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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am currently having to full cure my shirts with a flash unit. I have the heating element about 2 inches above the t-shirt. I started it out on just over medium, curing for 1 full minute.

The shirts smoke a bit and on colored shirts (blue) they leave a ring. I have lowered to temp, almost down to low, I have taken the time down to 35 seconds, and Ive raised the element an inch. I'm still getting scorching and smoke.

Can I get some suggestions on what I should do? I'm afriad if i keep dropping temps and time, I'm not going to get the shirts fully cured, but I don't want to keep burning them. Any help would be much appreciated~
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do not own a tempeture gun, it seems like that would take more time and be more to deal with than just throwin under the curer. Maybe I need to move the element up than a couple of inches. I was reading though that if you are too high, the image won't get cured properly because heat is escaping out the sides, and not being focused.

I understand the shirts do smoke, but it seems like it smokes quite a bit, and everytime it does it leaves a ring and or a scorch mark. Do you know what your tempetures are at for your units since that you don't have a tempeture control? (I need to get a thermometer and check mine)
 

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Mine's between 2" and 3" off the shirt.

Here's the funny part, I always had to cure for like 1:10 ish. Rarely had a scorched shirt, but the ink was taking that long to cure.

One day, I woke up, started printing, and stuff started burning at like 55 seconds. My flash just decided to get better, and now I cure for 40 seconds. No washouts to date.

I think I'm printing in one of Steven Hawkings' worm holes. The strangest stuff happens when I print. I burned up like 20 red shirts in a row one time. I was getting real mad. An hour later I went to check out th shirts to see if it was anything hide-able, and wouldn't you know it, not a burned shirt in the bunch.
 

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I think about 4 inches is about right, it will give you enough time to cure the ink and not burn the shirts. but remember its also depends on the color of the ink you are using dark colors, will cure faster then light colors, and as you are curing your pallet will get hotter and your time for curing might change. i dont even use a temp gun anymore, and i have had good sucess. good luck
 

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Re: Flash Curer (Current Heater) Scorching Shirts
The shirts smoke a bit and on colored shirts (blue) they leave a ring. I have lowered to temp, almost down to low, I have taken the time down to 35 seconds, and Ive raised the element an inch. I'm still getting scorching and smoke.
It sounds like something is wrong with your flash, the fact that your unit have a temp. control, doesn't mean is working at that specific temperature you did set it up. Rings and scorching are signs of to much heat, unless your shirts have old dryed water on it, you do have a problem with your flash. As Joe ask you, I think in your case is a must to get a temp. gun or at least some thermo-strips to let you know your flash temp. otherwise you won't be able to determine if your flash temp is correct, and this will cost you more time, shirts and money.
The other advice is to work the variables one at a time because you want to find a constant to use it every time you are curing shirts. Plastisol inks cure at 320°F
Hope this can help you
Thanks,
Challenger
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm sorry, I must've been mistaken. Is a temp gun for curing shirts (like the heater guns) or for measuring tempeture? If it's for measuring temps then I will purchase one. If not, I'll be picking up some temp strips immediately.

Thanks for all the advice. I guess I'll just have to keep playing around until I find the sweet spot. I'll start by moving the platen up to around 3-4 inches and see how much that helps.
 

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I would say definitely order a thermometer, I got exactly what I need for $32.98 on ebay yesterday, search: non contact infra red thermometer or something like that . . just make sure it is sensitive to high enough temps.

I have always been told the key is to have the surface temp. at 320 for about 40 seconds.
 

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I'm sorry, I must've been mistaken. Is a temp gun for curing shirts (like the heater guns) or for measuring tempeture? If it's for measuring temps then I will purchase one. If not, I'll be picking up some temp strips immediately.

Thanks for all the advice. I guess I'll just have to keep playing around until I find the sweet spot. I'll start by moving the platen up to around 3-4 inches and see how much that helps.
Both are for measuring temperatures, Thermo-strips have a range of differents temperature degrees on it, you just stick them to the shirt, make your flash and when it comes out you can read the actual temperature.
With the gun you just aim to the ink film as soon as it comes out from the flash, and will let you know your flash temp.
Do yourself a favor, start by getting your gun or your strips.
Hope this can help you.
Thanks,
Challenger
 

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Mine's between 2" and 3" off the shirt.

Here's the funny part, I always had to cure for like 1:10 ish. Rarely had a scorched shirt, but the ink was taking that long to cure.

One day, I woke up, started printing, and stuff started burning at like 55 seconds. My flash just decided to get better, and now I cure for 40 seconds. No washouts to date.

I think I'm printing in one of Steven Hawkings' worm holes. The strangest stuff happens when I print. I burned up like 20 red shirts in a row one time. I was getting real mad. An hour later I went to check out th shirts to see if it was anything hide-able, and wouldn't you know it, not a burned shirt in the bunch.

Lol...Been there. Didnt notice until I had quite a few shirts done. Came back after a while and they were all fine.

Btw. I use my temp gun on the shirt while it is under the flash. Temp is always really low immediatly after the flash is pulled off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here is a source for a thermometer: Laser Noncontact Thermometer Digital Temp Gun

You shoot the beam directly on the shirt while it is under the flash. Once it registers 320 or above, you are cured.
Thanks! I'll look into this, sounds like a great way to test my cure times~

Yeah, those red shirts can be tricky. As you found out, it's not that they are burning, it's that they change colors when hot!
hmm, I noticed a blue ring around my shirts. I need to recheck them, maybe they just got discolored the same way as the red shirts.
 

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Btw. I use my temp gun on the shirt while it is under the flash. Temp is always really low immediatly after the flash is pulled off.
[/quote]

If I do that with the gun I have, I will get an inaccurate reading, Flashes as all objects having temperatures above absolute zero, radiates infrared energy. This energy travels in all directions, at the speed of light. The gun I have works like this: when pointed at a target, the infrared thermometer's lens of the gun collects and focuses the energy onto an infrared detector, the detector responds by producing a voltage signal which is directly proportional to the amount of energy received, and therefore to the temperature of the target, so if I do that with this gun I will be collecting the infrared energy of the flash rather than the energy of the ink film on the shirt.
I don't pull off the flash, I just turn a cold pallet with my left hand, meanwhile I hold the trigger and pointing at the target to be measured with the right hand simultanely, that way I always get accurate readings.
Hope this can help
Thanks,
Challenger
 

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I burned up like 20 red shirts in a row one time. I was getting real mad. An hour later I went to check out th shirts to see if it was anything hide-able, and wouldn't you know it, not a burned shirt in the bunch.
Red dye is a #@$%ing $%*#@. Just like screenprinting ink, dye needs to be set (there are various ways to do it, depending on the dye). Different coloured dyes have different considerations.

Red is the hardest to get right. If you cure it properly, it goes crimson - not the bright red that most people want. So red dye is consistently undercured. The problem with that is that some of the dye will wash out, leaving the garment pink rather than red. So the solution is to over-saturate the garment with extra dye. So red garments have more dye in them than other colours, and it's not fully cured - that's why red garments run on their first wash more than any other colour. It's also why dye migration into ink is more of a problem with red.

So... one of the side effects is that there's a lot of uncured red dye hanging around. When you heat a red shirt they generally darken up considerably. After a while they generally go back to normal (which is the one bit I actually don't understand, but hey, it works in our favour so why question it).
 
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