1. place doors and tray on table.
2. Temp Run is 200-230 degrees.
3. Temp preheat = 150 seconds (their machine reads seconds)
4. press for = 120 seconds
5. cool down time = 150 seconds.
Re: Vacuump press, vacuclamp, vacuumclamp, press settings
Wrinkles on components can be improved or fixed completely by a series of trouble shooting steps.
If your part has a shadow were a wrinkle was but has been pulled out then it means that a wrinkle has formed and was stretched out during the press cycle. There may be different steps to solve this but this article will primarily focus on wrinkles that remain after pressing.
Typically wrinkles are caused by the material becoming too soft and "gaining" inside the press. When film is calendered it is pulled through the machines. This means that when you reheat the material it will grow length wise and shrink a bit width wise. So there is some movement to the film as its getting reintroduced to heat. And typically wrinkles are caused by excessive exposure to heat via high temp or preheat so if you adjust settings it should be a reduction of heat in some manner.
The first thing to always try is to put a dummy part on the size of the part. Items such as large doors or table tops are prone to wrinkles as the vinyl slides across the table then wrinkles up on the part. By putting a dummy part beside the large component it will capture excessive vinyl and stop it from sliding onto your large component. You can play with the distance and height of the dummy part but in general this should solve most problems with wrinkles.
If your component is too large to put a dummy part or if a dummy part didn't solve the issue you can finally go to settings. The vast majority of issues can be solved by reducing the heat by a few degrees. Normally you will notice that wrinkles will occur later in the shift and only on large parts. This is due to excessive heat build up. By lowering the temp you should solve the issue but if you are not getting the definition needed you may need to then increase the preheat. Longer preheat slowly soaks the vinyl so that it will still stretch but not so soft that it expands in the press and causes excessive growth of material.
Above we have discussed not only the settings but also the characteristics of WHY wrinkles are occurring... We've discussed the nature of expansion length wise and contraction width wise showing movement as well as the growth (increase) in material that is now trapped between the gaskets. I hope that the above has solved your problems however if it has not you can contact us for more assistance.
When membrane pressing or vacuum forming components using 3D Laminates dog ears are a symptom that can sometimes occur. This post is to address or assist that that issue.
Dog-ears are the bunching of the laminate on the corner which is also called webbing. This occurs when the material appears to be a wrinkle on the side of the component/door.
Solutions to repair doors:
1. Minor wrinkles such as 1/8", can be pushed out with a piece of wood and possibly colored. This is a rare fix on already pressed doors
2. Trim out. You can trim out the door with more vinyl then take a heat gun softening the vinyl and then use the extra trim out to tug the vinyl before trimming.
Solutions to prevent:
1. Experiment with a jig that is closer or further so as to capture the vinyl and pull away from the components. If your jig is small you may want to make it tall like a dummy part or wider so that it commands more vinyl and pulls it away.
2. Solution two is if using pedestals to leave more of a gap so as to create a under pressure and it pulls down and slightly inward the vinyl.
3. Experiment with pre-heat and heat. If material is over stretching you could have over pull as material could be too soft. Or it may be that the material is not soft enough and has not fully pulled away from the component and been commanded by the jig to the outside.
If you have read the above and have any questions, please contact us to clarify.
This article is to explain the Dackor color matching policies on how we develop prints and colors. As most people know, we offer 600 yard minimums on board matches that are in distribution as well as leathers however we require 1200 yard minimums at the time of this post for non board matches, pantone solid colors and most other items. We typically produce 2,000 yards our first production and then stock the remaining quantity thereafter. When we work with board producers we often stock with very little to zero requirement from our membrane pressing customers.
How do you match woodgrain designs?: There are two ways we match woodgrain designs, the first is via proprietary prints that we develop or that the paper company develop. The vast majority of Dackor woodgrains are items developed by paper companies such as Schattdecor, as an example. The second type of woodgrain is one in which we own the cylinder for that is similar enough the target match and have had for many years. We can determine within 48 hours if we have a print cylinder close enough or we need to seek the original design from the paper company.
What would constitute a cylinder being close enough to match? For prints such as oaks, maples, cherries as well as linear woodgrain prints we have an extremely large availability to choose from. It is very common that if the design is not unique that we already have a cylinder close enough to match. Sometimes we can even remove one of the cylinders from a three cylinder set to make it work or add a new cylinder to combine with the series.
Are there woodgrains you will not match? Yes. There are woodgrains we will not match. For example, if your woodgrain target has very specific sap marks or knots that are proprietary to the design we would need to reach out to the original paper producer to see if the PVC rights were available. If the rights are not available we then direct our clients to the competitor.
Are woodgrains patentable? In most of the world, woodgrains designs are protectable however this has been extremely difficult in the US. We encourage our customers to purchase only original designs from us or our competitors however we recognize that alternative cylinders that give a close match in a Hard Rock Maple or basic Oak design, are completely acceptable.
Why are edgebanding companies able to match all? The reason edgebanding producers are able to match most items is because so little of the print is revealed.
