If screens are taken care of properly, they can last forever! Especially true of retensionable screens as you will be able to retension them and tighten them as necessary, making them as good as new!
The more prints you do it will gradually loosen the mesh, however we are talking about prints in the thousands here. The recommended tension of a screen is 15 newtons.
You should embrace the following practices to increase screen longevity:
- Clean them carefully and thoroughly after each print job.
- Reclaim them as soon as is practical. (removing old emulsion can be difficult).
- For long term storage of unused wooden screens, store them in airtight containers (such as heavy bin bags) because wooden screen frames can warp from humidity.
- Most importantly, handle all screens with great care. Once you get a rip or tear in the mesh, the longevity of the screen will decrease substantially. To increase the life of screens with small mesh tears, tape over the ripped portion with durable screen tape.
See our High Tension Frames section to purchase retensionable screens.