December '20

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7 4 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M lays the fibers flat. Because they are wet, the fibers remain flat, allowing the unit to then inkjet onto the flattened surface. While this method eliminates the need to dry the pretreatment and/or flatten fibers using a heat press prior to inkjet printing, it also saturates the image area, requiring longer drying times and/or more powerful dryers than images printed onto pretreated fabric that has been dried prior to printing. FLASH CURE UNITS More commonly used in screen printing to partially dry one color before printing an- other, flash cure units (Figure 2) can also be employed as a low-cost method of drying DTG printed images, albeit slowly. Requiring less than a square yard of floor space, they radiate infrared heat to cure one DTG-printed garment at a time with good edge-to-edge consistency, producing a high- er-quality result than heat presses, which flatten and degrade the image in the course of drying it. It is uncommon for flash cure units to be used for drying of pretreatment since they are equally as slow as heat presses and lack the ability to flatten fibers prior to printing. INFRARED CONVEYOR DRYERS Infrared conveyor dryers (Figure 3) are larger and more costly units that require 2 1/2 square yards or more of floor space and consist of a heating chamber positioned above a conveyor belt. These machines use infrared ra- Figure 3. A specialized infrared conveyor dryer for DTG applications preheats the DTG printed image to optimum curing temperature within several inches of conveyor travel, maximizing conveyor belt speed and drying capacity during the pre- treatment stage of conventional DTG processes and post printing stage of both conventional and Kornit DTG processes. Figure 2. A DTG printed garment can be placed on either rotary platen and swiveled under the flash cure heater to dry at low rates but with high quality.

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