Cracked Blacks in Film

MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,404Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
This week were sampling some duck calls for production runs using Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades. This film came directly from Mossy Oak, not via Big Brain. It was the remaining 15-20m on a roll we have had for a couple months from a previous run of goose calls for the same company. We recently switched to Mossy Oak activator for testing (working beautifully, by the way) and also changed our automated spray guns to the airless type like those used in the Brain Pot gun (also working amazingly well), so we began testing some speed shapes to get our automated settings dialed in. We dipped a few speed shapes of the film, and were getting cracking in the blacks. We tried increasing the activator incrementally and started getting the blurred-image sign of over activating, still black cracks. Remember, we can adjust the amount of activator precisely with our automated system with all other things being fairly equal between speed shapes. I grabbed another new roll of the same film, and the cracks were gone with the exact same settings. My best guess is that using the original roll for production repeatedly over a month's time in the summer humidity, then placing it back in the dehumidified office, caused the PVA to expand at some point cracking the inks? Maybe @studebaker can elaborate since he is more involved with the intricacies of film make up. This film has a white ink backing over the entire thing also. We even tried increasing the dwell time to make sure the activator had enough time to work, and the cracks remained. If there are any reasonable suggestions as to how to save the film? I'm open to them.

So... cracked film that you can't get to go away? Try new film. We all know how many variables this process has, but it MAY be the issue.


  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,021Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yep, you got the explanation right. It is humidity infiltration and evacuation. The horizontal aspect of the cracking indicates that the "cracking occurred on the roll, because having the film rolled up restricts the direction that the expansion can take. That problem may only be for the first 6-10 wraps of the roll. It may be worth checking the deeper into film before you consider discarding the whole roll.

    The white ink exacerbates the problem of "Fixing" it on the water by manipulating the level of activator. By the time you have enough activator to penetrate the white overlay and the clear fixative, it will cause the ink to pool. That could be fixed with a film that didn't have the white overlay print with a generous application of activator. But not in this case.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,403Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Keep in mind when the rest of you guys are beating your heads against the wall... This conclusion was only come to so quickly because everything else was automated and could be assured that it was the same. In addition, the only reason there is a sure answer, is because Joe can turn the problem off and on at will (by using the other film). You guys who add only 2 other variables (spraying activator by hand, spraying activator from an aerosol) just added HOURS to your trouble shooting. When you start wondering why we say you have to spend the money... THIS is why. You are either going to pay the price for the right tools and material, or you are going to spend the money troubleshooting for HOURS on an inconsistent process. And just because you made the decision that your time doesn't have any value, doesn't mean everyone else feels the same way.
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,021Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    ^^ Amen! Halleuah ^^
  • LibertymanLibertyman Posts: 953Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭
    How true,Trever...
  • SreynoldsSreynolds Posts: 1,381Member ✭✭✭✭
    Same happened to me with infinity @MidOhioHydrographics ....
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,404Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    edited August 2017
    We actually had it happen with TWN's Next EVO also. But we were hand spraying and he film hadn't been used much. I wasn't ready to blame the film on that one. New film Did fix it but I always tend to default to user error first. Difficult to swallow your pride and blame yourself, but seems to solve most of the problems faster than looking for bad equipment or bad film. :lol:
  • SreynoldsSreynolds Posts: 1,381Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yep @MidOhioHydrographics 99% of my problems are exactly that .......... MY PROBLEM lol
  • chuubabachuubaba Posts: 110Member ✭✭
    stretch marks
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,404Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    chuubaba said:

    stretch marks

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