Screen Colour Systems has two screen cleaning ranges, the Aquarius and Industrial ranges. The Aquarius products are safer to use and are less polluting to the environment. All the products in this range have their code number prefaced with the code letters AQ. The second group, must be handled with caution and can be polluting to the environment. This group of products is for the use of experienced screen printers who know how to handle these types of products.
Screen cleaning and preparation can be divided into four steps. In the case of a new mesh you would only need the final stage, mesh degreasing. The following steps should produce a mesh that is free of any contaminates and ready for the reapplication of your stencil medium. When the print run is complete, you should always clean all ink from the mesh and wash with the appropriate cleaner. This will help prevent ghost images in the future. When you are ready to reclaim mesh and remove the stencil, follow the steps below.
Always rinse before high pressure washing the screen. The reason for the rinse phase, it helps prevent any of the stencil and cleaning products getting airborne when you use the high pressure washer. When using the high pressure washer always start at the bottom of the mesh, work the jet across the mesh then up and across again. Working the washer head across and up the mesh is the most effective way of removing stains. Then repeat the process on the other side of the screen starting at the bottom as before.
Step One should always be carried out when you stop printing. Scrape all wet ink from frame. If appropriate, add ink to original container else dispose of ink in waste container. Now wash ink from screen using the recommended cleaner. Place screen on absorbent paper. Wash screen with rag on the squeegee side. Be very careful when cleaning substrate side of the screen as this can be very delicate and can easily damage stencil.
Next is the stencil removal. We have two products to achieve this. First Aquarius Strip and Clean, this product was developed for use in a dip tank. The Concentrated solution can be reduced with water up to a maximum of 10 to 1 in dip tanks. The Aquarius Strip and Clean can also be brush or padded directly onto the screen, if using this way we recommend a dilution of up 1 to 5 parts of water. When applying Strip n Clean to the screen follow the method below as you would using Aquarius Photo Solve Gel..
The PhotoSolve Gel is used straight from the pot. This is the method we use when removing stencils from the screen mesh. Remove all blocking tape from screen. The Gel is applied using either brush or pad onto both sides of the cleaned screen. The gel needs to be agitated on the screen, this will help it penetrate the old stencil medium. The gel should never be allowed to dry, this will make stencil reclaim more difficult. After five to ten minutes agitate the old stencil and then rinse. Now blast with a high pressure washer to remove old image from the mesh. If any old stencil material remains repeat above procedure. The advantage of the gel is its ability to remain on the mesh dissolving the old stencil medium without running to the bottom of the frame. If blocking tape adhesive remains on screen you can blend AQ1008 Aquarius Mesh Cleaner to the frame and mix on screen with PhotoSolve Gel. The mixture should dissolve both stencil and Adhesive.
The third step maybe required if the mesh is badly stained or blocked with ink residue, See products below.
You apply Aquarius Mesh Cleaner to both sides of a dry screen, apply it with either pad or brush, agitate mesh cleaner well into mesh. This product will not harm the mesh so can be left on for a couple of hours, then rinse and high pressure wash the screen. See above for rinsing and high pressure washing technique.
You apply Ghost Buster Paste to both sides of a wet screen using either pad or brush. This product may harm the mesh, if left on too long, we recommend the paste be left no longer than ten minutes, then rinse and high pressure wash the screen. When using this product it is very important to rinse the ghost buster from the mesh before using the high pressure washer on the mesh. Best result can only be achieved with High Pressure Washer of a least 160 bar.
The fourth Step is always required before coating or applying a stencil film
Just before coating or applying a stencil film the screen should be degreased. This step will remove any dust or finger prints. Apply the degrease gel to both sides of the screen with pad or brush. Then gently rinse the screen starting at the top of the frame and working down, make certain the frame its self is washed so no drips contaminate the mesh. Then vacuum mesh till completely dry. The screen is now ready for its new stencil.