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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  What kind of ink for silk screen PCBs is etch resistant? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: What kind of ink for silk screen PCBs is etch resistant?  (Read 2139 times)
jimosity
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Jim Rodgers


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What kind of ink for silk screen PCBs is etch resistant?
« on: June 22, 2010, 08:47:47 AM »

I have a couple screens that I've made for etching PCBs and they are perfect, but the only ink I've tried is acrylic and as soon as I put it in the etchant (acid/peroxide) - the acrylic paint came right off.
What kind of ink can I use for this that is etch resistant?
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R.G.
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Re: What kind of ink for silk screen PCBs is etch resistant?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2010, 10:03:20 AM »

You have a couple of options. One is to get a different ink, as you note. The other is to use a different etchant. Both work.

If I were you, I would get samples of several "inks" that I could get easily, and swipe a little stripe of each on a piece of copper clad, dry the ink, then etch it. The good ones will etch nicely, the bad ones will go away or not etch well.

Screen printed circuit boards have the issue that the ink must cure fairly quickly or the air to which the un-covered copper is exposed will oxidize, and then it won't etch where it's supposed to.

I experimented with screen printing long ago. Works, but is messy. I found that presensitized photo PCB stock works very well indeed, has high resolution, and about the same amount of messiness as screen printing, in addition to being quicker - no curing time.

UV cured screen inks work GREAT, but you need a UV curing source. You also need a similar UV source for exposing photo PCB stock.

A big issue for me is that photo PCB stuff is already cleaned and ready to etch - I don't have to do the initial scrubbing that I would with screen printing. Saves a step.

Just some random thoughts.
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R.G.

It doesn't take a lot of technical chops to understand that such [cryogenic] treatment to a vacuum tube is probably similar to cryogenically treated stove elements.
G. Hoffman
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G. Hoffman


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Re: What kind of ink for silk screen PCBs is etch resistant?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 03:48:35 PM »

As I understand it, what you are looking for is an ink which uses pigment for its color rather than a dye.  Dyes are much smaller particles which dissolve in your solvent, where as pigments are larger and tend not to dissolve - maybe soften at most - so they provide better protection from the enchant.  Now, my primary experience with dyes/pigments is spray finishing guitars, but from that I predict that you will have to shake your ink right before you use it, because pigment settles in a way that dyes don't, and you will have more problems with pigments clogging your screens if you reuse them (they certainly clog up spray guns!)

But R.G. is right, try a variety of different inks, and see what works.


Gabriel
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