screen-printing squeegee

Term of the Week: Multi-Durometer

Each week Printwear turns to industry experts to learn more about the terms used in the apparel and apparel decoration industry, as well as the business realm. Contact Printwear's digital content editor, Alexandria Arroyo, if you're interested in the opportunity to be featured. 

Durometer is the word used when specifying the tensile strength (hardness) of the squeegee blade. The most common are the 60, 70, and 80 blades. 

Multi-durometer squeegees simply layer two or three different durometer squeegee materials into one squeegee, with the 60/90/60 or 70/90/70 being the most common. The low-durometer, outer blades move smoothly along the screen; and the high-durometer, inner blade offer strength to prevent hydroplaning, bending, and loss of shape. 

Most commonly you’ll find this type of squeegee in automatic shops, but many manual shops will pull them out for jobs that require fine detail work, halftones, and UV printing where a lighter ink deposit is preferred. The two outside blades provide a nice ink deposit, and the middle blade is still hard enough to provide a good pull without too much drag, which creates a sharper image in the end. 

Always keep in mind your shop's bottom line. Multi-durometer squeegees tend to have a much longer lifespan, thus generating substantial savings on ink through better control of the squeegee pressure.

Source: Andrea Sheley

For additional screen-printing know-how, check out the Texsource blog.