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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if any one has asked this before, was just wondering if this was possible, as I read somewhere here that’s you could use an oven,

Any thought on this, if some one could give it a go that’s wound be great,

Cheers Anthony
 

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I doubt a microwave oven would do what you need it to do.

When using water based inks, you need a longer cure time at a lower temperature. That's why most people use a gas dryer that is extremely long. There are catalysts you can add to the ink that will allow for air drying. It would be cured within 24 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually plan to use a hair dryer so the ink is dry to touch then a really hot iron to cure the ink, the microwave suggestion was just an idea I had
 

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Well, it's certainly one of the more left-field creative ideas I've heard (and no, it definitely hasn't been asked here before).

I definitely can't get my head around the science of how a microwave works and how curing a shirt works to put them together and see if it would work (I know next to nothing about either thing). But I am certainly extremely sceptical.

As far as I understand it microwaves work by vibrating particles, certain compounds (water and fat for example) absorb the energy of the waves, which converts to heat. How that is going to react with a waterbased ink, and what the implications are for whether or not it gets cured, are beyond my ken.

My gut instinct is that it's unlikely to work, or that if it did work it wouldn't be practical though.
 

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I once put a tshirt in the microwave many years ago. My landlords car infested the apartment with fleas and I was looking for a way to rid my clothes of them in a rush as I was due at work hahaha.(long story) It was a plastisol printed shirt. The shirt was fine, but the print caught on fire. I would assume it was the PVC that didn't lend itself well to the equation, but I would be unsure about waterbased. There's only one way to find out really and that's try it. Best bet might be to smear a small about of ink across a scrap piece of fabric and let 'er rip. Try various samples and also different power settings on the microwave to see what type of results you can get. It may also be wise to test all your available colours/inks to see if the different compounds that make up each pigment will fair well.
Oh also, when cooking certain articles in a microwave, it is often suggested to include a glass (pyrex or similar) of water in as well to disperse energy from concentrating in one area, which might be advisable as well. I'm really curious to see the outcome, please keep us posted on your results.

Andrew
Vancouver, BC
 

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Has anyone tried to cure them on a cookie sheet in a large outdoor gas grill?
I don't know if you are being serious or joking? If you are serious, sorry for implying you could be joking. If you are joking, that's funny.

Either way, the biggest issue is time. Everyone wants to save money, but in the end, with all the time spent, there is very slow production and in order to truly get your money back in time, you'd have to charge quite a bit per shirt. Propane costs money too. All in all, it would be better to just invest in the right equipment and really push sales.

Sorry, I'm not trying to sound harsh, take what I say constructively, that's the intention.

Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post, there are inks made by Union that use an additive. So you can dry them to touch with a heat source (then set them aside) and within 24 hours they are fully cured.
 

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Sometime you have to use what you already have to get started. After you generate a little bit of money then you can purchase some professional equipment. I have a heat press, heat gun, and a flash dryer. Now im saving up for a conveyor dryer. I totally understand what Jerid Hill is saying, but at the sametime its cool to experiment with other ways to do stuff in screenprinting.
 

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With respect to you both, jdr8271 & JeridHill, I have to say that my opinion differs from yours. No industry, trade, skill or anything that has grown to contain a desirable amount of knowledge and craft, has done so without creativity and the will to experiment. Very few advances similar to penicillin, and even that was the result of a unintended and unorthodox variable in the laboratory.
I admit, I am skeptical of the grill idea as I can't imagine it to be efficient enough to be beneficial, but it's great that these ideas are out there, and the people doing this are so keenly interested in exploring avenues of potential.
I do agree very much with your comment jdr8271, that it is important to take your equipment seriously if you are to be serious about this business. It is a responsibility we should honour for ourselves and our clients. But I think the intention of this post was NOT to validate the sale of microwaved t-shirts, but get the perspective of other interested printers.

Andrew
Vancouver, BC
 

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When I started out, I cured the shirts with plastisol ink in a gas oven on a cookie sheet. 80-90 seconds at ~350 if I remember correctly...long time ago. I scorched a lot of shirts and it was slow as @#$% but I still have some of the good ones and they are about 8 years old and not faded!!!

Thankfully I've moved on to much better equipment including a conveyor dryer, but when you are starting out as a hobbie, or for selling a few shirts here and there on eBay, it will work.

-Nick
 

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I dont see why it wont work to help a conveyor dryer system to preheat shirt If i understand the microwave will heat from the inside out so your conveyor dryer isn't going to need to drive as much heat from the surface in, so there may be something to preheating shirt before placing it on a conveyor, flash dryer or even a kitchen type oven. You would need to be sure that the ink or anything in the ink wont react badly with the microwave

Is it a good idea to microwave

Industrial Microwave Systems, a manufacturer of patented microwave heating and drying technology, will highlight its Planar Drying System at ATME-I MEGATEX In Atlanta, GA, from May 18-20, 2010. IMS manufactures industrial heating and drying equipment that employs microwave energy to efficiently heat and dry webbed substrates. The company's patented designs and technology excel at providing rapid, uniform heating in a precisely controllable manner.
Where conventional drying technologies heat from the surface inward, IMS microwave technology rapidly heats the volume of moisture throughout the product. By using this innovative heating technology, producers of nonwovens and textiles can benefit from increased line productivity by eliminating drying bottlenecks, reducing operating costs and improving product quality. This technology can also enable producers to develop new products and processes.
[media]http://www.industrialmicrowave.com/Video/IMS-textile-short.mov[/media]Industrial Microwave Systems, Inc. - Microwave heating, drying, bonding,curing, cooking, pasteurizing and sterilizing equipment for continuous industrialprocessing of wide webs, conveyed materials and materials pumped through a pipe
 

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This looks like it could work better then a conventional kitchen oven or a microwave, has conduction, convection, and infrared heating, a little small though. It looks like the heating elements are in the top so it may be possible to trash the bottom and build an insulated metal box (like 16x16 or 18x18) and install the heating elements to the top of your heat box. It is under $150, still too much for me to through away on something that likely will end up in the trash. But if I could get one cheap or free I would spend some time tearing it up and playing with it.

Nuwave Oven - Official Site - www.mynuwaveoven.com
 
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