Ryonet | #PoweringThePrint
Printing with water-based ink is a whole new ball game compared to plastisol ink. One of the challenges of water-based inks is achieving proper cure. With water-based inks, the water needs to evaporate before the pigment can cure. Having equipment with forced air is the most efficient way to cure water-based inks. Not every printer can get his or her hands on a forced air conveyor dryer, but investing in a forced air flash dryer is more feasible.
You can reach proper cure in water-based prints without forced air equipment, but it'll take longer and may not guarantee a full cure. Printers may use Warp Drive to chemically reach full cure, but that requires waiting 48 hours for the chemicals to cure the ink (plus, you still need to evaporate the water somehow). With a regular flash dryer, it's difficult to determine whether or not all the moisture has been evaporated from the print or if you're burning the shirt.
With the Riley Hopkins Air Flash Dryer, the flash pushes hot air over the whole print, distributing the heat more evenly without burning the shirt or wooden platen. Not only does it evaporate the water from the ink, but it also removes moisture from cotton garments. Jonathan Overmyer of Golden Press Studio has noticed that he's able to shorten the dwell time in his conveyor dryer due to the air forced flash. Small ways to help speed up production will make a large impact in the long run.
Printers like Jonathan who have implemented the Riley Hopkins Air Flash Dryer in their shops feel more confident about printing with water-based inks. Having equipment that will lessen the likelihood of inks washing out without breaking the bank is a game changer.