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Choosing a Screen Frame

Posted by Ronnie Cannon - Outside Sales on 4/10/2013

With such a wide variety of screen frames available, how do you know exactly which type of frame is right for a given job.  Are there actually performance differences in frame types? 

Texsource carries a wide variety of screen frame sizes and mesh counts. These are available in wood, aluminum and retentionable silk screen printing frames. The most common is the 20x24 wooden frame.  Screen Frames can be ordered blank or pre-stretched (with mesh).  A worn out screen can also be sent in for re-stretching.

Standard Wood Screen Frame
The Plus - Texsource's wood screen printing frames have triple mortise and tenon joints for extra strength and durability.  Each wooden frame is coated with polyurethane to ensure water and chemical resistance.  All newly stretched screen frames are sanded to remove sharp edges.  Many screen printers still use wood screen printing frames with award winning quality while others have moved to aluminum and retensionable screen printing frames.
 The Minus - They do not last forever and may warp over a period of time.  They must be restretched with a screen stretching device. 

Rigid Aluminum Screen Frame
The Plus - Texsource aluminum screen Frames are made of high quality lightweight aluminum with leak proof welds.  The edges are also sanded after stretching to remove sharp edges.  They will last for many years no matter how often they are used.  They do not warp and clean up well as they won't absorb ink, chemicals or water.
The Minus - They must be periodically restretched on a stretching machine just like a wood frame mentioned above.

Self- Tensioning Screen Frame (Roller Frames)
The Plus - STF Roller Frames provide higher tension, superior ink flow and tighter registration.  The ability to re-tension the mesh on a roller frame avoids restretching which can save mesh and money.  They will last a very long time (with a little maintenance), they clean up well, and you can restretch and re-tension them yourself.
The Minus - They can be a challenge to learn to stretch and more expensive to build an initial inventory. 

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the various screen types available to you will help you to not only make the best selection for the job, but also allow you to know what frame purchases will help your bottom line.  As always, feel free to contact us here at www.screenprintingsupply.com and we will be happy to talk to you regarding your situation and recommend the proper frame for your needs. 

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