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Printing onto aluminum boxes.

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Printing onto aluminum boxes.

Postby MONOLITH » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:25 am

Hello! I am building of guitar and bass effects pedals and would like to start screen printing onto the boxes I have made. Does anyone have any experience with working with aluminum and ink? I was curious to know the type of ink I could use for this and something that would stand some wear over time? Thanks!
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Re: Printing onto aluminum boxes.

Postby d fleming » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:18 am

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Re: Printing onto aluminum boxes.

Postby tompaine » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:16 pm

Look around at your kit, almost all of it will have screenprinted logos and markings.
Most manufacturers will do some pretty resilient inks.
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Re: Printing onto aluminum boxes.

Postby messabout » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:25 pm

For bare aluminum, a durable ink is epoxy. Naz Dar and others have such ink. It can be tedious to use if you work in summer heat. It is durable and will stick to the aluminum with only a little bit of substrate prep work.
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Re: Printing onto aluminum boxes.

Postby Redhouse » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:57 pm

messabout wrote:For bare aluminum, a durable ink is epoxy. Naz Dar and others have such ink. It can be tedious to use if you work in summer heat. It is durable and will stick to the aluminum with only a little bit of substrate prep work.


Can you expand on your comment of the "substrate prep" needed?

I too am about to commence trying to print on Aluminum, I'm hoping un-coated will be fine but what prep does aluminum need to take the ink most freely?

I have Nazdar 59000 Enamel+ which they said was really good at adhering to "hard to adhere to substrates" but yours is the second time I've heared people hint at substrate prep, but no one goes past that comment to give specific detail.

Nazdar suggests a coating such as thermoplastic or thermoset (ie; Beer and Pop cans) or even anodizing, but what about direct printing?

For reference, I have an old piece of Sencore test equipment that has screen printing right on top of a polished stainless steel panel, I'd love to get a look like that onto aluminum. It looks to be a enamel ink (perhaps baked) and has stood up to decades of use.
(a TC-142 "Mighty Mite" tube testor made in 1967)
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Re: Printing onto aluminum boxes.

Postby tompaine » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:09 am

Usual rules apply, it needs to be clean, dust and grease-free. Probably doesn't need abrading but wouldn't hurt.
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Re: Printing onto aluminum boxes.

Postby fuzz227 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:18 pm

i work in a sheet metal factory and print on steel, aluminium, and stainless steel,,i use catalysed inks,,,with a mix ratio of 5 parts ink t0 1 part hardener and just enuf retarder to get the correct viscosity of ink,,parts are dried in an infra red curing oven but full adhesion can be achieved after 4 days if they are air dried.
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