baselayr complete emulsion being poured into a scoop coater

Baselayr Complete and Cryocoat. They sound similar. They look alike. They seem to match in performance. Are they the same? Are they different? Why should you use Baselayr Complete? All your questions and more are answered in this post.

WHAT IS BASELAYR COMPLETE EMULSION?

Baselayr Complete is a pre-sensitized, high solids, high performance emulsion. It's designed to perform under the most demanding conditions. Printing with water-based, discharge, silicone, solvent-based, plastisol, or UV inks? Baselayr Complete will handle the job, no sweat. You don’t even need an emulsion hardener. The emulsion will maintain great detail and last during long production runs.

ARE CRYOCOAT AND COMPLETE THE SAME? ARE THEY DIFFERENT?

The features of Baselayr Complete sound like Cryocoat emulsion. Are they the same thing? The two are similar, but they have their differences. Think of Baselayr Complete as Cryocoat 2.0. Complete has enhanced everything that Cryocoat can do. Complete exposes quicker, rinses details out better, and reclaims easier. Thanks to its high solids concentration, the emulsion bridges mesh great. You’ll get a higher quality stencil with Baselayr Complete.

One cool feature of Baselayr Complete Emulsion is the option to add diazo. Printers who need more details, greater resolution, or enhanced stencil durability will want to add diazo. Be aware that adding diazo will triple exposure times. The longer exposure will strengthen the stencil. While it was possible to add diazo to Cryocoat, there wasn’t a specific product designed to work with it. With Baselayr Complete, you can make it happen with Baselayr Complete Diazo.

Cryocoat was a solid emulsion. It performed well for thousands of printers. Now, printers can experience even greater quality with Baselayr Complete Emulsion.

baselayr complete emulsion on a table next to a few screens with inks behind it

WHO SHOULD USE BASELAYR COMPLETE?

Screen printers who need the best of the best emulsion should use Baselayr Complete. The emulsion is like Baselayr Long Lasting, but on steroids. Are you working in a high production shop? Auto or manual press users can rely on Baselayr Complete to perform.

A top-notch emulsion needs to work with the best tools and equipment. Your darkroom needs to be dialed in — light-safe, low humidity, warm. Your exposure unit needs to have a vacuum lid and higher wattage LED bulbs. Exposure units like the V2331 LED Exposure Unit and Y3942 LED Exposure Unit are great for Baselayr Complete.

Other than Cryocoat, if you used SVP or TX Discharge emulsion, Baselayr Complete is meant for you.

GUIDELINES FOR DIALING IN EXPOSURE TIMES

When trying anything new in screen printing, you need to test it out. That rule especially applies to new emulsion. Many factors can affect exposure times. While Cryocoat and Complete are alike, the exposure times you had for Cryocoat might not work for Complete. The times may be good starting points to dial in the burning process.

With different variables at play, here are a few guidelines that’ll help you dial in exposure times:

  • Lower mesh counts will need longer exposure times.
  • Higher mesh counts will have faster exposure times.
  • Yellow mesh will need longer exposure yet will produce more detail resolution.
  • White mesh will have speedier exposure times.
  • Thicker stencils need longer exposure.
  • Thinner stencils will expose quicker.
  • Coated screens with more moisture will result in under-exposure. It will be difficult to rinse out.
  • Coated screens with less moisture will result in proper exposure. It'll produce the best detail resolution.

person aligning film on screen in an exposure unit

PRO TIP: Keep humidity levels below 40% at all times in the darkroom. Use a dehumidifier to make sure the darkroom stays dry.

The following times are suggested exposure times for different mesh counts. Note that times differ between the V2331 LED Exposure Unit and the Y3942 LED Exposure Unit.

  • 156 White Mesh with the X-Vactor — 0:25-0:35
  • 156 White Mesh with the FX — 0:07-0:08
  • 230 Yellow Mesh with the X-Vactor — 0:25-0:35
  • 230 Yellow Mesh with the FX — 0:10-0:11
  • 156 Yellow Hi-Dro/Thin Thread with the FX — 0:10-0:11
  • 230 Yellow Hi-Dro/Thin Thread with the FX — 0:09-0:10

Start testing exposure times based on these times. You may find that you need to lengthen or shorten the time to achieve an optimal stencil. Test it out before going into production. Use a Step Wedge Calculator to discover what times achieve the best results.

If you demand excellence, then you must add Baselayr Complete Emulsion to your arsenal. Great prints need great screens. Build your foundation with Baselayr — emulsion made simple.

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