June 14, 2011 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Now that the heat of the summer season has started there are some things that you need to remember when printing with plastisol inks which cure with heat.  Our North-East Regional Sales Manager, John Levocz, has some helpful tips to keep in mind when screen printing in summer:

Ink Storage:

Store all inks in a cool area away from direct sunlight. Any excessive heat, about 180 to 240 degrees, can start the gelling process and make your inks thick and hard to print. Always get in the habit of mixing the inks before printing to help break down any false body that has occurred due to heat.

Moisture Management:

Along with hot days comes humidity. In general, 100% cotton fibers will hold more moisture than 50/50 or nylon materials.  Due to the extra moisture content, a 100% cotton shirt will need more time in the dryer to cure during hot and humid conditions.  The shirt will need to hit at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the boiling point of water, before the curing process can begin! When properly setting your dryer for humid conditions, load your belt with garments and then test cure.  By using this method you will introduce the most mass and humidity to your dryer, enabling you to accurately set your cure temperatures.  (For more on curing, visit our previous blogs).

While it is always nice to have air conditioning, fans and open windows in your shop for comfort during the hot months, it is important that they are not causing drafts that can run down the dryer chamber causing a drop in temperature and ultimately an under-cure situation.  You would not bake a cake with the oven door open and a fan blowing cold air inside so do not try and cure a shirt with a fan blowing down the dryer belt.

Remember, moisture will affect other processes in your shop, not just inks.  Your screens will take longer to dry before you can coat them and your emulsion will also take longer to dry before you can expose your screens.  Check with your supplier to see what might be affected by heat and humidity so you can have a plan in place before the problems start.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at


Entry filed under: General, How-To, Printing Tips. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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