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High Density Ink and Screen Printing

blogran-silverHigh Density Inks are Specialty Plastisol Inks and they are used on many different types of screen printing jobs. These inks produce dramatic 3-dimensional, heavy-deposit prints. High Density Inks have a reduced tack and increased flow characteristics, these high-viscosity plastisol inks will print through thick stencils. Their unique flash time will speed up production and dwell time in the dryer.

Extremely sharp edges can be produced for maximum effect. This type of screen printing ink can be printed on 100% cotton, or cotton- poly blends. Test prints are always recommended. Available as 142 HD Base, 143 HD White and 144 HD Black.

Below we will explain how to print this specialty ink and the steps you will want to take.


  1. International Coatings High-Density White, Black or you can add the color concentrates to the 142 HD Base to make any pantone color you want.
  2. Chromaline Thick High Density Film — The microns will depend upon the look you want. Different microns will determine a flatter 3D look or a higher 3D print.
  3. 40-83 Mesh Screen a new screen would be preferred since you want the screen tension to be high, to yield a clean screen print.
  4. Test print pellon
  5. A roll of R-tape 2000 Black Out Tape
  6. Squeegee 70 durometer
  7. Mclogan Waterproof Film

Screen Printing the High Density Ink

1. Use the R-Tape 2000 to tape the Mclogan Waterproof Film to the registration board just as you would for any other screen setup. Lay the blank, clean, degreased silk screen over the film and mark the crosshairs. Doing this first ensures you will adhere the Chormaline Thick High Density Film in the correct position on the screen so that when you are ready to expose, there will be no question of where to tape the film.

2. Remove a sheet of Thick High Density Film. This film should be opened in a dark room, so you don't expose it. Be sure to handle it in a dark room so it’s not exposed to light, which can ruin it.

3. Lay your test pellon down. Pre-cut your Chromaline Thick High Density Film and then remove the protective cover sheet. Apply tape to the duller side of the film and that will easily remove the protective cover sheet.

4. Block out the rest of your screen with the R-Tape 2000. Pour a thin layer of emulsion. Using your 70 durometer squeegee coat the screen up to 3 times.

5. Peel off the tape and place the screen on a rack, squeegee side down, to dry in a Ranar Screen Drying Cabinet. You will know when the screen is dry when the carrier comes off easily. If there's noise or an extra sort of toughness when pulling off the carrier then additional drying time would be best. 1.5-2 hrs should be sufficient drying time.

6. Place the emulsion side of the photopositive in contact with the print side of the screen. For screen exposure times please check manufactures specifications. The higher the microns the longer you will have to expose your screen.

7. Wet both sides of the screen. Pressure wash your printed side of screen until the image is fully open. This can take up to 6-8 minutes when using thicker films. Most wash times are 2-4 minutes though.

8. After taping your screen make sure to adjust your off-contact on your screen printing press. Usually when printing high density prints you can actually double your off-contact so that you don't smash the ink. The thicker ink will need more room than a standard screen printing ink.

9. Make sure your flood your high density ink, just like you would a standard ink screen print. You want to provide enough ink to fill your stencil.

Using different types of inks, along with different techniques will add to your screen printing "bag of tricks". As always please email or call one of our 4 locations to speak with a Mclogan representative with any questions.

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