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Organics Troubleshooting Guide

PROBLEM   CAUSES   SOLUTIONS
Poor Adhesion A. Contaminated substrate. A. Clean substrate.
Chemical
  B. Insufficient solvency. B. (1) Consult supplier.
(2) Use stronger solvent.
  C. Surface film on substrate either applied by substrate manufacture or inherent on the type of substrate. C. (1) Use recommended surface treatment procedures for the type of substrate.
(2) Consult substrate supplier.
Poor Adhesion A. Incompatible silicone additives. A. Reduce or change additives.
Intercoat
  B. Substrate contaminated between coats. B. Clean substrate.
  C. Base coat heated excessively producing hard surface to which succeeding coats will not adhere. C. Improve control of drying/curing process.
Poor Adhesion A. Separation and layering of materials in coating. A. (1) Coating material too thin.
Intracoat (2) Consult supplier.
  B. Flooding and floating. B. Add wetting agent - consult supplier.
Poor Adhesion A. Flooding and floating. A. Add wetting agent consult supplier.
Mechanical
  B. Coating too thin. B. (1) Use coarser printing screens.
(2) Reduce thinner.
(3) Add fumed silica.
  C. Inadequate drying or curing. C. (1) Increase time and/or temperature for drying/curing.
(2) Increase air flow.
  D. Dirty or contaminated substrate. D. Clean substrate.
  E. Under or over catalyzed. E. Check for proper amounts of additives.
  F. Excessive amounts of additives. F. Reduce amount of additives.
  G. Improper choice of coating material for substrate being coated. G. Consult supplier.
  H. Special substrate treated so as not to accept a finish. H. Consult supplier.
  I. Coating material deteriorating with age. I. Discard.
Alligatoring A. Coating film too heavy. A. Apply thinner coat.
Also:
Cracking, Tearing
  B. Incompatability of coating with substrate. B. Consult supplier.
  C. Contaminated coating surface. C. Clean.
  D. Insufficient dryer in coating material. D. Add dryer - consult supplier.
Backlap A. Coating pulls through screen behind squeegee during print stroke. A. (1) Reduce volume of coating material on screen.
Also:   (2) Increase squeegee travel distance beyond image.
Backlash See: Screen sticking to printed substrate.  
Backlash   See Backlap.    
Bleaching   See Fading.    
Bleeding A. Migration of color from the coating film onto or into a surface with which it comes in contact. A. (1) Change coating materials.
(2) Keep heat treated temperatures as low as possible.
Blister A. Solvent entrapment. A. Use faster evaporating solvent in air drying systems; slower evaporating solvent in baking systems.
Also:
Foam, Boiling, Bubbles
  B. Poor solvent combinations. B. Add leveler - Consult supplier.
  C. Oil or moisture on substrate. C. (1) Clean substrate.
(2) Keep substrate dry and at room temperature.
  D. Dirt. D. (1) Clean substrate.
(2) Improve housekeeping practices.
  E. Coating film too thick. E. Apply thinner coat.
Blocking A. Solvent is slowly released from the coating film. A. (1) Use faster drying solvent.
Also: (2) Consult supplier for suitable catalyst.
Pack-off (3) Longer drying/baking schedule.
Bloom A. Rapid evaporation of low boiling solvents cooling the surface and causing condensation. A. (1) Use slower evaporating solvent.
Also: (2) Reduce air flow over the film.
Blush (3) Lower the humidity.
Blur   See Halo, Smear.    
Blush   See Bloom.    
Boiling   See Craters, Blister, Bubbles.    
Bubbles A. Surface active substances in the vehicle or dispersing equipment. A. (1) Add defoamer - consult supplier.
Also: (2) Adjust speed of squeegee travel.
Foam, Blister, Boiling (3) Adjust off-contact.
  B. High speed mixing or dispersing equipment. B. (1) Add defoamer - consult supplier.
(2) Use slower speed mixer.
(3) Use paint shaker.
(4) Hand stir.
Chalking A. Coating material not properly bonded to substrate. A. (1) Clean substrate.
(2) Check cure cycle.
  B. Exposure. B. (1) Improper coating material for job requirement.
(2) Consult supplier.
(3) Apply protective overcoat.
  C. Improper coating material for job. C. Consult suppliers.
Checking A. Overbaked or overcured. A. Check baking/curing cycle.
Also:
Cracking, Crazing, Tearing
  B. Underbaked or undercured. B. Check baking/curing cycle.
  C. Coating too heavy. C. Apply thinner coating.
Clogging A. Coating material is drying out in the screen or application equipment. A. (1) Clean screen applicator.
(2) Filter coating material.
