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Discharge Ink

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  • Discharge Ink

    I use Union Ink a lot and I have been wanting to learn to discharge printing what kind would be the best to start with? I think Union has a plastisol white discharge if they do will you explain how that works? Thanks

  • #2
    Discharge is a great process. And, the plasticharge option makes it easier to use. Because the plasticharge contains 50% plastisol, it has half as much water in it as regular waterbase discharge. This difference makes it easier to use with smaller dryers. You still want good airflow in your dryer so the most basic units will be a challenge but I have made plasticharge work in electric dryers as long as the air circulation was good.

    Plasticharge comes in two different formulations, a premixed white and an additive to which you add plastisol for the color. The reason the white is premixed is because printers use a lot of it so it makes sense to offer it that way. The Plasticharge additive is a clear waterbase product that is blended 50/50 by weight with plastisol.

    Once the mixture is ready, then 6% ZFS (zinc-formaldehyde-sulfoxolate) activator is added. Once the ZFS is mixed in, the ink as a pot life of about 8-10 hours. My recommendation is to never activate more than you can use in a couple of hours. Then if you need more activate more. That keeps the mix fresh and cuts down on waste.

    As far as which plastisol to add, there are two general rules. One, the more opaque the plastisol you mix in, the closer you will get to matching the color. Second, do not use low bleed plastisols as the chemicals in those can conflict with the discharge chemicals.

    The white plasticharge makes a great underbase. It is not as bright as a pure HO plastisol but it is perfectly fine as an underbase. It can be flashed, but it takes about half the energy of a full plastisol underbase and it leaves no after-flash tack so you can put the next color right after the flash (no cool-down). Make sure not to over flash as this will kill the discharge process. Only flash enough to gel the plastisol. The print should still be moisture wet, but the white plastisol should not come off on your hand.

    If your final print is white, use a highlight white plastisol over the plasticharge white. 230 mesh is perfect and results in a much lighter print than a plasticharge over plasticharge print.

    The fabric you are printing needs to be "reactive dyed". Most major brands are fine, always test to be sure. There are also a couple of shirt colors that don't discharge well. These are royal blue and kelly and anything similar may cause problems.

    That should get you started. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

    Mike Ukena
    Regional Sales Manager
    Union Ink Company
    Member of the Academy of Screen Printing Technology


    • #3
      Re: Discharge Ink

      what happens to the paint after the expiry date?
      Last edited by artprofile; 02-25-2012, 08:39 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Discharge Ink

        Rich French
        Artist / IT / Maintenance
        Pacific Sportswear


        • #5
          Re: Discharge Ink