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Photo Emulsion: Tips on Getting Started

Publicado por Jeffrey Gononsky en

Information on different styles on photo emulsion screen printing, and answers to commonly asked questions. 

Photo emulsion is a substance used to create a stencil on a screen. The photo emulsion is coated onto the screen and then exposed to light. Photo emulsion screen print is a great way to add detail and life to your prints. This is because the areas that are hit by light will harden, while those that are not hit by light will stay soft. This stencil can then print images on fabric or other materials. In this article, we will discuss how to get started using photo emulsion and some tips on how to use it effectively.

Top Tips For Coating With Emulsion

The following are some tips on how to coat your screen with emulsion effectively:

  • Ensure that your emulsion screen print is completely clean and free of any debris or oils. The emulsion will not adhere to the screen if it is dirty. You can clean the screen with a degreaser or soap and water.
  • Use a good quality photo emulsion. There are many different types of emulsion available, and not all of them will work well for silk screening. Make sure to do your research before purchasing an emulsion.
  • Use a proper coating tool. A foam brush or a squeegee is the best tool for applying the emulsion to the screen.
  • Apply a thin coat of emulsion to the screen. You do not need to apply a lot of emulsion to the screen to get good results. However, a light coat will ensure that the image is clear and sharp.
  • Allow the emulsion to dry completely before exposing it to light. Do not try to expose it before it has dried completely, or the image will not be clear.
  • Make sure that the light you are using is bright enough. The exposure time will vary depending on the strength of the light and the type of photo emulsion you are using.

Types of Photo Emulsion Liquids:

Photopolymer Emulsion

Photopolymer emulsion is a type of photo emulsion that contains a photosensitive resin. When the emulsion is exposed to light, the resin hardens and creates a stencil.

Pros:

  • Photopolymer emulsion is very durable and can be used for multiple prints.
  • It is easy to use and does not require any special equipment or expertise.
  • The stencils created with photopolymer emulsion are very accurate and can be used for detailed images.

Cons:

  • Photopolymer emulsion is more expensive than other types of emulsion.
  • It can be challenging to find in stores, so you may have to order it online.
  • The exposure time is longer than other types of photo emulsion.

Diazo Emulsion

Diazo emulsion is a type of photo emulsion that contains a diazo salt. When the emulsion is exposed to light, the diazo salt reacts with the ammonia in the screen and creates a stencil.

Pros:

  • Diazo emulsion is very cheap and easy to find.
  • It is easy to use and does not require any special equipment or expertise.
  • The stencils created with diazo emulsion are very accurate and can be used for detailed images.

Cons:

  • Diazo emulsion is not as durable as other types of photo emulsion.
  • It can be challenging to find in stores, so you may have to order it online.
  • The exposure time is longer than other types of photo emulsion.

Dual Cure Emulsion

A dual-cure emulsion is a photo emulsion containing both a sensitizer and a hardener. When the emulsion is exposed to light, the sensitizer reacts with the ammonia on the screen and creates a stencil. The hardener then reacts with the ammonia and hardens the stencil.

Pros:

  • Dual cure emulsion is very durable and can be used for multiple prints.
  • It is easy to use and does not require any special equipment or expertise.
  • The stencils created with dual-cure emulsion are very accurate and can be used for detailed images.

Cons:

  • Dual cure emulsion is more expensive than other types of photo emulsion.
  • It can be difficult to find in stores, so you may have to order it online.
  • The exposure time is longer than other types of photo emulsion.

Which Photo Emulsion Should I Use as a Beginner?

If you are a beginner, we recommend using photopolymer emulsion. It is easy to use and does not require special equipment or expertise. The stencils created with photopolymer emulsion are accurate and can be used for detailed images. A dual-cure emulsion is also a good option, but it is more expensive than a photopolymer emulsion. Diazo emulsion is the cheapest and easiest to find, but the stencils are not as durable as those created with photopolymer or dual-cure emulsion.

Things You Will Need To Get Started

To use a photo emulsion, you will need a screen, a light source, and a photo emulsion. You can find these items at your local screen printing or art supply store.

How to Speed Up Emulsion Drying Time

If you need to speed up the drying time of your emulsion, we recommend using a hairdryer or a fan. Make sure that the emulsion is completely dry before exposing it to light. If the emulsion is not dry, it will not be clear, and the image will not be accurate.

FAQ

Q: How do I apply the photo emulsion to the screen?

A: You can apply the photo emulsion to the screen with a foam brush or a squeegee. Make sure to apply a thin coat and allow it to dry completely before exposing it to light.

Q: How long does the exposure time vary?

A: The exposure time will vary depending on the strength of the light and the type of photo emulsion you are using.

Q: What is the difference between sensitized, unexposed, and post-exposure photo emulsion?

A: Sensitized photo emulsion is a type of photo emulsion that contains a photosensitive resin. When the emulsion is exposed to light, the resin hardens and creates a stencil. An unexposed photo emulsion is a photo emulsion that has not been exposed to sunlight. Post-exposure photo emulsion is a type of photo emulsion exposed to light.

Q: How do I make a stencil with photo emulsion?

A: You can make a stencil with a photo emulsion by exposing it to light. The amount of time you need to expose the emulsion will vary depending on the photo emulsion you are using. Once the exposure is complete, the stencil will be hard and ready to use.

Q: What is the difference between liquid and paste photo emulsions?

A: Liquid photo emulsions are easier to use than paste photo emulsions. They are also less likely to cause problems with the screen printing process.

Q: How long does it take for the emulsion to dry?

A: The emulsion will take about an hour to dry completely.

 

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