(3) Add retarder.
(4) Sharpen squeegee.
(5) Add fresh coating to screen on a more frequent time schedule.
  B. Coating material is too coarse for adequate passage through the coating equipment. B. (1) Consult supplier.
(2) Use coarser screens or other flow restricing devices.
Cobwebbing A. Static electricity, low humidity, low boiling solvent. A. (1) Add retarder or more thinner.
(2) Use humidifier.
(3) Use higher boiling solvent.
(4) Reduce squeegee speed.
(5) Ground equipment.
Color variation on finished film A. Flooding and floating. A. (1) Add wetting agent - consult supplier.
(2) Too much thinner.
  B. Too much heat in drying/curing operation. B. Reduce temperature and/or increase speed.
  C. Uneven application. C. Check coating equipment.
Cracking A. Coating too heavy. A. Apply thinner coat.
Also:
Alligatoring, Checking, Crazing
  B. Over baked/cured. B. Check baking/curing cycle.
  C. Under baked/cured. C. Check baking/curing cycle.
  D. Film shrinkage due to poor intercoat wetting. D. (1) Clean before overcoating.
(2) Add wetting agent - consult supplier.
(3) Consult supplier for proper coating materials.
  E. Contaminated substrate. E. Clean or replace substrate.
  F. Overcoat is less flexible than undercoat. F. Consult supplier for proper coating materials.
  G. Coating is not as plastic as the substrate. G. Use more flexible coating material.
  H. Incompatibility of coating with substrate. H. Consult supplier.
Craters A. Bubbles in film. A. (1) Add defoamer and/or thinner.
Also: (2) Add flattening agent - consult supplier.
Dimples  
  B. Solvent entrapment. B. Use faster evaporating solvent.
  C. Poor solvent combinations. C. (1) Consult supplier.
(2) Add leveling agent.
  D. Surface contamination. D. Clean.
  E. Containation of coating material. E. Keep covered.
Crawl A. Contaminated substrate. A. Clean substrate.
Also:
Scallop, Creep, Fish eyes, Pull-back
Crazing   See Checking, Cracking.    
Creep   See Crawl.    
Dark Reaction A. Coating material has exceeded shelf life. A. Replace with new material.
(U.V. Ink)
  B. Coating material was stored at elevated temperature. B. Change storage area to cooler (-room temperature) location.
Delamination A. Contaminated substrate. A. Clean or replace substrate.
  B. Overcured base coat. B. Reduce cure time.
  C. Gross mismatch in expansion between layers. C. Consult supplier.
Digs A. Impact with a foreign object. A. Change storage location to a safer, protected area. Instruction on safe handling. Use a cover plate during storage.
Dimples   See Craters.    
Distrorted image A. Too much squeegee pressure. A. Reduce squeegee pressure.
Also:
Ragged lines, Sawtooth
  B. Insufficient screen tension. B. Replace screen.
  C. Weak screen frame structure. C. Obtain more rigid frames.
  D. Distorted artwork. D. Obtain new corrected artwork.
  E. Too much off-contact. E. Reduce off-contact, replace screen.
Drying in A. Coating dries too fast. A. Use slower drying coating - consult supplier. Use flood coat immediately after printing.
  B. Operation is too slow. B. Speed up the process.
  C. Too much air flow over the screen. C. Redirect air flow from fans or other sources.
Fading A. Too much heat in the drying/curing operation. A. Reduce temperature or increase speed through dryer/oven.
  B. Exposure. B. (1) Apply protective overcoat.
(2) Check baking/curing cycle.
(3) Consult supplier for more stable coating material.
  C. Excessive thinning. C. Reduce thinner.
Film cured, but is easily marred. A. High surface resistance. A. (1) Add mar and slip agent.
(2) Consult supplier.
  B. Poor abrasion resistance. B. (1) Add mar and slip agent.
(2) Consult supplier.
Fish eyes A. Dirty or contaminated substrate. A. Clean substrate.
Also:
Crawl
  B. Silicone additives. B. Reduce or change additives.
  C. Poor wetting of substrate. C. Add wetting agent.
  D. Contaminated coating material. D. Discard.
  E. Solvent in screen. E. Dry the screen.
  F. Incompatible solvent used in clean-up. F. Change solvent.
  G. Contaminated screen. G. Remove coating material, clean screen, reprint.
Flaking A. Coating film too thick. A. Reduce film thickness with finer screen, thinner screen emulsion, thinner coating viscosity, or harder squeegee.
  B. Damage to coating film from impact, handling or stacking. B. Handle with care.
Foam   See Bubbles.    
Gelling A. Moisture absorption. A. (1) Keep containers sealed.
