Vastex International has introduced a new conveyor dryer with a pre-heating zone and air-flow mapping.

The BigRed 4D-54 has been designed to achieve “ultra-high rates and side-to-side curing uniformity, while cooling the chamber skin, reducing noise and preventing dust contamination,” said Mark Vasilantone, president of Vastex.

The new compact dryer has a 137cm wide conveyor belt, dual heating zones and four infrared heaters, which are said to be capable of curing up to 950 plastisol printed garments/hour, 432 water-based or discharge-printed garments/hour, or 144 garments/hour printed with digital white ink.

“A high-powered pre-heating zone surges ink temperatures past 150°C within the first several centimetres of conveyor travel, maximising dwell time at optimum curing temperatures and, in turn, conveyor belt speeds and dryer output,” explained Mark.

“Air intake fans located below the roof of the enclosure quietly draw ‘make-up’ air into the chamber’s double-walled shell through filtered inlets along opposite exterior sides at rates up to 15.6 m3/min, serving to cool the outer shell for safety while preheating the incoming air.

“An exhaust fan located below the centre of the conveyor belt draws the preheated air downward at rates up to 24 m3/min, over the garment and through the belt, removing heat, moisture and contaminants from the chamber.”

To accommodate each shop’s layout, the dryer has a 15cm diameter exhaust fan outlet that rotates 360°C for connection to ductwork, and a control box that can be set on the right or left side of the chamber. It also features exhaust filters on both sides of the conveyor to prevent garment lint from entering the blower or exhaust stack. “Cleaning all filters before or after each shift can be accomplished in one minute, safeguarding printed images, the equipment and the shop environment,”  Mark added.

Its safety features include exhaust flow sensors with warning lights to alert the operators to a clogged exhaust line, clogged filter or blower failure, as well as a light tower to monitor dryer status and a ‘cool down mode’ for powering down.

Dual digital PID temperature controls on the dryer are said to maintain accuracy to +/-0.5°C. Its heaters carry a 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, explained the company. “The dryer’s capacity can also be doubled, tripled or quadrupled when needs increase by adding one, two or three additional heating chambers and extending the conveyor belt.”

The company reported that its BigRed 4D-30 with a 76cm wide conveyor belt will be released soon.