Increasing Screen Longevity

Get your screen-printings screens to last with these storage and care tips. 

There is no single factor that determines how long your screen will last; there are many. All screen printers face the question of, “How long will my screen last?”

Let’s keep in mind, an obvious way to increase longevity is to take absolute care of them. Like any piece of equipment, how and where you store them matters significantly. If screens are taken care of properly, they can last you the life of your business. Many shops must reuse their screens because new ones can get very costly. Let’s discuss the issue further.

BEST PRACTICES

Here are five ways you can be proactive in increasing the longevity of your screens.

1. Clean them carefully and thoroughly after each job.

2. Reclaim them as soon as the current screen is no longer needed. Hardened emulsion can become “locked,” therefore, making it extremely difficult if not impossible to reclaim.

3. Wooden screens can warp from humidity, which means you need to store them in airtight storage containers. This allows you to organize them by mesh count or artwork.

4. Additionally, store your screens in a screen rack or drying cabinet. This will cut down on dust and grime.

5. If you get a rip or tear in the mesh. The longevity of the screen will decrease significantly. A quick fix for these incidents would be to use durable screen tape.

OTHER FACTORS

Durability is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing screens for your shop. A costlier option, retensionable screens can be tightened as necessary and are virtually new for each job. However, the longevity of a screen may very well depend on the user.

SIMPLE CARE

An effective way to increase the life of your screens is to take proper care of them. They are quite possibly the most critical part of your business. Spend the extra money upfront to invest in more durable screens, develop a system for storing your them when not in use, and be proactive in the cleaning. We hope this short article can help you formulate a strategy for taking better care of and increasing your screens’ longevity.

alleebruce

Allee Bruce

Allee Bruce is the managing editor for GRAPHICS PRO magazine, aiding with the publication's digital and print efforts.

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