Label-Aid offers screen printing (also called silk screen printing), which is one of the oldest printing processes. It was originally called silk screen printing because silk was used as the mesh to print through. Silk screen labels are ideal for images requiring thick, opaque ink. They are also weather and abrasion resistant, so they are ideal for outdoor or harsh environment applications.
Screen Printing Process:
How does the screen printing process work? First, a photo-sensitive coating is applied to a polyester mesh stretched over aluminum roller frames. This photo-sensitive coating is exposed to light through a film positive of the image to be printed. This causes the coating to harden in the non-imaged areas, enabling the unexposed (unhardened) areas to be washed away, leaving a negative image of the label or graphic overlay on the screen mesh through which ink can flow. The screen mesh, with the negative image hardened to it, is ready for ink to be pressed through it by a blade called a squeegee. This produces the image on your substrate. The material, after ink has been applied to it, is then put through a drying station that contains UV lamps via a conveyer and the ink is dried. The porous polyester mesh is available in many “thread counts” (denoted by number of threads per square inch). The thread count controls how heavy the ink film thickness is when laid down on the substrate.
Screen Printing Advantages:
There are many advantages to silk screen labels. These include:
- Smooth Ink Coating: The biggest advantage screen printing has over other printing processes is its ability to lay down a smooth, VERY thick coating of ink.
- Abrasion & Moisture Resistant: Because the ink film thickness is so great this process excels in applications where resistance to weather (outdoors), moisture, abrasion, and chemicals is needed.
- Opacity: Due to the thickness of the ink, screen printed inks are more opaque than in other printing processes.
Other Printing Methods:
Label-Aid also offers digital printing and flexographic printing. There are some situations where these two options are preferable to screen printing.
- If you are looking for a quick printing job, we recommend using either digital or flexographic printing. Screen printing can be a slow process.
- Digital printing may be a better option when you are printing with many colors. Screen printing multiple colors can be expensive.
- Extremely fine text may be difficult to screen print due to the thickness of the ink. Digital or flexographic printing are good options for fine imagery.
Uses for Screen Printed Labels:
Screen printed labels are suitable for a variety of uses, including:
- Graphic overlays
- Outdoor labels including weatherproof & waterpoof labels
- Harsh environment graphic overlays
- Industrial labels
- Product labels
- Commercial labels
- Sequentially numbered labels
- UL labels, RoHS labels, WEEE 2006 labels
- ANSI warning labels
- Hazard labels
- OSHA safety labels
- Electronic labels
- Domed decals & labels
- Window decals & static clings
- Asset labels
- Factory and machinery labels
- Construction tool and equipment labels
- Drum and hazard labels
- Consumer product labels