Industrial Screen Printing

Stencil requirements for Second Surface Graphic Layer Printing for Membrane Touch Switches

The term ‘Second Surface Graphic Layer Printing’ typically covers the printing of pigmented inks which may be solvent based or UV curable to provide the graphic design, color and instructions (if relevant) to a membrane switch or durable label.

In most cases the substrate of choice is a bi-axially oriented polyester such as our Autotex or Autoflex brand, although some labels may be polycarbonate or PVC based. For more information on Autotex/Autoflex follow the link below:
http://www.macdermidautotype.com/categories/6-industrial_film_systems

When you stand back and look at the process, the key screen requirements for printing graphic layer images are:

  • Accurate and predictable image reproduction
  • Controlled image stability for duration of print run
  • Excellent performance on both polyester and stainless steel mesh
  • Easy to reclaim/decoat, or suitable for archiving for repeat jobs

Screen making recommendations

The stencil is the heart of the process and a good quality stencil can literally make the difference between a profit and a loss. Select the best stencil for your application based on the inks you are using and your quality requirements. This may be either a photo-stencil film or emulsion.

Controlled profile capillary films have proven themselves to be ideally suited to providing consistent ink deposits with superb edge definition, generating reliable and repeatable images with optimal edge acuity and resolution. Especially for the finer tints and graduated dots being requested today.

If your preference is to use a direct emulsion it is still critical that you optimize your process.

cap Top Tip: Thorough drying and exposure of stencils will produce the most durable of masks for printing and provide the most suitable edge quality for printing.

Top Tip: A well degreased screen is critical for long print runs. A few minutes spent preparing the screen will dramatically improve the durability of that screen and prevent costly remakes. For more information on Autotype screen cleaning chemicals follow the link below:

Check out the new how to video’s on the MacDermid Autotype website to help optimize your process.

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