The squeegee is certainly one of the most important tools used in the screen printing process. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most neglected. After investing countless sums of money on equipment, mesh, pre-press preparation, ink and substrate, the low-tech inexpensive squeegee is the primary factor that controls the ink deposit, affects the colour and sharpness of the printed image, and ultimately controls the quality of the finished product. The squeegee alone forces the ink into the screen mesh,keeps the mesh in contact with the substrate, adapts the mesh to the shape of the substrate, and removes the excess ink from the mesh.
The squeegee has four primary functions:
- Forcing the ink into the mesh
- Keeping the mesh in contact with the substrate
- Adapting the mesh to the surface of the substrate
- Removing excess ink from the mesh All of these functions are influence, to a greater or lesser degree, by the squeegee durometer (hardness),height (free height), profile, angle, length, speed, pressure, and edge condition.