November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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New flash-cure technology Left: While flash units can be used to cure shirts, the method is inefficient with incon- sistent results. (Image courtesy vastex Inter- national) Below: be sure to consider ink type when implementing a flash cure. Plastisol ink works with the process without many com- patibility issues, while water-based inks often take a little more planning as the process takes longer. (Image courtesy ICC Ink) TIPS FOR PROPER FLASH CURING • Use the flash-cure unit only to gel the print surface. Don't cure the surface. An over- flashed print can lead to inter- coat adhesion problems where the ink printed on top of the flashed ink refuses to stick. • To avoid scorching or shrink- ing heat-sensitive fabrics, raise the heat unit to even the heat and slow the flash time. resist the urge to hurry through this step when using heat-sensitive fabrics, even when printing as fast as possible. • Plastisol inks and flash cur- ing work well together. With water-based inks, however, it's not such a perfect fit. This combination can work, but it's a much slower process and difficult without a forced-air type of unit. Discharge inks might work well in this case. • Avoid fans or other moving-air sources in the print area that can cool down your flash or cause fluctuating heat. • Frequently adjust your flash time or heat temperature during a production run to keep platens from heating up. Do not let platens get too hot to touch. Lower the heat tem- perature or time to accommo- date the rising temperature of the platens. • Shirts act like sponges, and when it's a rainy day, they absorb a tremendous amount of moisture, which slows your flash speeds. A dry day speeds up flash times to do the same job. 5 6 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 pw

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