Discharge Agent: Should be mixed 10% into 100% discharge binder (by weight). A gram sale is always recommended to achieve the most accurate mixing results.
PRINTING: Once discharge agent is mixed into the discharge binder (with or without pigment) print directly on fabric, flash cure and print Matsui 301 Eco-Series inks directly on top (wet on wet).
Under Basing: An under base can also be accomplished by printing discharge ink which discharges the dye from the fabric, flashing, and over printing wet on wet w/ RC Ink. For the ultimate brilliance and soft hand results try our premixed White Discharge which has white pigment mixed in into the discharge leaving a discharged white under base.
Curing Options: Water based inks cure differently from standard plastisol inks. While plastisol inks cure with infrared once reaching 320 degrees, water based inks cure best with air movement and heat. Air movement is preferred to drive water out of the ink and blow away steam so heat can cure water base pigment properly. Without hot air movement across the ink, water based inks will take much longer to cure. In good air flow, water based inks can cure in under 1 minute while it may take 2.5 to 3 minutes in a standard infrared dryer. (Paper can be allowed to air dry)
WE STRONGLY SUGGEST WASH TESTING AND DOCUMENTING CURE TIMES BEFORE BEGINNING PRODUCTION.
|Heat guns actually work fairly well for curing low quantities of water base prints. Hot air from the gun forces water from the ink and curing can actually be seen as the ink dries.
|IR flashes work marginally well. Take shirt off pallet, raise flash head up 4-5 inches above the shirt, cure for 2-3 minutes until ink is temped at 320 degrees. Wash test before production.
|IR conveyors work decent for low quantity production. Raise conveyor gates to allow steam to exit dryer, bump temp down slightly, slow belt speed down, allow to dwell 2-3 minutes.
||Forced Air Flash
|Forced air is preferred for lower production or flashing. For a final cure, lift shirt from pallet to allow air to circulate under the garment. Cure for 60-90 seconds. Conduct Wash Tests.
||Air Flow Conveyor Dryer
|Optimal for WB Inks, air flow gas or IR dryers can cure in 60-90 seconds depending on chamber length. Air knifes remove water from ink and IR or Gas heat cure garment.
CLEAN UP: Card off excessive ink and dispose of in trash. Use Sprayway Water Base Screen Opener to break down ink then wipe residue from screens, screen frames, squeegees and any surfaces in contact with ink. Left over residue can also be washed in the sink with water after soaking.
FINISHING: It is highly recommended to wash and dry garments or fabrics before packaging and shipping.
View and Download Discharge DSPS and Discharge Agent MSDS Sheets.
Water Base Discharge Inks
Discharge printing can be a valuable addition to your operation. Discharge is not a use-it-and-forget-it product. Discharge printing comes with safety precautions, issues with finished goods, and procedures for a healthy shop environment. These issues are not that difficult to deal with and cannot be ignored. Be prepared to properly handle the discharge products or dont even try them.
Methods of using discharge
Discharge inks require an activator/catalyst to work; there are two different systems available. The predominant system relies on active ingredient Zinc-Formaldehyde-Sulfoxylate (ZFS). The newer, and less used system relies on Thiourea Dioxide as its active ingredient. There are different name determinations dependant on what the ink company calls it, in most cases formaldehyde is the active ingredient. In both systems, the ink has a limited discharge life once the activator is added. There are two methods of discharge printing, both systems can be used.
1. The first and most traditional printing method is to discharge every color in the print; there is no need for an underbase screen. In this format you mix PC pigments into the discharge to give it color when discharging occurs. PC pigments can be ordered in a variety of different colors and are typically mixed at about 10% into the discharge base. This method saves a screen and does away with flashing between colors. The exception to this rule is when a black-ink screen is needed. Theres no need to use discharge if the black will cover without it. When printing on black, any black that is on the design is reversed, that part of the design will use the shirt color itself.
Example of Dye Discharge: Click to Enlarge
2. The second method is to use discharge strictly as an underbase. With this method, you can use either white discharge or natural discharge, which contains no pigment and reveals the natural color of the fabric. The following colors are printed with regular plastisol with or without flashing. Some prefer not to flash the discharge underbase. This saves the head used for the flash and any cool down heads. The end result is that printers can increase the amount of colors they can print on dark shirts by one or two.
The white discharge underbase works well for most design types, especially spot-color work. Even though the other colors are printed using plastisol, the overall print has a less heavy feel because the underbase is a water-based product. If a design contains halftones or other areas with very thin ink deposits, then a natural discharge would work much better. The pigment in the white discharge underbase might mix with the process inks and shift their color. This is usually a problem with spot colors.
Discharge underbasing makes true 4 color process printing on dark fabrics possible. For process printing do not use a white discharge underbase. When the white pigment mixes with the transparent process inks, they will turn pastel and muted. Work with a natural discharge underbase that will reveal the natural cotton background color using a highlight white to make the design pop. Process-ink systems can be beefed up using triple-strength versions to compensate for the natural background thus overcoming the off-white background color. Again if the design contains any white color of its own, print a white highlight that is designed to print with the process inks using this application.
Safety issues in production
Water-based ZFS-activated discharge is the most used and the most versatile method of discharge printing. ZFS has an unpleasant odor and should be handled carefully in its crystal form then blended into the ink by a properly trained employee. Always blend the ZFS slowly until it is well mixed in the ink to prevent dust, ZFS is relatively safe once in solution. Formaldehyde is a skin irritant. Proper procedure dictates dryers should be properly vented, never use an unvented dryer for discharge curing. Shirts printed with ZFS discharge have measurable levels of formaldehyde. Garments that are allowed to sit for a time after printing in an unconfined state will disperse most of the formaldehyde within days. If at all possible, avoid folding and packing ZFS-discharged garments immediately after printing.