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Dryers can cost a pretty penny, especially when you're starting to build your shop. Many screen printers use their flash dryers to cure. Flash dryers get the job done, but there are some tips and tricks to ensuring your print becomes completely cured. Our in-house expert Colin Huggins goes in-depth about how to properly cure plastisol ink, specifically FN-INK™, with a flash dryer in our latest video.
To start, you should warm the platen, shirt, and ink because it'll make flashing and curing easier. When you flash, a laser gun is less accurate at reading the temperature than a donut probe. A laser gun reads the reflection of heat while a donut probe finds the absorption of heat. When it's time to cure, lift the shirt off the platen and rest it on top of the platen so the heat can seep to the bottom of the ink easier. After curing, you should perform a stretch test. If the ink does not crack, it does not mean it's fully cured. It's reasonably cured, but to double-check, you need to do a wash test. Colin suggests to perform a minimum of three wash tests to really know if it's truly cured.
To sum it up, test the ink and the settings you have set on your flash dryer before printing a customer's order.
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