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why does my media buckle?

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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:25 pm

why does my media buckle?

I have had a problem for a long while, where my vinyl or poster paper buckles during printing, causing head strikes. It only happens when the heater are on. I used to be able to get away with the heat settings on 35/35, now it's buckilng on those settings too.
I have printed with no heat, but of course there are then other issues with sticky ink/dust etc.
Any suggestions/solutions/experiences welcome, cos it's driving me nuts!

Lorraine
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Kevin Flowers

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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:35 pm

Lorraine
sounds like the baking papers are picking up moisture from the air this causes buckling when you use the heaters. You may need to run a dehumidifier to solve the problem. I can get the same problem i'm located in a unit and even though the printers are in a heated office buckling occurs but not as bad as to strike heads. If you have rolls of vinyl sitting around for long periods of time trying putting them back in their plastic bags & seal them see if things improve. However no point in doing it with a roll that has already been left out too long. Hope this helps.

Kev
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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:43 pm

Hi Kev, thanks for that advice, I am also in a unit, and I think you may well be correct. Before the summer I was running a small heater full time next to the printer, I think that with all the rain we have had over the last 2 months it has got too damp inb here.
I have read about the greenhouse heaters some on here use, does anyone have a link for them, can't find them on Googling.

Lorraine
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Steve Morgan

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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:45 pm

Lorraine,
It sounds to me like a problem with dampness in the paper. Does it happen more following a few wet days. I managed to stop it by keeping the print material in the same room as the printer and the PC which produce a bit of heat which seemed enough to keep the humidity down. In the winter I always close the door at night to try and retain some of the heat.

Steve
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Mike Grant

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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:14 pm

Try a good quality fan heater and heat the paper before it gets into the machine, while the machine is printing. This should drive enough moisture out to prevent buckling.
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Cameron Steer

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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:22 pm

Hi Lorraine,

I agree with Kevin etc re moisture when left unpacked,to help the better grades of digital print Vinyl have a moisture stable backing sheet which also helps keep large area prints flat when drying or outgasing, if its just paper ,Synthetic or Photobase papers will resist curl and stay flatter when printed too, of course they will cost a little more.

Regards
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M Brown

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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:11 pm

Hi Lorraine,

I run a dehumidifier constantly next to my printer and media, I have to empty it every day, even in the summer. You'll be amazed how much moisture is in the air that will be soaked up by your media. Since I've been using my dehumidifier I don't get any trouble with printing onto paper that would normally buckle up while print. Argos do a good cheap dehumidifier, that's where I got mine and had been on since I got it. Try that first as its cheaper to run than an electric fan heater all the time.

From Mark
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Matt Boyd

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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:26 pm

i have one of those clock/temp/humidity gadgets in my office. i know from experience that prints will work better at certain temps and humidity levels. so i keep them at around the same year round which means i no longer get any temp/humidity related problems.
it sounds like a humidity problem, you need to get a dehumidifier and a heater. run the dehumidifier before/after it rains and run the heater when the colder weather sets in. get a clock/temp/humidity gadget, you can get them off line for like 20 quid or so. if you want a fancy digital one it'll be more expensive. keep the work area at a good level of temp/humidity, means you'll avoid unnecessary problems alot of the times. i keep all my materials/inks and foils in the same area so as not to have any temp differences.
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Post Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:14 am

hello everyone ('not naming individually, you have all put in valid and valuable comments, to be taken inboard)

heat ( warmth) and dehumidification seem to be the way forward, so getting the balance right is the next step.

I am going to fire up my little rad again, and look for a dehumidifier the right size for my small- ish garage unit (any tips on suppliers welcome) and see how I go. I do know (head in the sand OK?) that I should have restarted my heaters earlier.

The leading edge and 300mm after seem to be a problem today, printed OK after.

Lorraine
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Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:58 am

I use WF Electrical for the tubular heaters
http://www.wf-online.com/pdf/ALTO_Heati ... lation.pdf
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Stafford Cox

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Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:11 am

I've found this to be a big problem when people have media in a room that gets very cold over night and then put it straight on to the printer. The sudden change from cold to 35c will cause the adhesive to react in some sort of weird way (sorry to be so scientific) and make the media cockle.

Also, as everyone else has said, humidity plays a big part in it too

Best of luck

Stafford

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