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The Impact of Screen Tension: Enhancing Print Quality

The tighter your screens, the brighter your prints. And, the tighter your screens, the less squeegee pressure required to print properly. Tight screens use less ink while achieving more colorful prints that are better at fighting off garment sublimation.

A properly stretched mesh to frame will be at a 90 degree angle making 22.5 degrees for all halftones the best angle to avoid mesh moiré as well produce a visually pleasing print.

Tight screens also improve registration by reducing or preventing screen roll. Screen roll is the pressure wave of mesh that rolls up in front of the squeegee much like a wave in the ocean. Tight screens allow more ink to sit on top of the garment where it belongs rather than being smashed through the weave down to the platen (which helps fend off sublimation in more ways than one).

Tight screens also reduce the need for massive squeegee pressure (which most printers apply). Less squeegee pressure lets you set your squeegee angle at the proper upright position of 65 to 75 degrees. The proper squeegee angle allows you to efficiently use the business end of the blade (the edge) to effectively push the right amount of ink through the screen using the least amount of pressure.

All these good results come from the use sufficiently tight screens – 25 newtons and higher are considered tight.

Using less expensive frames that do not achieve higher tensions (over 25 newtons) are costing you money, not saving it. Consider quality aluminum or better yet roller frames.

 

 

(c) Freehand Library Article / AccuRIP / Separation Studio NXT / Spot Process / Dmax / Amaze-Ink / DarkStar

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