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The Squeegee Story

(December 1999) posted on Sun Dec 19, 1999

Answers to frequently-asked questions


By Spence Ingerson

Yet another answer is to back a soft squeegee blade with a metal support. For example, the Flex-Control adjustable blade brace mounts a dialable plate behind the squeegee. Also manufactured by Printer's Edge, the device allows consistent control of the support of the squeegee.

One caveat: Durometers change depending on time and usage. At the end of an 8-hr press run, the ink chemicals will have permeated and softened the polyurethane. At 9:00 am it's a 70-durometer squeegee and by 6:00 pm it's softened to 65--and you wonder why the ink is laying down thicker and thicker? No problem. Just change the squeegee during your noontime break. However, over the longer term, your squeegees will harden. Through the months, the constant absorption and release of ink chemicals will interfere with the elasticity of the squeegee.

Which Squeegee Profile Works Best?

Not only are there a whole range of durometers, but also a chocolate-box of profiles (the shapes of the actual printing edges). Textile printers tend to stick with the straight and bullnose blades, selecting profiles depending on the mesh count and the desired thickness of the ink deposit . (Fancier beveled configurations are usually used on smooth glass and ceramic substrates.)

Straight-edge squeegees are the most popular among textile screen printers. A true 90

Is there one item that symbolizes our industry? One totem that is recognized by both apprentice and master? Of course, it's the squeegee. Yet I have a question: How come this low-tech, inexpensive tool of the trade is so often mistreated and last in line for problem-solving in our industry? After all, by filling the mesh with ink and keeping the mesh in contact with the substrate, the squeegee plays a leading role in screen printing.

The answer to this question, I suspect, lies in our lack of knowledge about the characteristics and use of the squeegee. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have enough Information to choose the right squeegees for your work and enough expertise to troubleshoot squeegee-related production problems.

What's a Squeegee Made Of?


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