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Exposed and emulsified screenprinting screens. What’s the difference?

Exposed and emulsified screenprinting screens. What's the difference?

I’d like to understand the difference between a screen that’s exposed and a screen that’s exposed and emulsified. I’ve read that a screen that’s been exposed lasts until it deteriorates and can be kept for a long period of time, whilst a classic emulsified screen lasts a week.

OK, let me clarify: to expose a screen it needs to be emulsified first.

This is the sequence of operations:

1) Emulsify the screen, in other words spread a layer of emulsion over it and leave it to dry in the dark;

2) Expose the screen, put the film onto the emulsified screen, expose all of it to UV light and then prepare it in water.

A screen that has only been emulsified, i.e. it has only undergone step 1) above, can be kept in the dark for a maximum of 10 days, because the emulsion, despite being dry and in the dark, tends to harden.

A screen which has been emulsified and exposed lasts for a very long time, until it deteriorates through use, i.e. after thousands of prints.

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