(2) Add Anti-Gel additive - consult supplier.
  B. Use acidic additives with basic pigments. B. Reduce or change wetting agents.
  C. Excessive storage of coating materials in warm areas. C. Discard.
  D. Storage beyond shelf life. D. Discard.
  E. Incompatible additives. E. Discard.
Ghost   See Halo.    
Halo A. Movement of screen during print. A. (1) Tighten frame in holder.
Also: (2) Replace screen due to overstretched fabric.
Ghost, Shadow, Blur  
  B. Too much off-contact. B. Reduce off-contact.
  C. Too little off-contact. C. Increase off-contact.
  D. Coating material too thick or too thin. D. (1) Reduce with thinner.
(2) Add fumed silica.
Heavy edges or incomplete print. A. Screen frame too small for image size. A. Use larger frames or smaller images.
  B. Too much off-contact. B. Reduce off-contact gap.
  C. Squeegee too short. C. Use longer squeegee (squeegee should extend 1 inch beyond image on both sides).
  D. Variation in thickness of substrate. D. Use softer squeegee.
  E. Improper alignment of printing head and printing table. E. Align printing head and table.
  F. Clogged screen. F. Clean or replace screen.
  G. Insufficient squeegee. G. Lengthen distance of squeegee travel beyond image area.
  H. Uneven squeegee blade. H. Sharpen squeegee.
Hickey A. Airborne contamination, dirty substrate, foreign particles in coating, poor haousekeeping. A. Enclose screen room. Clean substrate immediately before using. Do not put used coating material back into container with fresh coating. Keep non-essential personnel out of screening area.
Lifting A. First layer not adequately cured. A. Increase cur time/temperature.
  B. Solvent in second layer is too aggresive. B. Consult supplier.
  C. Contaminated substrate. C. Clean substrate.
Livering   See Gelling.    
Loss of gloss A. Flocculation A. (1) Add wetting agent - consult supplier.
(2) Remill coating material.
  B. Flooding and floating. B. (1) Reduce thinner.
(2) Add wetting agent - consult supplier.
  C. Excessive amount of additives. C. Reduce amount of additives.
  D. Improper atmosphere in dryer/curing oven. D. Consult supplier if gloss is important.
  E. Excessive pigment. E. Add clear base.
  F. Absorbtive substrate. F. Seal substrate.
  G. Defective coating material. G. Consult supplier.
Meshmarks A. Insufficient leveling or flow of coating material. A. Increase film thickness. Add flow agent.
  B. Improper thinner. B. Consult supplier.
  C. Viscosity too high. C. Thin the coating material.
Moiré A. Electrostatic attraction of coating particles. A. Ground equipment.
  B. Coating material too thin. B. (1) Reduce thinner.
(2) Reduce flow of coating material.
  C. Improper screen mesh and/or angle. C. Match fabric with design. Halftones may require different angles.
  D. Coating material too thixotropic. D. Consult supplier.
Orange peel A. Inadequate leveling. A. Add leveling agent and/or thinner.
  B. Electrical charge on surface of film. B. (1) Add leveling agent - consult supplier.
(2) Ground equipment.
  C. Surface tension. C. Add leveling agent and/or thinner.
  D. Poor solvent combinations. D. (1) Consult supplier.
(2) Add leveling agent.
  E. Coating material too viscous. E. Add thinner film.
Overcure A. Too much heat. A. Reduce temperature.
  B. Too much exposure. B. Shorten cure time.
Pack-off   See Blocking.    
Peeling A. Coating film too heavy. A. Apply thinner film.
  B. Contaminated substrate. B. Clean substrate.
Pinholes   See Blocking, Boiling, Crater, Bubbles, Foam, Blisters, Fish eyes, Checking, Clogging, Cracking, Specks.    
Popping   See Bubbles, Craters.    
Poor hiding power A. Insufficient pigment. A. Increase pigment content or consult supplier.
  B. Coating too thin. B. (1) Too much thinner.
(2) Use coarser screen.
(3) Use more viscous coating material.
  C. Flocculation. C. (1) Add wetting agent - consult supplier.
(2) Remill coating material.
  D. Flooding and floating. D. Too much thinner.
Pull-back   See Crawl.    
Ragged lines or lettering A. Insufficient thickness of emulsion on screen. A. Ask screen supplier to apply heavier coat of emulsion.
Also:
Distorted image, Sawtooth
  B. Plugged or clogged screen mesh. B. Clean or replace screen.
  C. Coating material drying out in screen mesh. C. Clean or replace screen. Use slower drying coatings if available. Add retarder.
