Learn How to Print on Silicone Rubber Wristbands, Jewelry and Parts

Printer Dan thought printing on silicone rubber wristbands with traditional inks would be child’s play. He mixed his ink, applied the design to his parts and when the ink dried he had beautiful looking imprints on the part. Printer Dan packaged the customized silicone pieces and shipped them to his customers all over America. He appeared to have had done an excellent job and was very pleased. Then Printer Dan received a phone call from the first customer then he received a second call, a third call and then everyone was calling stating the ink was rubbing off, Massive failure! The ink rubbed off just from being touched; they couldn’t even get them out of the box! He didn’t know traditional printing ink used in his print shop does not stick to silicone. Printer Dan learned the hard way but you don’t have to: “the only thing that really sticks to silicone is silicone.” Simply stated this means use silicone ink to print on silicone parts. Specialized Print-On Silicone Ink uses a heat process to cause adhesion making it strong and durable. It may sound complicated, but it is easy.

Here’s how it works:

  • Print-On Silicone Ink is weighed then mixed (Print-On Silicone Inkā„¢ is 10 to 1 mix ratio – 10 parts ink to 10 parts drier; you have a 24 hour open time once the two components are mixed which can be extended by freezing the mix)
  • Apply ink to part (Pad print, Screen print, Spray, Brush, Dip. You can adjust the viscosity to suit with Print-On Thinner)
  • Heat cure for two -six minutes at 300-400F (250F for 5+ minutes works too)
  • Enjoy durable parts!

All that is needed to mix and use the ink are:

  • Gram scale
  • Mix cups
  • Mix sticks

Heat source (Anything from toaster oven, heat lamp, or conveyor oven, etc… just get it to temp for 2-6 minutes) Yes, it can go longer.

Print-On Silicone Ink is very safe to work with being of the same technology as the putty they put in your mouth at the dentist office. There are no dangerous fumes to be concerned with and don’t worry about your part being able to take the heat either; most silicone rubber wristbands, swim-caps, cell phone covers and parts can take temperatures of 500F+ continually. If your part can’t take the heat then it’s not silicone and you’re using the wrong ink! Here’s some of the features and benefits of Print-On Silicone Ink Printer Dan missed out on:

  • Robust adhesion – won’t rub off easily (Automotive uses it for in car button marking so you know it lasts)
  • Colorfast – Ink comes in vibrant primary colors plus black, white, gold, gray and clear so you can add your own color
  • Water resistant
  • High Gloss (clear coat available to create flat finish)
  • Flexibility; will stretch with your part i.e. swim cap
  • Excellent printability

Some of the items being printed with this ink are:

  • Wristbands
  • iPhone and iPad covers
  • Buttons for controllers
  • Swim caps
  • Silicone and smartphone keypads
  • Touchpad’s
  • Silicone tubing
  • Oven mitts
  • Remote controls
  • Silicone pot holders
  • Any silicone promotional product

(Originally published in 2013 by National News Today; updated June 2015)