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Printing on Styrene

Discussion in 'Flatbed Printers' started by artbot, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    we've got a product that can be printed on white polystyrene or white pvc board. the margins are tight so i'd rather go styrene. i was told by my operator that the adhesion isn't very good on the styrene.

    that seems odd to me because styrene wouldn't strike me as a difficult surface.

    is there a trick (lamp setting, static/humidity, carriage speed, high adhesion vs high gamut cet ink) to styrene?

    we have yet to get the space humdified. (we're being shocked by sheets and such as we drag them across tables).
     
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  2. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    I can't remember what brand/model of flatbed UV printer our sub uses, but it bangs out 0.030" styrene perfectly. Never any complaints and they are for trade show displays so they take a beating.
    Sorry not much help.

    BTW how's that LIMAC performing?
     
  3. Ditchmiester

    Ditchmiester Active Member

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    I've printed on .020 Styrene with my Colorspan 72UVR all day long and never had an adhesion issue. I remember the lamps being set to low and no extra dwell time or anything special. It was actually one of the easiest substrates i've had to use. My shop didn't have any type of humidifier in it either.
     
  4. Typestries

    Typestries Very Active Member

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    Styrene prints beautifully for us. Gandi 1224s with Nazdar inks. PVC as well.
     
  5. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Styrene prints great on our CET with 50 series inks. I run the lamps on low, especially on really thin poly to avoid any heat-related issues, but it sticks great.

    Only issue we run into with poly, again especially with thin stuff like 010 and 020 is if the belt has a lot of ink buildup on it we'll get some areas on the sheet that don't suck down all that well and buckle a little, so sometimes we have to run some masking tape around the edges to keep it flat...
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    We print on it with our Dilli all the time and usually at 1/2 lamp. If you futz with it after coming out, the adhesion is kinda poor. Wait til the next day and it's fine.

    If you have bleeds and try to cut it the same day, we experience like a chipping, but not the next day.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Although ALL the flatbed UV printers claim to be dry immediately after being finished, they're not. They still need some cure time, is my theory. They are dry to the touch, but not completely bonded to a surface. We stack them, not print to print surfaces, but on edge. After a day or so, we have no real problems handling most substrates.

    Vinyls are different. We don't print a lot of vinyl on our flatbed, but we do lotsa banners. Those two medias don't need any extra time to dry after coming out.

    Rolling the stock right away..... why would you do that ?? If you're printing say 50 or 60 4' x 8' sheets, you'll take up far less floor space placing one in front of the other...... and less hassle.
     
  8. signs2trade

    signs2trade Active Member

    I personally would try and move the person to 2m pvc......so much easier to work with and cuts easier.....
     
  9. BALLPARK

    BALLPARK Member

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    We just installed about 50 panels in a showroom of .060 styrene. All panels were printed on a Roland UV printer and had no issues with the heat lamps.

    Prints look outstanding... We have also printed on .30 styrene with no issues.
     
  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    For shipping, yes indeed. It's fine.... even if you only wait til the next day to roll it up..... anyway on ours.
     
  11. KaranGrewal

    KaranGrewal Member

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    we print on styrene sheet .20 and .40 with fuji acuity and colorspan 72uvx no issues. lamp settting low.
     
  12. RyanFelty

    RyanFelty Member

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    We print styrene all the time with our CET...no adjustment to the lamps and it is perfectly fine you should have no problems.
     
  13. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    we just have a right lamp go out. i am going back the styrene with brand new lamps on the left and right to see if i was just not backing the ink on properly.
     
  14. cwb143

    cwb143 Member

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    I print tons of styrene on the Gandi 3150x2 and the HP FB700. On the Gandi we use Sericol/Fujifilm Ink. And the Hp whatever their standard OEM ink is. No problems at all for 2 years. If you have ink problems try the Uvjet adhesion master but its a pain to have to wipe every sheet. But all Styrene should be UV compliant these days I would think.
     
  15. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    make sure the styrene is corona treated. that makes a huge difference. No problems with out CET and getting it to stick.
     
  16. johnnysigns

    johnnysigns Very Active Member

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    It's not theory, it's the truth. Depending on the flexibility and other factors of the performance of the ink you need will also affect 100% dry times. We use a bendable ink in our press and it's definitely not fully cured when it comes out of the machine. Vacuum formable inks seem to be similar.
     
  17. SignKingAZ

    SignKingAZ Arizona Signs and Signwalkers

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    anyone know where to find parts for these machines?
     
  18. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    for a CET? or any flatbed printer. ebay has some cheap ink pumps, filters, and such that work great.
     
  19. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

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    We print loads of styrene with the Vutek and get excellent adhesion. Usually a medium to double low for us.
     
  20. Drywater

    Drywater New Member

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    What Vutek do you have? We have the GS2000pro.
     
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