Vastex International has introduced a multi-purpose LittleRed X3-D infrared dryer capable of curing direct-to-garment (DTG) printed textiles as well as plastisol, water-based and discharge-printed garments at higher rates than possible with conventional dryer designs, according to Mark Vasilantone, president.
The latest addition to the LittleRed Dryer line, the 30 in. (76 cm) wide X3-D model features a high-powered pre-heating zone that rockets ink temperatures past 300°F (149ºC) within the first several inches of conveyor travel. Rapid preheating maximizes the distance and time over which the ink is accurately maintained at its optimum curing temperature, allowing increased conveyor belt speeds and dryer output.
"By dramatically reducing pre-heat time, the X3-D exposes printed garments to efficient at-cure temperatures through approximately 90 percent of the 41 inch (104 cm) long heating chamber," says Vasilantone.
The dryer's three 24 in. (61 cm) wide heaters (8300W @ 240V total wattage) are digitally-controlled and height-adjustable to maximize curing efficiency as garments are conveyed through the drying chamber, providing the precision-thermal-profiling (PTP) needed to match curing conditions to the drying characteristics of each ink type, particularly difficult-to-cure inkjet-printed white ink.
As a result, it can cure over 360+ plastisol-printed garments/h, 100+ water-based or discharge-printed garments/h, and at 4-minute dwell time, 38+ garments/h inkjet printed with digital white ink.
The dryer is configured with an 88 in. (224 cm) long x 30 in. (76 cm) wide conveyor belt and 41 in. (104 cm) long heating chamber, and features a powerful 380 cfm (10.7 cmm) targeted exhaust system as standard to rapidly remove moisture and air contaminates from the heating chamber, as well as cool the skin and controls.
The conveyor belt is continuously centered by a roller belt tracking system, and is driven at precisely controlled speeds to vary dwell time in single-chamber units from 30 seconds to four minutes, and up to eight minutes in dual chamber models, which are particularly suited for Kornit® DTG printers and high capacity screen printers.
LittleRed X3-D models with 54 in. (137 cm) wide conveyor belts will be introduced in the fall of 2017, says Vasilantone.
The capacity of all LittleRed dryers can be increased by adding heating chambers, extending the conveyor belt length and increasing the infinitely-variable speed setting of the digital belt control.
The heaters of all Vastex dryers carry an industry-leading 15-year warranty, and feature closely spaced coils that provide high-density, medium-wavelength infrared heat for maximum cure speed without cold spots or under curing associated with conventional units.