Flash Cure Units
Affordable, professional spot cure units
Flash cure units or spot cure units as they are also known are special infra red dryers that are absolutely essential in a screen printing business.
A flash dryer provides an intermediary drying process without removing the garment from the press between print colours, usually after an underbase has been printed, and also between colours.
Whilst it is not necessary to flash dry after each colour, there will be combinations of ink colours that require a flash cure process to be used. Flash drying cures only to the gel point of the ink and is not the final cure. The final stage of curing is completed using an infra red tunnel, or conveyor dryer.
The Vastex range of spot cure units are compact in design and a perfect companion for business start-ups, home-based businesses, traveling printers and dedicated screen printing shops.
Vastex F100 & F1000
The range includes two basic types of flash cure units. The entry level spot cure unit, which is ideal for start-up t-shirt printers, is the F-Series shown pictured at the top right. There are two models available, the F100 and the F1000.
The only difference is the size of the head. These flash cure units are available with an optional rotary table to allow the user to fully cure printed t-shirts off the press and is an easy and affordable add-on for shops that cannot yet afford a conveyor tunnel dryer.
The rotary table overcomes the problem of slowing down production on the press while waiting for t-shirts to cure fully and also protects the platens from getting excessively hot.
While the platens on Vastex screen printing equipment are made of steel, other brands may only offer wooden platens that could become warped through overheating.
Either way, platens ont-shirt printing machines are not designed to withstand the prolonged high temperatures required to fully cure a plastisol print and the rotary table is the ideal way to use a flash cure unit to fully cure plastisol ink until your budget will allow you to invest in a tunnel dryer.
If you choose to use a flash cure unit to do the final cure, we highly recommend that temperatures are carefully checked to ensure the optimum curing temperature has been reached and that the item is cured for long enough to avoid a breakdown of the print later on. Using a flash cure unit to complete the final cure is better suited to smaller image areas (well within the image area of the unit) and prints that do not have large solid areas.
The F-Series flash cure units are provided with a 15 year heater warranty, height adjustable stand and a head leveling feature.
Red flash premium flash
The premium Redflash is available with different power levels for the more demanding, high production screen printing environment.
The high output infra red heater option can flash cure plastisol in as little as four seconds and there are options to upgrade the Redflash to automatically flash the printed item and swing away to avoid scorching.
For complete peace of mind, the heater is guaranteed for 15 years. A heavy duty stand and castors can also be added which makes the dryer more stable and take up less space around the carousel.
The standard Redflash cure unit has an infra red heater element that measures 46 x 46cm, but this can be upgraded to 46 x 61cm.
Additionally, the infra red heating element can be upgraded from the standard 2,600 watts to a high output of 3,500 watts. This allows the unit to spot cure a garment much quicker than normal.
The Redflash must be upgraded to a heavy duty stand when larger infra red heating element, autoflash or airflash options are selected.
The Vastex range of infra red spot cure units are very easy to use, but here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you understand more about these handy pieces of screen printing equipment.
If you need help to decide which model is best suited to your needs, please refer to the flash cure product page for more comprehensive information about the range of spot dryers we offer or simply call us for assistance.
The Vastex range of flash cure units offer fantastic value for money to the screen printer and for peace of mind, industry leading guarantees on both the overall product and the infra red heating element.
When using plastisol ink, each print colour must be cured for a few seconds before the next colour is added to the garment.
By flash curing curing the surface very briefly, you avoid disturbing the design when the second screen is pulled down on top of the initial print.
In addition, flashing or spot drying the print also helps to reduce ink build up on subsequent screens which would at some point begin to transfer to the garment when squeegee pressure is applied to the screen.
If you use plastisol ink, the simple answer is yes. Using a hair dryer, heat gun, domestic oven or leaving the garments to air dry are not an option with this type of ink system.
Plastisol ink needs to plasticise in order to fully cure and to achieve this it must be heated to a specific temperature and kept at that temperature until the ink is fully cured down to the garment. If this does not happen, the print will start to break down during washing.
All of our infra red spot cure units are supplied with stands, some of which can have optional castors added to allow easy movement of the system.
Normally on a multi-station carousel screen printer, the flash cure would be placed at one of the print stations and the speed base of the printer would be spun round after each print has been completed. This allows each t-shirt to be flash cured while another is being printed.
Some of our flash cure units can be run from a normal 13 amp supply as found in most homes and offices. Others need a higher rated 16 amp supply (and connector) which must be installed by a qualified electrician.
Provided you have the optional castors, you will be able to easily move the unit to a different location.
Traditional infra red heating elements do not power on and off quickly so once the unit is switched on, it stays on until you choose to turn it off.
It is possible to buy flash cure units that are intelligently controlled by a semi-automatic screen printing carousel, but the cost is prohibitive to most small businesses.
In relation to the design of the Vastex Red flash units, these dryers run cool to touch when being used. This means that if you touch the top of the flash cure during operation, you will not burn yourself.
However, this is not the case with the F series dryers which do not run cool to the touch during operation. Warning lables are provided on the top of these units to remind users of this.
An analogue temperature controller is fitted to all Vastex flash cure units.
Simply turn the knob to a specific number and use paper thermometer strips or a laser temperature gun to check the temperature achieved at the height you have chosen to set the unit up at. Make a note of the number you find the is closest to the temperature needed.
You can raise and lower the head of the flash cure as and when required.
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