As one of the oldest and most versatile forms of printing, emulsion screens are an integral tool for a range of manufacturing processes. Used for decades, emulsion screens provide uniformity across large areas at high resolution.
However, there are various types of screen emulsions, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the use case. What might work best for an automaker that needs large-scale flexible circuits for its touchscreen panels might not be best for a solar company producing large LED lighting panels.
Choosing the correct screen emulsion can impact your entire process. Whether your business is aerospace, automotive, or fuel cells, screens can be used in virtually every industry. The trouble is that there are different types of emulsions that each have different strengths and weaknesses. So how do you know which one is the right one for your project? Read on to learn everything you need to know about screen emulsions and how to specify which one you need for your business.
What Are Screen Emulsions?
involve a mesh screen that is coated in a photosensitive polymer and exposed to UV light. When a pattern is applied to it at the same time, then this creates a negative pattern on the screen that can be used for a variety of tasks. These include creating decorations, insulation, and structural support.
These screens are used in fields such as aerospace, solar energy, and automotive. Different emulsions are used for different purposes, however, so you have to choose which one you need for your project carefully.
This is a photopolymer that is highly solvent resistant. It has a good and resolution. MS-14 also dries in about half the time compared to other emulsions. This means that it's ideal for jobs that require precision. If your project requires building hybrid circuits, such as in aerospace and electrical fields, then this might be the best option for your project. It allows you to feel confident that your print will be exactly right every single time.
Solvents will also never be a problem with this type of emulsion since it offers the highest solvent resistance available.
But this doesn't mean that it's water-resistant. If this is the emulsion you choose, then make sure that it doesn't come in contact with water. Otherwise, the emulsion could dissolve and make your screens unusable.
This is a capillary emulsion (sheet form) that comes in a variety of thicknesses and materials. Our experts can help you decide what materials and thickness you need for your project if you decide to use this emulsion. This means that it can be very specific to your project. In other words, it's not terrible for a general use screen emulsion. It's also going to provide the highest durability. So if your project requires a lot of highly specific prints, then this is the emulsion you want. It's going to last the longest for these projects.
This emulsion offers the highest water resistance and some solvent resistance. It is a photopolymer-based solution. So if you're working with highly water-based solutions, then these emulsions are what you want. That means that these are also good for anywhere that has a risk of spills or leaks. But remember that it is water-resistant and not waterproof. If you let water simply run over it, then it will eventually dissolve.
These are also not going to give you the defined edges of the MS-14 or the specificity of the MS-15. These are going to be more flexible, so they're good for projects that can be slightly different every single time. Think about flexible circuits or wearable circuits used by the military. This polymer will be good for these scenarios.
This emulsion is going to have the highest solvent resistance. It can be used with the most aggressive inks and solvents. This includes N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone or NMP. That makes this ideal for most design projects. The outside of a car, for example, can often have some unique design features. This emulsion is going to be the most useful for these cases. This is because these use powerful inks that are meant to last for the lifetime of the car. The ink solution would completely dissolve any other emulsion. So you need something more durable to withstand it. This emulsion will do that for you better than any other screen emulsion. So, if you're planning to use aggressive inks and solvents, then this is the way to go.
This is a liquid capillary emulsion. It is custom-coated to meet specific thickness requirements. It is ideal for printing thick layers of adhesives and epoxies. That means that this is ideal for making packaging for electronic circuit components. It will also be useful in making seating adhesives for fuel cells. That's because this screen emulsion is going to be more customizable than any of the others. So it can handle a little more weight and adhesion than other emulsions. But again, this will not give you the defined edges of the MS-14 or the durability of the MS-15. You want to use this resin for projects that don't rely on as much precision.
Get Your Screen Emulsions Today
Chances are that no matter what business you're in, you could use screen emulsions. Following the above advice will help you decide which kind you need for your projects. When you're ready to buy screen emulsions, then you need to check out our stock here at MicroScreen. We've been helping businesses design their screen emulsions and stencils since 1981. Our experts and ready and waiting to help you choose the right screen emulsion for your needs. And we'll make sure you get the right product on time!