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Please Help - NonToxic/ green academic planning

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  • Please Help - NonToxic/ green academic planning

    I am on a committee at the school I teach screenprinting to redesign the screenshop.
    I'm trying to figure out alternatives and best practices for an academic environment.
    Currently we are using TW graphics water based inks.
    We have 12 manual printing station which consist of jiffy clamps with glass top tables and our paper is held down with a light coating of spray mount.
    We have one large vacuum table for printing.
    Screen prep consists of Douttit exposure system, a power washer (better than the one I have at my shop) and a cleanup sink.

    The school wants us to end using spray mount for holding down out substrate, find the safest WB inks, reclaimers and screen washes.
    Ideally they would like all grey shop water (inky water and emulsion developing/reclaim water) to be filter down to nothing but water ideally.

    If money were no object (not saying it is) what would the best solutions be?

    Screenprinting is by far the most popular of the print classes and they cannot add enough classes to meet the demand. So anything we design needs to maximizes utilization. Currently there are 380 student per semester in printmaking and half of those are in screenprinting I would guess.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • #2
    Re: Please Help - NonToxic/ green academic planning

    ok, yinz aren't being the help I thought you would be LOL.
    Here's the progress I made so far.

    We are going to swap out spray adhesive for a product like CCI Top Bond Pallet adhesive. Any recommendations in this regard?
    We will hopefully be using an ink trap in our sinks like Lawson Water Filtration-Gravity. I'm not sure it will keep up with the demand though.
    I guess we're staying with TW graphics inks.


    • #3
      Re: Please Help - NonToxic/ green academic planning

      Water based inks aren't really 'green' either >> they contain ammonia, which is toxic when cured in the dryer. Same goes for discharge inks >> cooking bleach in the dryer is murder on your lungs.

      As for adhesives >> go water based.

      As for dealing with your screens, if you are using water based inks, you MUST print fast, and wash them IMMEDIATELY after printing, as water based inks dry fast, and will cure in the mesh of your screens, rendering them clogged and unusable. You should only need warm water and a mild detergent to clean your screens. As for reclaiming them, have no idea what environmentally options there are. You always just try blasting the sh*t out of them with a very high PSI pressure washer, but that would talk forever.

      TW air dry inks are toxic as f***. Water based inks are the lesser of two evils.