October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Graphics Hot Spot |||| The 711WT employs a microfine spherical toner that may very well be the best in the business for heat transfer printing. Toner, of course, differs from inkjet in that it is a powder rather than a liquid. Typically, crushing and grinding the material into a fine powder was used to produce electrophotography toners. Although very fine, the individual toner particles end up with jagged edges that prevented an even laydown of the toner in the printing process. There are voids of toner in the overall print, visible under a microscope. These toner particles tend to scatter in the printing process. OKI, on the other hand, has developed a very fine, smooth spherical toner particle that is about 1/10th the size of a traditional toner. The advantage is apparent—limited toner scatter and crisper, sharper-printed characters. This is very important for those of us who produce heat transfers. Non-oil technology: A history It is important to note that, as the marketplace demanded faster printers, toners had to pressure fuse to the paper or substrate material in a shorter period of time. Shortening the times necessitated fusing at higher temperatures. Combined with the elimination of the fuser oil, the increase in temperature was responsible for the major change in color laser heat transfer papers. It gave rise to the new breed of non-oil papers and a considerable variability in use. These higher temperatures substantially increased energy consumption and set about an effort to make the printing process more environmentally friendly. The industry developed new toners that melted at lower temperatures to overcome the environmental issues. A core/shell toner particle was developed. The shell melts faster to adhere to the paper better, while the core of the toner sphere is left on the image surface, replacing the fuser oil to provide easy release from the fuser. The shell acts to prevent the individual toner particles from coagulating during storage. The physical properties of the OKI toner make it very suitable for heat transfer imaging. So, when the 711WT was introduced, it was not long after that heat transfer paper visionaries perfected a new two-part paper that takes the white-toner-backed images a step further… to a first class heat transfer for dark shirts. Core/shell toner has replaced traditional oil toners, which allows for faster fusing and an easy release from the fuser, as seen here. 26 | Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 26 How it works The new non-polymer backed heat transfer products take prints from the 711WT printer, which boosts the opacity of the white toner image and allows it to be transferred with heat and pressure to a wide variety of dark fabric substrates. Together with the OKI high definition color printing technology, vibrant colors and October 2013 9/18/13 2:54 PM

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