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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone. I've started setting up a little printing shop out of my house and have been using a Black Body Little Buddy Conveyor (no temp control) to cure the shirts I'm printing (with WB inks) I'm using Alternative Apparel shirts. Some heathered, some burnouts, some straight 100% cotton ~3.something oz.

The issue I'm running into is during the curing stage. I've been playing around with the belt speed (between 40 and 60) but always find that if I make the belt speed slow enough for the ink to get to 320F for even 10 or 15 seconds the shirts will, best case, change color (the 100% cotton red fabric will fade for instance) or worse case, melt the shirt in a bad way (the heathered blends)

Anyone run into this before? I'd definitely like for the shirt to be cured before it leaves my shop so I don't want to rely on air-cure.

Thoughts?
Thanks!
 

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Really?

I've had shirts fade from heat, but it's temporary. I've never melted a blended shirt, and I've had them up to almost 400°.

I'm not using AA shirts though, most of mine are 6+ oz cottons.

What are you using to check temperatures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response, here's the shirt:

heather grey: 40’s 67% cotton, 33% polyester

For temperature I'm using an IR non-contact temperature gun.
 

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Not sure if I understand what you are saying. Are you letting the shirts hit 320˚ for 10-15 seconds? If so, it's not necessary. As soon as it hits 320˚, it's cured. Normally you check the temp on the exit. If you mean that it could take 10-15 seconds for it to reach 320˚, then that would be ok and most likely the shirts will go back to it's regular color. Of course it could be the dyes and fabrics as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Jerid. Thanks for your reply. I'm printing using waterbased and my instructions say the following:

DRYING/CURING: ink must be cured for 2.5 to 3 minutes at 300 to 320 degrees F under typical infrared heat.

I'm not getting even close to the 2 minute mark and still running into issues.

super puzzled.
 

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Whoops, didn't realize you would be doing waterbased inks. Strange that it would be that high. My understand of waterbased inks is you want to dry it at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. I don't think the little buddy dryer works well for this, of course I could be wrong.

From what I've always known it to be, you need a much longer belt, gas dryer and circulating air for best results. Others who've printed waterbased inks hopefully will chime in.
 
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