Silicone wristbands cannot be printed with traditional solvent (screen or pad printing) inks. Traditional solvent inks will dry as expected but will NOT cure onto the product. As the ink will easily rub off the product; i.e. the ink will fail an adhesive test. Not to mention any chemical or other tests you may choose to test the product. Adhesion failure is a big failure! A no no in the printing world!
Because of using traditional screen or pad printing ink, the ink rubs off the silicone wristbands from the slightest touch irrespective of how good the print looks. Traditional solvent/ epoxy / screen and pad printing inks don’t stick to silicone rubber products. Nothing sticks to silicone but silicone. This means that only silicone ink can be used to print on silicone rubber wristbands or any silicone part.
Boston Industrial Solutions, Inc. has developed the Natron™ SE silicone ink to adhere to any silicone rubber product with or without heat. While heating the product makes the ink dry and adhere to the product faster, the ink can also adhere to the product over 24 – 48 Hours without heat. So how do you print in silicone wristbands?
Steps to print on silicone wristbands
1. Preparing the Ink to print
Needed tools & ingredients
Mixing Spatula/ Mixing sticks
Gloves (Recommended for Safety)
Lint free towel
Oven/ A heat source / Toaster oven, Heat lamp, or Conveyer oven, etc.… All you need is to get the heat to 200 ℉ for 2-6 minutes.
Natron™ SE silicone ink
Natron™ SE Solvent/ Thinner /Reducer
Place a mixing cup on the scale and tear the weight. Pour Natron™ SE silicone ink onto a mixing container and note the weight. Add Catalyst on the ink. The catalyst should be 3 – 5% of inks weight. E.g. if the ink weight is 100 grams, add three (3) to five (5) grams of the catalyst. Mix the ink and the catalyst thoroughly. If you wish to increase viscosity of the ink, add any percentage up to 20% of the inks weight. Mix the SE Silicone ink, the catalyst and thinner thoroughly. Then, let the ink settle for one minute before printing.
Test for silicone substrate: Heat the product at 495℉; if it melts, then it is not silicone (silicon)
Print on your product with the mixed ink. You can Pad print, Screen print, Spray, Brush or Dip the silicone wristbands you are looking to print.
3. Curing the product
Heat to cure the product for two (2) Minutes at 200 ℉.
Let the product dry at room temperature. The product will dry to touch in four hours and fully cure onto the silicone product within 48-72hours. No heat required.
Natron™ silicone ink is safe to work with. As you heat the product, Silicone does not produce any fumes. It is completely safe. In addition, and don’t worry about your silicone wristband or silicone rubber part being able to take the heat. Most silicone rubber wristbands, swim-caps, cell phone covers and parts can take temperatures of 500℉ + continually. Please not that if your part can’t take the heat 500℉ then it’s not silicone and you’re using the wrong ink!