Properly Curing Plastisol Ink on Your Garments
It is always a good idea to test your printed designs ink to make sure it is fully cured. There are a few ways to test if plastisol ink is properly cured correctly. First is the stretch test. If you stretch your printed garment and the ink cracks, then the ink is not fully dried. However, if the shirt begins to scorch or burn, that means the screen printing ink is over cured. Be careful not to damage your customer supplied garments!
We demonstrate how to look for for drying temperatures with a screen printing conveyor dryer.
One method is with the use of Thermo-Tel strips. Thermo-Tel Heat Sensitive tapes are great for estimating dryer temperatures. Temperature ranges from 100° F to 500° F available in 8 different temperature ranges. Eight pressure-sensitive strips to a set. Easy to use and inexpensive.
Another method is with the use of a heat gun. MiniTemp Portable Infrared Thermometer Gun are easy to use, and since they do not contact the object being measured, they are the safest way to measure hot, hard-to-reach, or moving parts, while eliminating potential damage and contamination.
Different garment materials, such as 50/50, cotton, and polyester, all cure at different rates. Meaning they have different curing temperatures and times. Typically, plastisol ink cures at 320 degrees (F) and is mainly used for cotton fabrics. However, if you have heat sensitive garments, such as athletic wear, and polyester material, it is best to use a low bleed plastisol ink to avoid dye migration. Lawson carries a plastisol ink series specifically designed for all types of fabric called Dynamic Ink. Dynamic Ink cures at 270 - 280 degrees (F).
For more information on curing plastisol inks please visit our article "How to Properly Cure Plastisol Inks - A Q&A about how to cure screen printing inks"
For more any questions please call 314.382.9300 or contact us