings, we like to think of it as our lifeblood, every product starts in screen printing. As with most manufacturing processes, screen printing technology has advanced over the years; these advancements have helped the process become more controlled than ever before. Though significant changes have been made in technology, the basic fundamentals of screen printing remain the same.

Screen
  • Mesh selection to properly match quality requirements of the final print
  • Screen tension to maintain image size, print quality and color to color registration
  • Emulsion selection to yield best stencil edge definition and durability throughout press run
  • Emulsion thickness to match ink rheology (aka flow) and print quality requirements
  • Image exposure to properly harden the emulsion and allow developing of a quality stencil

Xymox Screen Stretching     Xymox Screens

Ink

  • Selection & properties – they all impact final quality requirements:
    • Circuitry (conductive) or graphic overlay
    • Opaque or translucent
    • Solvent based or UV. 
  • Flow characteristics to match mesh and emulsion giving a uniform ink deposit
  • Tack of the ink which impacts our press operators printability
  • Adhesion to substrate and cohesion to other ink print passes
Xymox Ink Rack     Xymox Conductive Ink   

Press set up

  • Squeegee selection – Durometer; sharp edge or bumped; angle and speed
  • Flood bar – pressure, edge, angle and speed
  • Minimum off-contact distance  control image size and print quality
  • Minimum squeegee pressure – maintain image size and produce consistent edge definition
  • Substrate placement on vacuum table  insure a stable position on the print bed
  • Registration tabs/pins seated properly maintain color to color alignment

Xymox Printing Press     Xymox Squegee

Have a design question? Don't hesitate to ask, our expert design engineers are  here for you! (no obligations, I promise)

Though listed separately it is critical to the quality of the end product that all three of these items (screen, ink, & press) are in perfect synchronization with each other. Each relies on the others to produce membrane switches and touch sensors at the highest standards.