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Printing Polystyrene Problems....

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  • Printing Polystyrene Problems....

    I threw some 4x8 foot polystyrene sheets into our new Epson Surecolor printer that are .030" thick. It prints beautifully except for the fact that the feed rollers are doing something to the plastic that makes the ink look bad in high coverage areas. Almost like a slight pooling of the ink. Where the feed rollers don't hit the image is perfect. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    Secondly could you recommend an alternative material? We use this for sandwich board inserts as it is somewhat rigid and weather resistant.

  • #2
    Which model do you have exactly and we can look into this? We deal with/sell Epson (photo/fine art, solvent, DTG and technical), Canon (photo/fine art and technical) and HP (photo/fine art, technical and flatbed) models as well as the ink and media.

    Sounds like it's either a setting issue or the substrate isn't made for the inkset.

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    • #3
      S40600

      I have attached a pic of the issue. The marks line up with the feed rollers. So they seem to be doing something to the sheet before it is printed. I have no profile, so I had to make one for this material, but I can't think of a reason why the rollers would affect ink laydown.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by kdw75; 09-18-2019, 10:48 AM.

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      • #4
        It seems that our problems stemmed from the polystyrene having some kind of a coating on it. We wiped a sheet down with glass cleaner and the streaks are gone.

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        • #5
          That's good to know. We have S40600 too, never knew you could print onto sheets like that? Will have to see can I source similar here.

          How do you feed it into the machine, does it just hang out both sides?

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          • #6
            Hello Kdw,

            Sounds like what you may be seeing is Plasticizer Migration. I would not recommend glass cleaner, Isopropyl Alcohol would be better and if you get 99% it will flash off faster. As Plastics age or get hot/cold plasticizers come up to the surface of the material. One way yo check is with a dyne solution.

            You may want to wipe of the rollers occasionally too as the Plasticizers can transfer to the rollers causing similar issues when they touch the raw stock.

            SK

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pippip View Post
              That's good to know. We have S40600 too, never knew you could print onto sheets like that? Will have to see can I source similar here.

              How do you feed it into the machine, does it just hang out both sides?
              It comes in 4x8 foot sheets. We trim it down to a more manageable size, but still long enough to print the job and leave some in the feed rollers. I am extremely careful to monitor it as I don't want a head strike. This stuff isn't as rigid as the Epson Posterboard we print on our Epson 9900s though.

              Keith

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              • #8
                We have run more of the stuff and simply wiping every sheet down with alcohol before printing fixes everything.

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