Textured and hard-to-stick surfaces require soft and aggressive adhesives. Because these adhesives are soft, the adhesives tend to build up in the printer. You must remove this build up in order to keep the machine clean. This article explains how to prevent adhesive build-up when printing DPF 8000 Ultra Tack from Arlon.
DPF 8000 Ultra Tack works great for low energy surfaces due to its soft and aggressive nature. Since the adhesive is soft and un-crosslinked, it has the ability to flow into the nooks and crannies of uneven and textured surfaces instead of just bonding on top of the high points of a surface.
Crosslinking of polymer can be thought of as links between polymer chains to make a polymer network. Un-crosslinked adhesive lacks the rigidity of the network, so it tends to free flow over time. It will require an extra step to remove the excess adhesive when it builds up in the printer.
Removing Adhesive Build-Up
This process is only required on printers that have media clamps. Adhesive build up occurs along the edges of the media most prominently on the media clamps and also on the pre and post heating elements.
- Make sure to clean the media clamps before loading the material.
- Apply 2” painter’s tape on both sides of the pre and post heat area of the printer. Do not cover the grit rollers.
- Insert DPF 8000 and make sure the edges are on the blue tape. Align the center of the tape to the edge of the media on both sides.
- Make sure the left and right pinch rollers are not on the edge of the media. As you print, the tape will prevent the adhesive from transferring on to your heating element.
- Print your job and check the level of adhesive build up on the media clamps after 30 to 60 minutes of printing. This will allow you to assess the amount of adhesive build up over time.
- Once you have determined the rate of build-up, then you’ll know how frequently you’ll need to clean the media clamps.
- When you see the adhesive build up, use IPA and a lint free cloth to wipe off the adhesive from the media clamps.
- If there is adhesive build-up on the pinch rollers, clean them as well.
- To avoid build-up, we do not recommend printing DPF 8000 Ultra Tack unattended, such as with overnight printing.
- Best practice is to clean off ALL adhesive at the end of a print job.
Removing adhesive build up from your printer will lead to better print results. Now you know how to prevent adhesive build-up long term.