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Better Garment Printing through Squeegee Consciousness

(April 2009) posted on Thu Apr 23, 2009

Despite its important role in the screen-printing process, the squeegee often doesn


By Tom Davenport

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The concept behind the triple-durometer squeegee is that two soft edges with hard backing between help to control deflection as squeegee pressure is added, resulting in optimum ink shear at high stroke speeds. A dual-durometer squee-gee is similar to a triple durometer one in that a very soft edge is supported by a hard backing. I have found the dual-durometer squeegee to be effective and versatile as both sides of the squeegee can be used for different printing applications. But overall, I strongly recommend the use of triple-durometer blades for best results throughout a range of printing applications.

Price
After doing your research and finding the most appropriate type of squeegee for your operation, purchase it at the best price from the most reliable distributor. Controlling costs is critical for all screen printers, but do not base your squeegee selection on price alone. If price is your main consideration for squeegee selection, do not read any further; instead, proceed immediately to your production floor and carefully observe your printing operation. If you are objective, you will no doubt find other areas for cost savings that far outweigh the upfront savings of purchasing squeegees on the cheap.

Before selecting which squeegee type to purchase, I encourage you to consult with different manufacturers on the various products they offer. They should be able to help you assess your printing needs and match a product based on its performance and associated benefits. Remember, the key is to find the most appropriate product for your operation. What may be the most suitable product selection for a high-volume shop with very sophisticated printing equipment may not be the same for a lower volume or manual printer.

Squeegee maintenance
As with all equipment and tools of the trade, proper care and maintenance of your squeegees is imperative. We will start with cleaning.


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