Ink mixing for pad printing is fairly simple, but if done incorrectly it can create an adverse effect in the whole printing process, resulting in a low-quality finished product. If this ever happens, you have to remix your ink and start over again, a process which costs the company time and money. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get it right the first time.
Ink Mixing for Pros
If you are new to ink mixing or an experienced ink mixer who wants to get better at their trade, then here are a couple industry tips to help you perfect your craft.
- Make sure that you start out with an “ink friendly” mixing cup. This is a cup that is made out of materials that maintain ink integrity.
- Always thoroughly mix the source container before scooping ink out of it. This will ensure that the ink color stays consistent from the top of the container to the bottom.
- When measuring, make sure that your scale is accurate, set to zero, and on a flat surface.
- Use sufficient ink for your cup depth and size. This will ensure that the “etch” on the cliche is well-inked.
- In addition to using the right amount of hardener, you should also always make sure to mix the ink and hardener before mixing in thinners or additives. The method for mixing in additives is written on the bulk ink container, so make sure to reference it before mixing in your additives, as different inks have different requirements.
- The ideal viscosity of your ink is based on four things: the machine speed, ambient conditions like humidity and temperature, the hardness of the ink pad, and the porousness of the material being printed on. Don’t forget that pad printing inks are diluted with 10-20% thinner. After taking all of these things into consideration, you can make your measurements for how much hardener, thinners, or additives to mix into your ink.
- A good way to make sure that you don’t over-thin your ink is to add thinner to the ink in small increments until you reach your desired consistency.
Atlantic Graphic Systems
Established in 1976, Atlantic Graphic Systems has been a premier equipment sales and service provider for forty years. The technology of printing has been integral to the communication of ideas and information for hundreds of years. We’re proud to work in this historic and dynamic field. If you’d like to order equipment or services, call us at 410-290-8200 or visit our Contact Page. Want to keep up with the latest news and information? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Linkedin!