Tip of the Week: Curing Ink with a Heat Gun?

October 2, 2012 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

We often get inquiries from printers whether they can cure plastisol inks by using a heat gun.  Kieth Stevens answers to this in a recently published printing tip in Impressions:

From an ink manufacturer’s point of view, using a heat gun to cure a print isn’t an ideal method, as it is fraught with problems, such as under-curing and partial curing.

However, as long as all of the ink film reaches the necessary curing temperature (a minimum of 320ºF for plastisol inks) a heat gun could work with flash cures, or even home ovens — though it still is NOT recommended.

Curing ink in this fashion is more of a hit-and-miss way of getting an even, overall cure. Other problems that could occur include fabric scorching and spots of under-cured ink, especially when using specialty or special effects inks.

Test your results by performing a wash test. If the ink fades or washes off, it’s time to invest in a good dryer.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. For more information, visit iccink.com and read the company’s blog at internationalcoatingsblog.com.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant 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 www.iccink.com.

    International Coatings:     The Intelligent Choice

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