How do you analyze if a print cylinder is close enough? We can look at a design and determine if the 3 cylinder set will work or can be complimented with an emboss that will help that color match. Through experience we know quickly if we are able to make a match for a project or specific client who is looking for better stock, more scratch resistance or whatever the reason. However, typically, we have a budget available to purchase rights and develop tooling with the original design, especially if the match is being done in cooperation with the board producer.
Do you do custom embosses? Yes , we will do custom embosses to match the board company's emboss but in a PVC emboss using emboss cylinders, not press plates.
I'm a board company, why should I partner with Dackor? Dackor has one of the largest inventories in the world of 3D forming laminate. Over 95% of our sales are done through warehouse and shipped within 3 days of the Purchase Order. In addition, we sample aggressively, market the designs to the market place and we do not sell paper which competes with the board companies.
I hope that the above was helpful and informative, please inquire with Dackor at 407-654-5013 for further questions.
High Gloss Films have been considered the most difficult film to press using a membrane press and even more difficult to press with a vacuum press. This article will discuss the nature of this surface and give useful advice.
Earlier in my career I worked for a leading Japanese manufacturer of 3D Laminates and I worked as their technical guru to help companies press High Gloss. I must admit that at times I wanted to just give up but the finished products were so unique and special that I persisted.
A lot of companies in Europe who press High Gloss do so with a Fritz Bladder press that uses a hot liquid in the bladder to press the doors. The bladder presses have great pressure and they distribute the heat evenly. The bladder presses though are not really promoted and the most common membrane presses simply use air to push their membranes. Unless you intend to buy a press just for your High Gloss I would recommend using your existing press and working with the parameters to get the best results you can.
The most common problems with High Gloss are wrinkling, orange peel and telegraphing. Typical High Gloss Foils are 0.7mm thick or 28 mil and they are made using an Extruder rather than a Calender. This thicker guage of PVC requires more exposure to heat but with too high heat it will inevitably cause wrinkles in the finished part. Therefore it is recommend to press using a lower temperature such as 105 Celcius versus 118 Celcius for an average woodgrain. The preheat however, should be increased to 60 seconds or even 90 or 120 seconds rather than an average of 30 to 45 seconds for a 12 mil solid or woodgrain. As a rule of thumb, the above two settings are the biggest difference between pressing a High Gloss and a Solid or Woodgrain.
Another trick is to space your parts out a bit farther than normal from each other. What this does is to give more material and it requires less stretching of the material. Its common sense but the closer your parts are with this thicker material then the more the material has to stretch to get down on the edges.
If you encounter wrinkles then you will most likely need to decrease your preheat slightly or possibly even your temperature by a few degrees. There is a small window of settings that will get your High Gloss to press.
If you encounter orange peel in your parts you may want to reduce your preheat time and potentially even the pressure slightly. The orange peel is equivalent to small islands of built up heat if that makes any since. When you press High Gloss you really want to have the least amount of temperature for the least amount of time as possible. Some companies are very light on their application of glue to the center of the door component to reduce the glue/heat reaction that can cause orange peel. If your doors are sprayed thoroughly on the edges then you should not have any delamination issues.
In terms of pressure, I have have heard of different theories such as using less pressure however in Europe many companies have presses that will go above the 4 or 5 bars that a US press has. I have heard of 7 bar and up presses being used for pressing High Gloss doors however I have never personally worked with one of these machines.
If you encounter telegraphing when pressing your parts then you may need to sand your parts to get a more smooth texture before applying the glue. If you are encountering small dust particles then you may need to look at a few things. Is your roll rack grounded? If not then the static electricity could be pulling particles up onto your roll. Is your press in the same room as your router? If so you may need to think of your next investment being into building a special room for the press. Just a room to keep the dust out is adequate so you could use framing and clear plastic. Another common trick is to put a fan on top of your press to direct particles away from the press. This will decrease the small particles showing up under the door.
Most High Gloss films come with a masking film. In addition to having more rejects, High Gloss is more succeptible to scratches during installation. In the past there have been problems with some masking films being difficult to pull off. Most manufacturers have made improvements in this area so the film will come off more easily.
The gloss level of a High Gloss film ranges from 70 to 100 degree sheen. Dackor offers a Semi Gloss foil that has a 55 degree sheen. This semi gloss product does not have the mirror finish that a High Gloss does but instead has a slight stipple to it that is very subtle. This in affect hides telegraphing, scratches and debris from showing up. The product is also a 16 mil so it presses more easily and costs less than a High Gloss film. The appearance of the semi gloss film gives the look of a semi gloss paint that is shiny and looks as if it has been sprayed on.
In summation, High Gloss and Semi Gloss films are an attractive surface finish that give Kitchen doors a clean and modern look. With the right settings you can successfully offer either finish to your customers. Semi Gloss films press just like any other 16 mil film but if you should have trouble pressing the 28 mil High Gloss films you can call or email me and I will be glad to help with your settings.
Properly manufactured Thermofoil doors will not delaminate without exposure to heat. To determine if a door has a good bond and the glue line was activated simply pull a part from production and do a pull test. In a pull test you cut a triangle shaped amount and pull the vinyl off the corner of the door. If the bond is good you will notice that there will be fibers on the film and also it will be very difficult to pull off the vinyl as pliers will need to be used.
