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flash dryer..2223 watt black body afford-a-flash

3763 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mmurray25
Ok guys. I'm kind of embarrassed to say this, but I've been using a YUDU to print shirts and sell them online. It's been very time consuming and frustrating. So, today I ordered my first printing press, flash dryer, exposure unit, etc.. I ordered the black body afford-a-flash 2223 watt, 18X18. My question, having never used one of these before, is, how long will it take to fully cure plastisol ink with this flash dryer? Also, how high should I position the dryer over the garment? This will also be my first time working with plastisol inks. My YUDU uses water based ink so I know nothing about plastisol inks. I've read about the stretch test but I have no idea even where to start with the time. Can anyone help me out?
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Get a infrared thermometer. Standard plastisol cures at 320 so you will Need a surface temp around 345 give or take. The main thing is not to try and cure close as the surface temp will get there quickly while the underside of the ink won't hit temp. 3-4 inch above shirt 20-35 sec. It can be easy to scorch shirts. Also don't cure on your platens. You will warp them very quickly if you do. If your use to water base inks you will quickly notice plastisol is thicker. Mix you inks well and get some curable reducer. You will also find with white you will need to print flash print and when doing this you want to gel ink 10-15 sec so that it's dry to touch then print 2nd hit. Watch a few YouTube videos.
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For Plastisol:
I run about 2 1/2" off garment.
Once my dryer and substrate is up to full temp I am at about 40 seconds (I should add, this is going to change based on coats - last run at 40 seconds was 3 coats)
I dry on an old BAD platen (Warps em) I have on a stand....
(As the substrate (surface under) is heated up, it will speed dry time as well)
GET A INFRARED THERMOMETER!!!!! See more info below!

If you have a coil heater:
Run 1/2 your dry time slightly off center one way, and off center the other way for the other 1/2.
Doing this to stagger the position of the coils over the print, since coil types don't offer perfectly consistent heat across the print and you can over do / under do spots.


I't is a thermometer gun. You can aim it under the dryer at the print and measure temp.

You need about 325 Degrees F to cure Plastisol. Just to 325 and then you are good, don't go beyond - at least not far.
But check the manufacturers specs on the inks, cause temp varies a little..... but most are around that.

INFRARED THERMOMETER!!!!! $13.83 on Amazon
Amazon.com: HDE Temperature Gun Infrared Thermometer w/ Laser Sight: Home Improvement

You don't need a fancy expensive one. Cheap is fine.
I go a little past my ink... by about 2 to 5 Degrees F just to be safe, in case the therm is off a bit....
I'd rather be a little over than under-cure.
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Thank you so much. I just ordered the gun. That was awesome information. Thanks again!!:D
A few things.
When screen printing you are not dealing with consistent absolutes. Different ink colors cure at different rates.
Different fabric colors affect ink cure times.
Fabric type and moisture content affect cure time.
Modifying an ink can change the cure time.
The flash output and distance affect times as does the surrounding air's humidity.
Using a temp gun alone to measure proper cure can lead to problems because they don't read the temp throughout the entire ink deposit. Now, you can keep track of the gun readings and how they relate to follow up stretch, abrasion and wash testing of cure, but as I said it's going to vary from job to job, ink to ink etc.
A donut probe is pretty much the most accurate way to measure ink deposit throughout the layer.
Good you upgraded but don't be embarrassed about having used a Yudu...LOL!
And get a comprehensive instructional series and study! Knowledge is the first line of defense against disaster ;)
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Thanks again. I am receiving my new flash dryer on Tuesday. I'm super excited. I guess its going to take some trial and error to get it right. Thanks, Melissa.
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