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How Much Ink Do You Need?

(April 2000) posted on Wed Jun 14, 2000

Learn how to calculate the total amount of ink needed for any job based on mesh parameters and run length.


 

Table 1: Formulas for calculating wet ink-deposit height
Thread count
(threads/cm) Weave Formula
0-42 plain 1.82D (1-MD)2
43-139 plain 0.285 x F
140 and up plain 0.35 x F
all counts twill 0.31 x F
Key:
M = mesh count
D = thread diameter
F= fabric thickness

Before you start sticking numbers into these formulas, you need to note a couple of things. Despite the fact that you buy mesh specified in threads/in., the fabrics you purchase are woven according to metric measurements. The counts per inch are really just approximations, so for accuracy you need to use the metric counts (threads/cm). Figure 1 shows sample calculations for wet ink-deposit height. Note that most of the other measurements provided by mesh manufacturers are also given in metric units (usually microns), so the sample calculations you'll see in this article also use metric values. You'll learn how to convert your final ink-volume estimate back into a standard value near the end of this article.

 

Figure 1: Calculating wet ink-deposit height (I)
Mesh: M = 39 threads/cm (100 thread/in.), D = 55 microns
Formula: I = 1.82D(1-MD)2
  M = 39 threads/cm x (1 cm/10,000 microns) = 0.0039 threads/micron
  I = 1.82 x 55 x (1-(0.0039 x 55))2
  I = 100.1 x (1-0.2145)2
  I = 100.1 x 0.617
  I = 61.76 microns
Mesh: M = 120 threads/cm (205 threads/in.), F = 50 microns
Formula: I = 0.285 x F
  I = 0.285 x 50
  I = 14.25 microns

Terms:

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