Why Printed DTF Film Become Oily – How to Overcome This Problem

process of dtf printing

DTF printing is a unique method that uses heat to transfer patterns onto a variety of materials, including clothing, using specialized DTF machines and consumables specifically designed for the purpose.

This technology has gained popularity in numerous countries and is expected to continue its growth and development in the foreseeable future.

In contrast to conventional printing methods, DTF printing boasts a multitude of advantages that set it apart.

Notably, it offers an unparalleled ability to produce intricate and distinctive patterns, ensuring a truly unique end result.

Moreover, the durability of DTF prints is commendable, guaranteeing long-lasting wearability.

Additionally, this cutting-edge technique excels in providing high breathability, allowing for enhanced comfort.

Last but not least, DTF printing effortlessly brings complex designs to life, pushing the boundaries of creative expression.

However, there is still a significant common problem that consumers often ask questions about, and it is very important to answer these questions and solve problems for customers.

Today, we will discuss two common questions related to dtf printing:

What causes the phenomenon of moisture in dtf printing? And what measures should be taken to correct this problem?

To begin, it is important to understand the reasons behind this problem.

The dampness in dtf printing can be attributed to factors such as oil production, water return, and foaming.

These factors are interconnected and influenced by the printing process, materials used, and the environment in which the printing takes place.

Production Process Factors

Once the DTF printer prints the element with white ink, it will be transformed into dusty powder.

At this point, around 50%-60% of the moisture remains trapped in the white ink layer.

The film undergoes a drying process in a controlled temperature area set between 135 and 140 degrees.

This process causes the powder to melt rapidly, resulting in the formation of a film that seals the white ink.

Despite the formation of the film, a considerable amount of moisture, approximately 30% to 40%, remains within the white ink and is encapsulated by the film layer.

TPU rubber powder is enclosed between the film and the rubber powder.

Although the surface of a finished film may appear dry, it is actually an optical illusion.

When the rest of the water inside condenses, droplets of water are forming. This is a major cause of humidity returns to the finished film’s surface.

How to avoid this situation?

By implementing a three-stage drying process, DTF printer manufacturers are most likely to bypass this problem entirely.

After the DTF prints, which are evenly coated with hot melt powder, are introduced into the dryer, the temperature is initially set at 110 degrees.

This controlled temperature allows the water content in the prints to boil and turn into steam, which eventually evaporates.

However, it should be emphasized that the hot melt adhesive powder does not dissolve during this stage.

The moisture present in the white ink dries quickly.

In the second stage, the temperature is carefully regulated in the range of 120-130 degrees to facilitate the drying process of glycerin and other oily substances contained in the ink.

In the third stage, the temperature can rise to 140-150 degrees.

During this period, the hot melt adhesive powder undergoes rapid drying, allowing it to form a film and melt while adhering closely to the pattern. This step is essential for ensuring the firmness and durability of the pattern.

Material as a Factor on the Quality of DTF Printing

The effect of materials on the quality of DTF printing is clear and undeniable.

 It plays a crucial role in determining the accuracy of colors, the level of detail captured, how long the printed product lasts, and even the overall texture and feel of the finished item.

Because printing films absorb water rapidly, moisture-proofing is especially important when preserving dtf printing films.

How materials has to be stored?

After each usage, the printing film should be returned to its original packing and stored as far away from the ground and walls as possible.

If there is no packaging bag, wrap the bottom of the film, seal it, and keep it in a well-ventilated, dry place.

Environment factor

In a humid atmosphere, the dtf film absorbs moisture, causing ink to condense on the film, preventing ink droplets from spreading evenly and allowing oil to return.

Furthermore, a humid atmosphere can easily cause the dtf printer print head to clog, reducing the printing quality.

To maintain the quality and effectiveness of dtf printing, avoid using the printer in a humid environment.

How can Oil Return in DTF Printing be Prevented?

Always regulate the printing temperature: Overly high a printing temperature causes the ink to evaporate too rapidly, resulting in droplets of water on the printing film and oil return.

 As a result, during the process of printing, the printing temperature needs to be carefully managed.

Install a dehumidifier: In hot and humid seasons or places, you can use a dehumidifier to decrease indoor humidity, lowering the likelihood of dtf printing becoming soggy.

Ventilate the room often for air circulation: this can maintain interior circulation of air while preventing moist air from remaining indoors, lowering the likelihood of dtf printing becoming damp.

Reduce over-printing: Over-printing will leave an excessive amount of ink on the printing film, which is susceptible to moisture and oil return.

As a result, during the printing process, the total amount of ink used should be monitored to minimise overprinting.

Clean the printer’s printhead on a regular basis to preserve it in good condition and prevent excessive ink buildup on the printing film caused by printhead clogging.

Correctly preserve the DTF film: No matter if it is the raw material for the printing film or the finished heat transfer film that has been printed, it needs to be kept away from damp surroundings.

Moisture seeps quickly into printing media, and moisture-affected heat transfer sheets can cause ink scattering and other problems.

Wrap the film, seal it, and keep it in a well-ventilated, dry area. To summarise, to avoid oil returns in DTF printing, you must consider numerous factors and take adequate care of the equipment in order to achieve a great completed result!