Whenever I receive calls from customers who tell me our inks are not performing as expected, I ask them questions to troubleshoot the problem.
I usually find that the ink has not been cured properly during the printing process. However, I occasionally find that the ink wasn’t stored properly, causing it to lose some of its printing properties.
Is there really a right and wrong way to store plastisol inks? Does it really make such a difference? Absolutely!
Plastisol is affected by temperature, either hot or cold, which can change the viscosity and printability of the ink. So here are a few things to remember when storing plastisol inks:
DON’T: - Store buckets near a flash unit or other source of heat. - Store near an open window where it can be exposed to the sun. - Store on a cold floor, which can raise the thickness or viscosity. - Store near the ceiling or roof where the sun’s radiant heat can affect the stored temperature. - Let it sit on a shipping dock where it can get exposed to the sun, which can partially cure the ink. - Allow it to travel in the back of an open pickup truck, where it can get sun exposure.
DO: - Store between 65°F-90°F (18°C-32°C). - Store the ink with the lid tightly sealed on bucket. - Stir prior to use. - Keep it off concrete floors.
Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings' blogs. For more information, visit iccink.com and read the company’s blog at internationalcoatingsblog.com.