Ever wondered if you are using the best ink for your needs and your Print Shop, but really wasn’t sure what the difference between Waterbased and Plastisol was? Dave Roper MD of Screen Print World has compiled a list of the pros and cons for both forms of ink, how mesh count will affect your print, Squeegee angles and other handy tips and tricks of the trade.

Waterbased ink is different from plastisol in exactly the way you might expect; Plastisol does not use water as a solvent, while waterbased ink does. Once printed, this kind of ink needs to evaporate in order for the ink to cure. Waterbased ink can either cure at room temperature over time, or by running the garment through a dryer at 160°c and usually needs at least 1 minute.

Plastisol ink is a PVC based system which doesn’t use a water solvent. It’s a thermoplastic ink, meaning it has to be heated to a high enough temperature to cause the molecules of PVC resin and plasticizer to cure. The temperature at which plastisol usually cures on textile is 160°c.




We have put together two simple charts to really help you make the decision on which type of ink would make the ideal match for your print job.

  • 24t- Beach Towels, Glitter inks, Thick Inks.
  • 43t- Textile inks, Opaque inks, T-shirts.
  • 55t- Textile inks, Finer textile designs, waterbased.
  • 62t- Enamel inks, Very fine textile ink
  • 77t- Paper and board inks.
  • 90t- Vinyl inks, Paper and board inks, Plastic ink.
  • 120t- Halftone printing, Paper and board inks.
  • 150t-UV Printing, Very fine halftone work, Usually graphic.

 

Confused about Mesh count? We have you covered! This is Dave Ropers list of the Mesh counts that generally should be used for each different job types.

 

 

Lets talk Squeegee angle, pressure and off contact!

When printing with plastisol inks you will need a higher off contact in order to lay the ink on top of the garment. When printing with waterbased inks a lower off contact is needed to double print and drive the ink into the garment. For more information on squeegees you can read our blog dedicated to them here 

Waterbased Ink.

  • Heavily flood the screen!
  • Keep a trigger spray bottle handy and fill this with water. You can use this to keep the ink wet for printing.

Plastisol Ink.

  • Leave the screen printed-not flooded.
  • Do not use white spirit or screen wash as thinners/reducers. Always use curable reducer.

For more information on all of our inks you can visit our website www.screenprintworld.co.uk, give us a call on 01562 829009 or send us an email on sales@screenprintworld.co.uk.

 

 


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