Printer's Resource FAQ

How do I test my dryer?

The ultimate goal of your dryer is to bring the ink film to the cure temperature recommended by the ink manufacturer. With this in mind, the best way to test your dryer is to take a temperature reading of the ink itself, either by using a Thermo probe with the crosshairs placed in the ink or temperature strips placed under the wet ink before it passes through the dryer.

By using a Thermo probe and recording temperature readings in a five second interval, you are able to create a map or cure curve of your dryer. You will find that your ambient (air) temperature may be steady throughout the dryer chamber, yet the ink film temperature is actually rising slowly and it usually doesn't hit the high temperature until it is close to the end of the chamber.

Readings should be taken at different times of the day throughout the year, and notations of variables written on the chart. You need to keep in mind that a setting for one ink or situation may not be sufficient for another. Many variables can affect cure. Examples include humidity, belt speed, a fully loaded belt, type of substrate, ink deposit and ink type.

Cure temperatures in ink can vary due to the following factors: Pigment color, product density and chemistry (as in an athletic vs. general purpose vs. fast fusion ink). Setting your dryer to ensure that the temperature window is above the ink cure recommendation is your best chance for success.