When choosing screens for your shop, one of the biggest factors to consider is durability, as it will determine the screen’s overall longevity. Don’t forget the cost of the screen in the screen room is pennies compared to the downtime cost a screen-pop causes on press. There are four main points which govern the longevity of the mesh as manufactured: the modulus of the yarn, the diameter of the yarn, the number of yarns per linear measure, and the fabric thickness.
The modulus of the thread is its stress and strain, also known as elongation over tension. Higher-modulus yarns require less elongation to develop a given tension level, and these yarns tend to hold tension longer. At a given modulus, the thicker the yarn the greater its strength, and the greater the number of yarns per linear inch, the stronger the fabric.
In the traditional 305-range of meshes, the fabric thickness runs about 1.60 times the thread diameter. The newer meshes range closer to 1.45 times the thread, which makes for a stronger fabric since the threads are less likely to shift the opening out of shape. This generation of fabrics allows the traditional weakling to be stronger than the ones that print poorly.