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An Evaluation of Screen Reclamation Systems

An Evaluation of Screen Reclamation Systems
[1314 KB PDF file]

As a screen printer, you know that there are many different chemicals you can use to reclaim your screens. You want to use the chemicals that are best for your shop- products that perform well, are cost effective, and just as important, are safe for workers to use.

Of course, no one printer can possibly evaluate all the products available. So, to help you, the Design for the Environment (DfE) Screen Printing Partnership has published the booklet Designing Solutions for Screen Printers: An Evaluation of Screen Reclamation Systems.

System profiles in Designing Solutions for Screen Printers describe how each of sixteen substitute screen reclamation systems performed in five important categories: chemical composition, performance, cost, risk and exposure, and regulatory concerns. This information can help you examine your system and search for possible substitutes.


Click HERE to link to the 1314 KB PDF version of Designing Solutions for Screen Printers.

Chemical Composition Symbol
 Chemical Composition

The chemicals that are found in each component of a system- ink remover, emulsion remover, and haze remover- are listed here. This information can help you answer questions about your own reclamation system and identify substitute products you may wish to try.

Performance Symbol

Each system was tested in a controlled laboratory environment, as well as under actual production conditions in a print shop (a volunteer demonstration site). The opinions of the printers that used the systems are documented, as are the results of the specific lab tests. For each demonstration site, the type of ink used on the screens to be reclaimed, as well as the number and size of screens cleaned by the facility during the demonstration project, are listed.

Comparing the production conditions of your shop to those of the demonstration site will help you assess the performance information. You can use this information to help you find out if a particular system may be right for your shop.

Cost Symbol

The cost estimates listed in this section- along with information on occupational risk and regulatory concerns- will help you get a picture of what it might cost to use a particular system. The costs of each system include the basic purchase price of the products, as well as the costs of actually using them in a shop (labor hours required to reclaim a screen, cost of wipes, and the volume of product needed).

Remember, however, that these alone may not be the only indications of what it really costs to use a reclamation system. Other less obvious factors can be important, too:

  • How flammable are the chemicals? More flammable materials can cost more in storage requirements and insurance premiums.
  • Are they regulated materials? If so, this can mean added costs associated with satisfying regulatory requirements.
  • How hazardous are the chemicals to worker health or to the environment? Hazardous materials can add to the expense of protecting workers and the environment.

risk and exposure
 Risk and Exposure

Health risks that printers may face when using differen screen reclamation chemicals are a major concern of all screen printing companies. Designing Solutions for Screen Printers presents information about specific chemicals that may be of concern in each system. While you may not be using the exact same products in your shop, your products may contain some of the same chemicals that are profiled. You can use this information to help assess the risks of your own system, identify recommended safety precautions, and find products that may pose less risk.

Regulatory Concerns Symbol
 Regulatory Concerns

Simple tables in each profile show which chemicals in the reclamation system are subject to federal environmental regulations, such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Because the tables list individual chemicals, not specific products, they will help you to see if your facility uses regulated materials. You can also use the tables to find products that have fewer regulatory concerns.

Click HERE to link to the 1314 KB PDF version of Designing Solutions for Screen Printers.

[PDF] PLEASE NOTE: Some of the documents mentioned in this Section are in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). To view or print them you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader program installed on your computer. The Reader can be downloaded and used with no charge; check here for more information on the Adobe Acrobat Reader.


 Ordering Information

To order your free copy of Designing Solutions for Screen Printers: An Evaluation of Screen Reclamation Systems, or to request a list of all publications available through EPA's Design for the Environment Screen Printing Partnership, contact:

Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (7407-T)
Washington, DC 20460-0001
202-566-0799 (phone)
202-566-0794 (fax)
E-mail: ppic@epa.gov

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