  D. Failure of screen supplier to completely wash out image during manufacture of screen. D. Return to screen supplier. Wash out obstruction with water or Clorox® bleach.
  E. Over-exposure of emulsion during manufacture of screen. E. Return screen to supplier.
  F. Poor artwork. F. Obtain new corrected artwork.
Railroading A. Squeegee jumps from line to line on screen, causing screen to jerk and distort or smear the image. A. Angle the squeegee so it doesn't hit the lines straight on. Angle the image in the screen. Softer squeegee will reduce the severity of the problem. Use higher tensioned screen.
Rubs A. Handling damage. A. Provide instruction in handling the coated product.
  B. Abrasion from conveyor. B. Make sure the equipment is free of any obstructions and all sections of the conveyor are running at the same speed. Provide separation material for substrate when stacked.
Running A. Coating material too thin. A. Use more viscous soating material.
Also:
Sagging, Weeping, Slumping
  B. Coating film too thick. B. Apply thinner film.
  C. Solvent too slow evaporating. C. Use faster evaporating solvent.
  D. Contaminated atmosphere in dryer/curing oven. D. Improve ventilation in dryer/oven.
Sagging   See Running.    
Sawtooth   See Ragged lines, lettering.    
Scallop   See Crawl.    
Screen sticking to printed substrate A. Coating material too viscous or tacky. A. (1) Add thinner.
(2) Add extender.
  B. Too little off-contact. B. Increase off-contact.
  C. Coating material drying. C. Clean screen.
  D. Insufficient screen tension. D. Use tighter screen.
  E. Squeegee stroke too short. E. Lengthen squeegee travel beyond print area.
  F. Squeegee. F. Sharpen squeegee, increase the durometer or increase angle of squeegee relative to screen.
Separation of vehicle and pigments. A. Flocculation. A. (1) Reduce wetting agent.
(2) Remill coating material.
  B. Pigment particles excessively coarse. B. (1) Consult supplier.
(2) Continuous agitation.
Settling of solid materials in mixture. A. Flocculation. A. (1) Add wetting agent. Consult supplier.
(2) Remill coating material.
  B. Viscosity too low. B. Use more viscous coating material.
  C. Pigment particles excessively coarse. C. (1) Consult supplier.
(2) Continuous agitation.
(3) Add anti-setting agent - consult supplier.
Shadow   See Halo.    
Also:
Ghost
Shorelining   See Moiré.    
Silking A. Coating too thin. A. (1) Use more viscous coating material.
(2) Add thickener such as fumed silica.
Silting   See Silking.    
Skinning A. Absorption of oxygen. A. (1) Keep containers sealed.
(2) Full containers are less likely to skin.
(3) Add antioxidant - consult supplier.
(4) Add small amount of thinner to top of coating material before sealing container.
Slumping   See Running.    
Slur   See Smear.    
Smear A. Handling damage. A. Improve handling procedures.
Also:
Slur, Smudge, Shadow, Halo, Ghost, Blur, Rubs
  B. Substrate sticks to screen after print stroke. B. (1) Increase off-contact.
(2) Add thinner.
  C. Insufficient screen tension. C. Replace screen.
  D. Excess squeegee pressure. D. Reduce pressure.
  E. Movement of substrate under screen. E. Lock substrate into position either with guides or with vacuum.
  F. Movement of screen during print. F. Tighten screen frame in holder.
  G. Too much off-contact. G. Reduce off-contact.
  H. Dull squeegee. H. Sharpen squeegee.
Smudge   See Smear.    
Soft film A. Inadequate drying/curing. A. Increase time and/or temperature for drying/curing.
  B. Coating material deteriorating with age. B. Discard.
Specks in finished film A. Airborne dirt. A. Improve housekeeping skills.
  B. Contaminated substrate. B. Clean substrate.
  C. Contaminated substrate. C. Discard.
Spotting A. Water droplets from washer. A. Adjust/repair washer. Wipe substrate before coating.
Also:
Watermark
Static electricity A. Low humidity. A. Use humidifier.
  B. Friction of squeegee on screen. B. (1) Ground equipment.
(2) Use anti-static air curtain.
  C. Continuous flow of coating material through coating equipment. C. Ground equipment.
Stringing   See Cobwebbing.    
Tearing   See Alligatoring, Cracking, Checking.    
Watermark A. An accumulation of soluble salts on a glass surface. A. Inspect and repair washer. Remove any signs of water before storing or decorating glass.
Also:
Spotting
Weeping   See Running.    
Whiskering   See Cobwebbing.    
Wrinkle A. Coating film too thick. A. Apply thinner coat.
  B. Overcoat to dry, undercoat still wet. B. Dry undercoat completely.