Green Galaxy Stretch Core is a ready-for-use, transparent, stretch water-based ink that can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it as a stand-alone mixing base with the Fusion Mixing System to create custom Pantone colors (following the directions in the Fusion Mixing System). You can also use it as a replacement for Opaque Core or with Clear Core and Opaque Core to make water-based mixes behave more like plastisol ink.
Using Stretch Core as a replacement for Opaque Core or as an addition to the formulations allows you to increase the pigment loading, flash faster, and improve the ability to print wet-on-dry with an automatic press. You can change the mixing base ratio up to 80% Clear Core and 20% Stretch Core, 50% Clear Core and 50% Stretch Core, or you can choose any ratio of Clear and Stretch Core. Doing so will improve flash times and colorfastness. You can also increase pigment loading. Always keep a spray bottle nearby to re-wet the ink as needed because Stretch Core will dry in the screen faster compared to Clear Core.
Printing on polyester dye migrating fabrics? Use a blocker base like Gamma Blocker to prevent dye migration. You can also add Warp Drive to the Green Galaxy inks to lower the curing point and avoid dye migration while still retaining all of Stretch Core’s amazing elastic properties. If using Warp Drive, do not use Slipstream unless you can hit 300°F during cure.
Need to increase pigment loading even further? Add Fixator NFO at up to 5% by weight. Please read the product page to get a better idea of how to use Fixator in your inks and custom colors.
You can use Stretch Core for the following reasons:
- To add more flexibility and durability to prints on stretchable fabrics like workout wear, leggings, swimsuits, spandex, or any time the ink layer needs added stretch and flexibility.
- To improve the stretch, flash, cure, and adhesion of custom ink mixes.
- To better the on-press print performance of mixed Fusion inks.
If you notice the inks starting to dry on the screen, use 2% - 3% Compound ND to increase the open time.
HOW TO MAKE STRETCH COLORS
Stretch Core can be pigmented with the Fusion Mixing System to create any Pantone color. To do this, look up the color you want to make in the Fusion Mixing System, add together the Clear Core and Opaque Core weights and use that amount of Stretch Core. Mix together and Voila! You have a 100% stretchable color. If you find you need a higher level of pigment, add some Fixator NFO at the recommended amounts.
HOW TO USE THE FUSION MIXING SYSTEM
One of the great aspects of Stretch Core is how versatile it is. You can use Stretch Core either in place of or in addition to Opaque Core in PMS mixes. With the use of Stretch Core in mixes, you will experience better, faster flash times. You will also notice a little better opacity with these mixes, especially when overprinting a base white. Using Stretch Core at up to 50% increases flash speed, inter-coat adhesion, and curing speed.
To do this, pull up the Pantone color you want to mix. Either replace the Opaque Core with Stretch Core in your formula or split the base mix up to 50/50 by adding together the amount of base in the ink and splitting it down the middle with Clear Core and Stretch Core. You also have the option to select your own ratio of Clear, Opaque, and Stretch Core. There’s no wrong choice.
ADDING STRETCH TO RFU GREEN GALAXY COLORS
High solids water-based inks are already manufactured with some Stretch Core in them. If you need a greater stretch, you can add more with Stretch Core. Additions of over 10% can cause the ink to lose some color strength. If maintaining color integrity while improving stretch is needed, use the Fusion Pigments. If using a Green Galaxy RFU ink, you can look up the color in the Fusion System and follow the formula to mix a stretch version of the ink. You can then add the new stretch ink as needed to the RFU color.
If printing 100% Stretch Core with or without Fusion Pigments, use 86-156 mesh. You can go as high as 230, but you will experience the ink drying faster on the screen. Use Compound ND to improve the ink’s wetness on the screen and keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby.
If printing with Stretch Core mixed into other inks, use 156-305 mesh. You can use lower mesh counts; be aware that a higher percentage of Clear Core will make the ink runny and more challenging to manage through lower mesh counts.
Thin thread mesh is always recommended for optimal print performance.
Use a water-resistant emulsion like Baselayr Complete and degrease mesh with Baselayr Emulsion Prep. For extended life and long runs, it is recommended to post-expose the screens or uses an emulsion hardener like Baselayr Emulsion Hardener.
Load the screen with plenty of ink. Always flood the screen prior to printing. Stretch Core and all Stretch Core mixes can be printed with a push or pull squeegee stroke. After printing, flood the screen, allowing the ink to sit on top of the image to avoid drying. Always have a spray bottle of water nearby to re-wet the ink if necessary. If the screen image clogs or exhibits dry ink in the print area, re-flood and aggressively print again, which should clear the screen. If it does not clear the screen, spray a small amount of warm water into the stuck areas of the screen and wipe it out with a rag. If you leave the screen alone for any period of time, be sure to leave the screen flooded completely. If you are leaving it alone for an extended period of time, wipe out the image area with warm water and possibly pull the ink out of the screen.
If you notice the inks are “drying in” faster than you would want, use 2% - 3% Compound ND to increase the open time.
For flashing, a forced air flash is optimal. Flash until dry to the touch.
The printed fabric should be cured for a minimum of 90 seconds at 360°F surface temp through a forced-air conveyor dryer. Ideally, the printed fabric should be cured for up to three minutes at 320°F. All Green Galaxy inks need to fully evaporate the liquids in the ink before the ink layer can start to climb in temp and reach cure temperature. Water-based ink curing is about temperature over time. Always test the cure by performing abrasion and wash tests prior to production. If you are uncertain if you can reach full cure temperature over time, use Warp Drive for added insurance.
If using Warp Drive, DO NOT add Slipstream unless you can hit 300°F during cure.
After printing, allow the ink to completely cool down to perform a stretch test to ensure elasticity. It is always recommended to perform a wash test to ensure proper cure prior to going into production. You may also run abrasion testing to watch for flaking and to test the adhesion of the pigment in the ink layer. If you see crocking, the ink or color transferring to the rubbing material, either increase the amount of Fixator in the finished ink or adjust the settings on the dryer to ensure a full cure is reached. Increase the dwell time if testing fails.
Ink should be removed from the screen as soon as printing is completed. General wash-up (on ink that has not dried) can be done with water, though using Sgreen® Aqua Wash is much easier and recommended. For aggressive or dried screens, use Sgreen® Aqua Wash to dissolve the ink and blast out areas of stuck ink with water pressure.
Keep container(s) tightly closed. Store in a cool, well-ventilated location.
GENERAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Do not breathe vapors. Wear protective gloves. Do not eat, drink or smoke when using the product. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. Dispose of this product in accordance with local, regional, national, and international regulations as specified.
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