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I know the experienced screenprinters are going to say "no" on curing with a flash dryer. But, I have had success, as I am sure others have had also, curing with the flash dryer. Yes, the production is not as fast, and I will be buying a conveyor dryer soon, but you can fully cure with a flash dryer.

How long are you leaving the shirt under the flash cure? At what height above the shirt? Could this be moisture coming out of the shirt?

Suzette70
 

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then what would you recommend curing the shirt with if not the flash dryer? I'm not really going to have enough for the conveyor dryer for another year so I figured the flash could do both.

I usually leave the shirt to dry for as long as it takes to pass the stretch test which is usually about 45 seconds to a minute. I was afraid I was going to have to buy a dehumidifier with living in NJ by the shore, I might have to if the problem doesn't get resolved.

and if you have the numbers, what is the recommended height above the shirt for the flash dryer?
 

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then what would you recommend curing the shirt with if not the flash dryer? I'm not really going to have enough for the conveyor dryer for another year so I figured the flash could do both.

I usually leave the shirt to dry for as long as it takes to pass the stretch test which is usually about 45 seconds to a minute. I was afraid I was going to have to buy a dehumidifier with living in NJ by the shore, I might have to if the problem doesn't get resolved.

and if you have the numbers, what is the recommended height above the shirt for the flash dryer?
Many successful printers only use a flash to fully cure shirts. That's all I use too.

I do 2 inches at 45 seconds. Have never had a return for undercuring.
 

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I cure at about 2" above the shirt for 25 seconds. I always do the stretch test to make sure that is sufficient for each job. To save time, I have rigged up a station next to the screen press to lay the shirt on and cure while I am loading another one onto the pallet. Would love to have a conveyor dryer and multi station press to speed up production!!! Will eventually.

We got derailed......Any ideas on the wet hue around the ink?

Suzette70
 

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Hi Loki

The important thing in curing plastisol ink is to attain fusion temperature 280-320 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of plastisol used.

You can use temperature heat strips or a infrared heat gun to measure the inks temperature, that is the best way to insure that your ink has cured.

Plastisol will start to become dry to the touch at 180-250 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what you do when you Print-Flash-Print (PFP) on multi-color jobs that require it.

Many screen printers use Flash-Cure units to fully cure shirts everyday. On your smaller conveyor dryers they use the same infrared heaters that are in the flash-cure unit.

The thing is to fully cure your ink, it might feel cured but if it doesn't reach fusion temperature it will probably crack or flake off when the garment is washed.

You will never achieve a high production output using a flash-cure dryer for curing your final product.

I hope this is of some help and good luck on your printing.

Bill m :)
 

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I do not suggest using a flash for the curing of ink for a few reasons. First off, it is too time consuming to do so, I can cure a shirt in 22 seconds through one of our conveyor dryers. But more importantly is a flash is an inconsistently distributed source of heat. What I mean by that is the heater in your flash unit has coils in it. These coils look basically like the coils in a car's radiator. Unfortunately the coils on cheaper flash units are spaced out and often only have 4 coils throughout 18" of heat. This makes very inconsistent heat directly under the flash. Picture a piece of chicken on the grille, those grille marks are pretty much what your flash is doing. Also, the area in the middle of the heater will always be hotter than the edges. So if you're image is approaching the edges of the spot heater, it is likely you may experience washout on the edges of your image.

All and all if you are planning on using a flash dryer to cure your ink you really need to take into consideration what flash you will purchase. You will want to buy a higher quality flash with a heating element that has very tight coils. This will make for less fluctuation of heat from the element's coils. Also when curing with a flash you'll want to leave the flash slightly higher off of your image so as not to concentrate those cooler spots between the coils. The farther away the heating element the more consistent the heat spread will be. So it is most definitely do-able to cure with a flash, and people do so everyday, just proper thought/planning/setup is required to do so.

Sorry that was kind of lengthy, it's tough to explain that without a visual reference. Overall, a conveyor dryer will Always be more efficient and more consistent when it comes to drying ink. Flashes are just not meant to fully cure ink, but to simply make the ink tacky to apply a second coat or second color.

I hope that helps you in some way. If you'd like any tips/advice feel free to e-mail me. We've sold people tabletop conveyors(no heat chamber) and they've simply rolled their flash over top of it and made a low cost conveyor dryer using their existing flash units.
 

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Great thread!

I'm trying to confirm or deny something I read elsewhere: that it's possible to flash dry your shirts, flip them inside-out, and then cure them in an industrial dryer at some random laundrymat.

Honestly, this sounds a little messy to me. Well, that, and I have no idea how hot those machines get, but... we're all counting pennies these days and thought I'd ask the question.

Thanks,
~v
 

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Great thread!

I'm trying to confirm or deny something I read elsewhere: that it's possible to flash dry your shirts, flip them inside-out, and then cure them in an industrial dryer
Curing requires temperatures of 320 degrees. Even industrial dryers don't get that hot.

And even if you could, why go through the hassle? Just use your flash for the entire cure process.
 

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I just finished my first run of shirts this weekend and used my flash unit to cure the shirts. I ended up with a ghost image of the print on the back side of the shirt. Once I noticed the proplem, I put the shirts on an old shirt so that the shirt being cured was not directly on the table that I was using to cure the shirt. That seemed to solve the prblem but I am not sure why. I even had a ghost image of the print on the wooden table.

Any thoughts? What is the best surface to lay a shirt on for curing with a flash unit?

Thanks,
NR
 
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