Screen printing is a process of printing graphics or images on fabrics, glass, paper, ceramics, metals, as well as wood. This process of printing is simple and done with the help of screen printing screens or mesh. They are placed onto the screen printing frame on which the stencil is applied.
The screen printing technique might seem complicated to beginners, but it is pretty easy and compatible with a wide variety of products. A lot of professionals consider screen printing to be the best option for printing two or more colors. With the help of distinct colors and inks, you can create a design or graphic of your choice.
However, it is to be noted that the entire outcome of your screen printing depends on the type of stencil used. The stencils are generally of two types - aluminum and wood, and both offer specific advantages to produce effective results. Here are the advantages of aluminum screen printing frames
Advantages of Aluminum Screen Printing Frames
- The best part about using a metal frame is always its durability. Being a tough metal, aluminum offers a long life and better structure. This lessens your cost of purchasing a new screen printing frame every other time.
- Unlike the popular belief which shows that metals can be a little hard to handle, aluminum stands tall over such misconceptions by being very lightweight to use.
- Unlike wood frames, aluminum frames offer ease of handling. Depending on the size of your stencil, these frames can be stretched and re-stretched many times according to use.
- Also, when it comes to removing stains, aluminum can give you an ease to get rid of stains effectively. You can easily remove fibers of mesh or ink stain from the screen without damaging the metal.
- Lastly, you can utilize different mesh sizes with aluminum without any trouble fitting in.
Like we said, aluminum screen printing frames are lightweight and offer a wide arena for mesh count selection. Moreover, these frames also provide high yield strength, corrosion resistance, and ease to wipe debris and dirt.
Types of Aluminum Screen Printing Frames
Depending on its type, aluminum screen printing frame is categorized into hollow type, Japanese font, Tian Zi and cross shaped profiles.
As the name says, this type of screen printing frame is suitable for treadmill printing, leather, plastic, garment printing, and for manufacturing purposes.
This type of frame is suitable for multi-layer circuit boards, surface mount, liquid crystal display, ceramic decal, high precision manufacturers, and packaging as well as printing of tobacco.
CD, Ceramic Aluminum Screen Printing Frame
This type is suitable for CD turntable, housing, nameplate, and other regular printing precision manufacturers. It can also be used for manual as well as small printing operations or you can also customize arc shaped or other shapes of boxes with it.
Large Aluminum Screen Printing Frames
This type is suitable for large outdoor advertising, glass curtain wall, light box printing, and other large format printing operations. You can only utilise this screen for large format printing operations.
Electronic Aluminum Screen Printing Frames
This type is suitable for single or double sided printed circuit boards, glass printing, or other precision printing operations.
Comparison Between aluminum Screen Printing Frame and Wooden Screen Printing Frame
As discussed initially, there are two popular types of screen printing frames available in the market - wooden frames and aluminum screen printing frames.
The most commonly used wooden screen printing frame is made up of light wood, including cork, slick, or kiln that can be bought from any craft store.
These wood frames are cheaper which makes them a suited option for novice printers. Also, these work just fine for creating larger images. However, the main drawback associated with wooden frames is its tendency to get warped. This causes the screen to bend and creates an uneven print. Secondly, wood is a porous material and it tends to absorb the water based ink. which can make it even dirtier. In the long run, the wood continues to store debris and dirt which makes it difficult to use.
On the contrary, aluminum serves as an ideal material for screen printing frames. The frames made up of aluminum are lighter in weight as well as durable. As aluminum is a hard metal, the frame also lasts longer as compared to wood.
If you go for high-quality aluminum screen printing frames, these are additionally welded together to offer extra reinforcement at the corners. This reduces the warpage as observed with wooden frames ergo maintaining the integrity of frame in the long run.
Next, metals are non-porous. Thus, an aluminum screen can withstand multiple ink washes without any damage. Moreover, aluminum offers finer and detailed image output as compared to other frames.
To Sum It Up
Regardless of the type of screen printing frame, you need to keep a few things in mind. Make sure that your frame is leveled according to your working platform. An uneven platform can deform faster and may create a muddy, rough image.
If you are going with a wooden frame, make sure to check the corners to avoid warping. Single or double corners or attaching corner joints is good to keep your frame steady and avoid warping. Moreover, ensure the quality of wood. Make sure that your ink is compatible with a wooden frame.
If your choice of frame is aluminum, make up your mind for the budget because an aluminum frame can cost you a little high. But, you don't need to replace aluminum quite often, which makes it a more viable option. A high-quality aluminum frame can be used indefinitely.
So, instead of going for a wooden frame and changing it frequently, using aluminum is a better way to go.
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