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Outgassing and Slickrock Silver

We've been receiving some inquiries from people about outgassing their prints prior to framing, with one in particular asking about what to do with the new Slickrock Metallic Silver.  

Outgassing is a reality of inkjet printing. If you plan to frame your image behind glass, then it's necessary to allow the print to gas out otherwise a 'fog' could appear on the back side of the glass.

The amount of time needed for outgassing depends on ink load, ink type, coating type, absorptivity of the coating and paper, and ink quantity (light vs dark). The glycerin and glycol used to keep the pigment particles in the suspension in the ink, and to keep the ink from clogging the head, take a longer time to evaporate than the time we accept as drytime.  

This is not only true of RC photo papers. Because RC papers have a PE layer (plastic layer) that limits the amount of ink that can be absorbed into the paper itself, they do require longer outgassing time than a matte coated fine art paper with no barrier.

What about our new Slickrock Metallic Silver 300?  Most (all) of the true-metallic inkjet papers on the market are not instant dry. They use a swellable coating that keeps the ink on the surface. That is why you need a solvent spray to lock in the ink with those other papers…the coating does not really absorb the ink.

Our new Moab Slickrock Metallic Silver is a game-changing product. It uses a microporous coating that is designed to quickly move the ink away from the surface, thus creating the illusion of instant dry. There is no metallic like this in the industry. People are going to have to throw away everything they think they know about metallic and its poor dry time.

How do you properly outgas your prints?  Check out this excellent article for some pointers.

How to handle outgassing issues

Since many of the prints that end up on Moab papers end up framed and in a gallery, we tend to work closely with framers.  One issue that continues to pop up is outgassing, and we'd like to take this opportunity to describe what it is and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.

Outgassing is something that all fine art printers should consider when images are to be framed behind glass. Outgassing is the term used to describe the evaporation of solvents left behind after printing with an inkjet printer. This outgassing can create a fog on the inside of the glazing (glass) of a frame. Outgassing can be properly managed in the following steps:

1) After printing, let your print sit out to dry for at least 10 minutes.

2) After the short drying period, you can place a sheet of bond paper over the print for at least 24 hours to accelerate the absorption of solvents.

3) After 24 hours you can remove the paper from over your printed image.

4) You can use just about any paper to accelerate this outgassing, as long as the paper is chemically stable (non-acidic). Newspaper is a definitely no-no.

If you do not have any extra paper around, you can always let the outgassing take its normal course, and we recommend at least 7 days before framing the printed image.

As a final preservation measure, we recommend you mat your image with Rising Museum Board, a 100% cotton matboard used by every major museum.  Why?  Because since you've spent countless hours choosing your printer, selecting your favorite Moab paper and producing your image, using high-quality conservation materials during the framing process if just as important.