Author Topic: Anyone use a Flash for drying shirts?  (Read 331 times)

Offline Logoman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 340
  • Life is what happens while your making other plans
Anyone use a Flash for drying shirts?
« on: November 07, 2018, 02:19:49 PM »
I have always heard that some smaller shops use a Flash Dryer to cure shirts instead of a conveyer dryer. Does anyone here use that and if so what is the process for making sure the shirts are cured?

Offline Frog

  • Administrator
  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12358
  • Docendo discimus
Re: Anyone use a Flash for drying shirts?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 06:14:24 PM »
I have done it a few times in years past, but always as a stop gap method during a breakdown of real equipment.
As for knowing that they are cured for sure, there's the rub (so to speak)
Experience, trial and error, the smell, the visual cue of vapor, and then the repeated wash test.
The biggest problem I see is consistency over the entire print unless the flash is way bigger than the print.
"It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide"

Offline Dottonedan

Re: Anyone use a Flash for drying shirts?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 08:26:45 PM »
We sort of did that just today out of nesessity. We had a 3 phase power outage in our area. When it went down, it blew our dryer motor. In order to cripple along, They flashed at the end and walked them over to the 2nd dryer. Our one that went down is now back up.

I’ve never tried to reach a full cure with one and as Frog mentioned, there are times when that’s all you can do, but it’s not to be considered a steady option. Too inconsistent.
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales,  e-mail [email protected] 615-821-7850

Offline screenxpress

  • !!!
  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Anyone use a Flash for drying shirts?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 12:52:26 AM »
A somewhat bigger concern over making sure the shirts are cured just might be the risk of warping composite platens.

Back in the day........when starting out I did cure on press and ended up warping a number of platens.  However, I didn't immediately realize that warping was the problem.  Seems the slight "hump" in the middle created a "crown" and the squeegee stroke would start missing ink release...on either the right side or left side....from one print to the next.  Talk about something driving you nuts until I figured out the source of that problem.

If you really, really have to do that, set up something off-press, using lumber or a scrap table not affected by any warping.

Caveat: If you're not curing on the press; or if your platens are metal and not composite, then you can go back to being concerned about a full cure on the shirts.   ;)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 12:55:42 AM by screenxpress »
Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.  Will Rogers

Offline farmboygraphics

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
Re: Anyone use a Flash for drying shirts?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 04:19:38 AM »
This is how I cured shirts when I started. I stacked empty shirt boxes, laid the printed shirt on the boxes and swung the flash over it, continued printing the next shirt (swung flash over board if needed then back over shirt), swung flash away and stacked cured shirt and continued until done. Not production friendly, but we all start somewhere. :-)
Tom Hitchcock

Offline Prince Art

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 676
Re: Anyone use a Flash for drying shirts?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 09:41:19 AM »
I've done this once, when the dryer broke in the middle of a run on an order that had to go out that day. Cured on press (manual), and the platens did indeed warp. It was a one hit print, so I was able to hobble through... but by the end my OC had had change drastically. Not a fun day. But for what it's worth, one thing I did to try to avoid scorching was pull the flash up probably 2"-3" higher than usual, and checked temps onthe print surface (thermo gun) until I figured out how long the dwell time should be to get a full cure. After that, stretch test confirmed it worked. I hope I don't ever have to do it this way again!

That said, on occasion, I will use the flash to fully cure if I'm doing a single piece when the dryer isn't on (after hours, or while the dryer is warming up in the morning). Rarely happens, but it could be for a test/sample, or when I've printed a one-off for myself or a family member. Then I just babysit it with the thermo gun until I know it's done.
Nice guys laugh last.