Screen Printing FAQ

Check out some of our most frequently asked questions about screen printing. If you have a question that you don’t see below, contact one of our representatives today.

Check out this detailed graphic for more information on stencil profile vs. print quality.
Example Lot # J27401
  • J - Year the product was manufactured: J=2015, K=2016, L=2017, M=2018, N=2019, etc.
  • 274 - Julian Date (day of the year) that the product was produced (274 represents October 1)
  • 01 - Internal Code Only
Please note that in addition to the lot number, diazo bottles also show an expiration date. ("Use by...") Click here to see a visual example on a bucket.
Touch the inside of the screen during washout. If the stencil is slimy or you get color on your finger, it is a sure bet that it is underexposed. Use an exposure calculator to determine your proper exposure calculator. For more information, watch these videos from Mick Orr about how to use an exposure calculator.

Dual Exposure Calculator Part 1: Step Test
Dual Exposure Calculator Part 2: Exposure Calculator
Many people in our industry believe the "dual" in dual cure means that this emulsion is resistant to both solvent and water-based inks. Although many dual cure emulsions are resistant to both inks, this statement is not correct. The "dual" in dual cure means that the emulsion uses two sensitizers. One is already in the emulsion before mixing, and the other is usually a Diazo that is added to the emulsion by the user. For example our UDC-HV dual cure emulsion is not recommended for water-based inks, but our UDC-2 and UDC-ACE are recommended for both water and solvent-based inks.
Chromaline products are found through our world-wide network of distributor partners.
  • United States and Canada distributor list: click here
  • International distributor list: click here
Yes! You can now buy Chromaline products direct online. Click here to shop our products.
They both work very well. What's important is what will work best for your application. Direct emulsions are generally more resistant to rough treatment due to abrasion and solvent resistance. Films will usually yield sharper line edge definition.

ACCU Products FAQ

Check out some of our most frequently asked questions about our line of Accu products, including: AccuArt, AccuJet, AccuBlack and AccuInk.

AccuArt3 is our premium, waterproof inkjet media for the production of high-quality photopositives and photonegatives. AccuArt3 accommodates pigment or dye-based ink systems, including the all-new UltraChrome K3 inks from Epson. AccuBlack is also waterproof, but is designed for use with black dye-based inks only yielding excellent density of up to 4.0 dmax. AccuMark is our economy product, offering density superior to vellum (up to 3.0 dmax) and the ability to print with black or color dye-based inks. AccuMark is not waterproof and dries slowly.
Waterproof films offer a number of advantages. They dry faster after printing. AccuArt3 and AccuBlack have a special coating that helps to receive the dye-based ink and help it to dry instantaneously. This means there is little to no waiting for positives to dry, and no fear of smearing or marring the image during handling. The waterproof nature is also a benefit in the screen room. If the positive gets wet, the image will not be ruined. Simply allow the positive to dry and re-use.
With all AccuArt products, you need to print on the coated side of the film. With AccuMark, it’s easy to determine the proper side. With AccuArt3 and AccuMark, the coated side has a very matte, slightly frosty appearance. The opposite side is very shiny. With AccuBlack, the differences are more subtle. The coated side has a duller, more matte appearance. To the touch, it appears to have a bit more tack versus the smooth and shiny opposite side. Be sure to load the film appropriately into your printer. For front tray-feed printers, load the film coated side down. For back-feed printers or if you’re using rolls, feed with the coated side facing up.
No. AccuArt inkjet films are designed to work with standard inkjet printers using dye-based inks. Again, AccuArt™3 accommodates pigment or dye-based ink systems, including the all-new UltraChrome™ K3 inks from Epson®. When selecting a printer, be sure to choose one that is of adequate size and quality for your application. Consider whether you will need to print sheets or rolls, and the maximum size you will typically print. You’ll want to choose a printer that prints at a minimum of 720 dpi. For best results, printing should be done at a resolution of 1440 dpi.
For the most part, no. AccuArt inkjet films are designed to integrate into your graphics work flow. The only software you may need to buy is a RIP (raster image processor), if you’re not already using one. The RIP is helpful in creating color separations and also helps to improve print quality. We recommend the Wasatch SoftRip.
Dye-based inks are recommended because they actually penetrate into our special coating on the film. This aids in improving density, speeding up dry times and is integral in the waterproof nature and permanence of AccuArt and AccuBlack. Pigment based inks do not commonly work as well because they tend to remain on the film’s surface. This usually will result in longer drying times, a lack of density and lesser durability (ink is more likely to scratch off or run in wet/humid conditions).
This could be caused by a number of factors:
  1. Check to see that digital artwork is of adequate resolution. Line art should be at a resolution of 1200 dpi. Color or grayscale art should be at a minimum of 300 dpi.
  2. Check to see that you are printing at a proper resolution. Positives should be printed at a minimum of 720 dpi. 1440 dpi is recommended.
  3. Be sure to choose a film media from your printer properties menu. This tells the printer what type of media is going through the printer.
  4. Are you using a RIP? The RIP typically will improve print quality, resulting in smoother line edges and clean halftone dots if you’re doing separations. The AccuArt films can handle halftones up to 65 lpi.
This could be caused by a number of things:
  1. Make sure that you printed on the coated side of the film.
  2. Did you use the proper print settings? For best results, print at a resolution of 1440 dpi and use a print setting for film media. You may need to experiment to find the best media setting for your printer.
  3. If you’re doing positives/negatives, print with black ink only versus color. If you’re in color mode, sometimes the printer will mix the colors to make black opposed to getting a pure black ink print.
  4. Make sure that you’re using dye-based inks. The dye-based inks penetrate into the film, yielding better density. Pigment based inks will remain on the surface which will typically yield less density.
Inkjet positives offer a number of advantages.
  • Equipment cost is a lot lower. Inkjet printers are relatively inexpensive, and typically cost a fraction of what laser printers and imagesetters cost.
  • Accu Products are clear films with excellent density, which means that they will properly expose your screen. Vellums and some other media, are more opaque in nature, which means the light will not transfer as easy during exposure. This will sometimes result in underexposure. Another concern is often the toner (black) areas of the positive are not opaque enough to block out light. This may cause light to transfer through these areas, leading to improper exposure which may yield imaging and washout problems.
  • Inkjet printing is a cold process. With laser and thermal printers, heat is involved in the process which can cause image distortion and shrinkage of the media. Yellowing is particularly evident with thermal printing.
Positives made with AccuArt inkjet films can easily be archived for later use. For best results, store the positives in a cool, dry area and interleaf with clean newsprint.