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Cleaning Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) for UV printing

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Pauly, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    what and how are you guys cleaning ACM before printing on it with a UV printer.

    IF i peel the top film off, it ripples and doesn't come of smoothly. So when printing it leaves streaks.
    I tried the rolling it off with a cardboard roll but that also ripples off.

    So i clean it with a generic micro fibre cloth and isopropyl but that sometimes will leave a streak.

    Is there a particular cloth to use?

    Most of the time it works, but some days it gets the better of us.

    For the guys in aus, We use "signbond"
     
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  2. jasonx

    jasonx Very Active Member

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    We just peel the liner off and print. Mostly using SAS ACM.
     
  3. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    How easy does the liner come off? does it grab or just slides right off?
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    When wiping, make sure you dry it with your rag, completely. Don't let the alcohol air dry.
     
  5. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    The SAS stuff comes off slightly easier than Signbond I've found. Only trick is to try peel it off in one smooth motion or you'll get lines in lighter areas of print.

    We use 70% isopropyl/distilled water mix, and just keep rubbing until there is nothing left. As Gino says, do not let the iso dry on the panel or it can leave marks during print.
     
  6. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    We use Spandex double sided and print on the matte side.
    Liner comes off better and ink adheres better than the gloss side.
    Pick the liner up all along one end about 15mm then pat it back down.
    Lay cheap d/s tape along that edge then stick a core to it.
    Roll it off without stopping then print.
    We tried just peeling and wiping down with iso but we still got some lines.
     
  7. chinaski

    chinaski Member

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    We use Dilite (3A Composites) with 257 inks and don't have any problem unless the liner has already been peeled from the edge and sat for an extended period of time. If I print on the backside, where there is text/logo on liner, it can sometimes leave "ghosting" marks which is visible especially in highlights. We use a wide soft-bristle anti-static brush to clean any particles from surface before printing. I've never had much luck with 99% isopropyl and use the "bad" dibond pieces for backsides of acrylic prints.

    Maybe if you flood print a very small amount of white ink first, it would be just enough to mask imperfections while still keeping colours more or less accurate.
     
  8. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

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    Use a 2 or 3 inch core to roll/peel the masking off. Comes off consistently without leaving lines or streaks. Wiping with Iso 90% and buffing with a microfiber rag helps if you get in a pinch as well.
     
  9. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I have had some sheets do that with older stock..but I would switch brands if it always does that.
     
  10. Greg Kelm

    Greg Kelm Member

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    I've noticed liners peel off way cleaner when the material is warm. Leave a sheet in the sunlight for a bit and see if that helps.
     
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  11. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    +1 for this.
     
  12. jasonx

    jasonx Very Active Member

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    Depends on the batch. It usually comes off rather easily. But some batches we've had to use a core and roll it off. We can't really spend time wiping down boards. They print in about 2-3 minutes so need to have the next sheet ready to go pretty quickly usually.
     
  13. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    I think this is the issue i'm fighting with.

    this works most of the time, every now and then i get that sheet that just doesn't want to come off then it jumps forcing me to clean it with iso.
    I'll try the 70/30 mix. i usually use 100% iso.

    I've used spandex before, don't remember why we went back to mulfords. I like that method, will give it a shot.

    Yes, i've noticed old stock can be a pain.

    Ha, i tried this earlier today, i warmed up a sheet with a heatgun and came off smoother.

    Dont think anyone wants to spend time wiping down boards.

    Thanks everyone for your input! appreciate it!
     
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