Silk screening is a cost effective printing method that transfers sharp images or text onto a substrate utilizing ink. The process involves the use of a screen made up of a porous, man made mesh material, typically polyester or nylon. This mesh is stretched and framed with either wood or aluminum depending on the specific application. Furthermore, precise areas of the screen are blocked off so that a stencil, or negative of the image to be printed, is formed.
Every silkscreen must be setup differently based upon the part’s shape, size and the specific location of printed graphics and/or text. This setup is essentially a template that each part is fitted into, aiding in the consistency of the finished product. Ink is then poured onto the top of the screen, and a squeegee is used to press the mesh down and spread the ink across the part. The motion of the squeegee and tension of the mesh cause the ink to be deposited onto the part resulting in the corresponding graphics, text, or a combination of both. The final step involved is to send all screened parts into the oven so that the ink can be cured. This is typically achieved at 320-340 degrees Fahrenheit.
All projects are different in that some involve the painting and silk screening of a part, while others are strictly silk screen only with no painting involved. Some projects require the use of multiple colors, while others may involve screening both sides of a part. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding the general screening process, specific projects, or for a quote.