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Activity Feed Forums Sign Discussion General Sign Topics Speeding up Solvent Cure times Reply To: Speeding up Solvent Cure times

  • Shane Drew

    June 11, 2011 at 7:14 am

    For what its worth, I loosely roll my prints, place them on a raised grill and place it under an old exhaust fan. I reverse the fan so it blows down over the loose roll rather than suck.

    In terms of drying, its the airflow that dries the solvent ink more than the heat. I’ve used hot and cold air, and its made little difference in the overall scheme of things. Movement of air is the key. A print laying on a table has been proven as not drying because as rightly stated, the solvent is heavy and will just sit on the surface. However a fan will rectify that issue. The problem is then one of space. Loose rolls is the better proposition in that case.

    The best way to see if the print is dry is by feel – not smell. Close your eyes and lightly run your finger over the print. If you know by feel when the print starts or finishes, then its not totally cured. A fully dry print should have the same feel on printed and non printed sectors.

    And for those that have pushed a print thru in a few hours then laminated, as I have done, should know that it depends on the laminate you are using.

    Anti graffiti being a poly base would be a big no no. It doesn’t breath. From personal experience, the thicker the laminate the more chance of a problem. Also, aqueous glues v solvent glue on the laminate will also produce different effects.

    I’m in the process of replacing several prints I did 10 months ago on Calendered print material, and force dried the print with a quick blow dry then laminated with a calendered UV laminate. The job looks fine except the trapped solvents that hadn’t cured properly turned the removable glue into a super adhesive and it has become very permanent. The other problem that developed was that it looks like mold has grown under the laminate. It’s obviously not mold, but there seems to have been a reaction with the solvents and the laminates adhesive over time.

    As far as thinking that a heated lamination will be a simple fix, I’d not like to put my reputation on the long term results.

    Just like drying paint or filler or plaster with a quick shot of hot air is a good quick fix occasionally, I’d not want to make it the standard when producing printed material.

    End of the day there is a right way and a wrong way. Curing the printed material properly before lamination is the only right way. Although we can get away with the ‘wrong way’ every now and then, I’d not be encouraging anyone to be pushing the envelope on a regular basis.

    Just my 2c worth anyway.

    edit to fix typo’s 🙂