If you are pulling heavy fibers then you almost certainly will pass heat tests. If you are not pulling heavy fibers you may need to give extra spray to the sides of the door or increase heat or preheat to give total heat exposure to fully bond the glue line.
So what about heat delamination?
The two most common places of delamination from heat are directly above a tea kettle or beside a self cleaning oven. Keep in mind that these temperatures are so hot that they will strip lacquer off wood doors too however with thermofoil its more noticeable because the vinyl will actually shrink and will expose the MDF. This is not a defect in the door. Tea kettles should be pulled out from under the upper cabinets and the doors should be hinged away from the oven during self cleaning mode with the doors open and drawers open during self cleaning operation. One other helpful tip is to have your cabinet manufacturer use a heat shield next to ovens.
As a thermofoil door manufacturer how do you test your heat resistance?
Firstly, a 1 part glues resistance is typically 150 to 175 degrees F and for a 2 part glue 170 to 200 degrees. Simply heat an oven up to 150F for one hour and then raise the temperature by 5 degrees until failure or delamination occurs. You will notice the delamination as the vinyl will pull up revealing the mdf. If your oven doesn't go that low simply utilize a digital thermometer and run the cord beside the part. Heat your oven on low and crack the door if necessary to keep the temp at 150 and raise at intervals to get the highest temp reached before delamination occurred. You may also use heat strips on your test to ensure accuracy of the highest temp reached.
The proper machine to professionally test is a Blue M lab heat test machine however they are quite expensive. One other tip is to ask your glue supplier to run a heat test on your parts.
I hope that this information is useful and remember that the most important thing is to purchase your components from a reliable producer in which you have a good relationship.
Whether it's a single part or two part glue it is important to have enough glue on the edge.
What you are looking for is a 90% sheen after the glue dries so that you are sure to get a strong bond. The visual appearance of this sheen signifies that the board did not soak up all the glue and that there is enough on the outside to bond to the laminate.
The next area of importance is to make sure that you have gotten the glue line hot enough to bond and the activation temp can be obtained from your glue supplier. In addition, you must have the time long enough for the bond to take place with the 3D Laminate.
It is very important to not try and save on glue and to try and run to fast that the glue does not have time to set. This will ensure happy customers who will keep ordering. The key is to also pull parts at times and to do pull tests. A pull test is achieved by cutting a triangle of vinyl and pulling it off the doors edge. This will show you how much fiber is being pulled and also how difficult it is to pull off.
When it comes to glue, its not a place to try and save money as its the key behind quality components !
Pressing 3D Laminates and Blow outs
There are many different tips and tricks to pressing. Often I am asked for formulas however I often find that each company may require different settings based upon the material they are pressing, the profiles, glue type, stage height and so on. One common issue that all companies have or will eventually face are blow outs. During the press cycle you can hear a blow out occur by a pop and a hissing sound. After retrieving the tray from the press you will typically find that dreaded hole and all the parts did not form properly because the press lost its seal.
Blow outs are typically caused by either too high of a heat versus too low heat. You can tell them apart because blowouts by too low heat are more like tears and blow outs by too much heat are typically circles or tear shaped holes that seem uniform.
Keep in mind that raising or lowering the temperature alone may not solve a cold or hot spot issue. Imagine if you raise the temp but get heat issues but lower the temp and get lack of forming.... Other issues may be at play such as having too short of a preheat. If your preheat is too short then it may be possible that the heat did not have time to soak or penetrate the entire thickness of the 3D Laminate.
There are different scenarios where cold spots can form such as using thicker films in a 16 mil to 20 mil where the heat has not soaked all the way through the thickness of the product. Imagine if you are using a very dark color like a Wenge which is almost black and it conducts or absorbs the heat more rapidly however you get cold spots blow outs. Then when you raise the heat you get hot blow outs. The solution to this type of problem can be to do a longer preheat but keeping the temp low enough so that you do not over heat any one particular area of the material. You may also want to use heat strips to ensure you are getting heat distributed uniformly in the press.
With membranes on a Shaw Almex, Wemhoner or Italpress for example you may experience less blowouts because the membrane is the source of pressure and that pressure keeps the blowout from occuring. With an Italpresse with no membrane (for example) that inflates the vinyl to the upper platen you get a balloon where the center of the material is touching the platen and heating up very rapidly however the outer portions may not be heating as rapidly and you can actually experience cold spot blow outs towards the outer perimeter of the press. There are two solutions for this type of problem. The first is to have a longer preheat but at a lower temperature so that you get all the material uniformly pliable but not one portion of the film is so hot that it is weakened. There are some machines in which you can reduce the inflation time and then preheat part of the time with it inflated and then preheat part of the time while its not infated. You may need to contact your machine supplier to ensure that your particular model has this option.
Another scenario with blow outs can be caused by utilizing the Eco Jig pin system manufactured by Dackor. This pin system is an affordable alternative to automatic systems (although not as efficient as an auto system). In the Eco Jig system you must ensure that the pins are pushed under far enough so as not to create a penetration point for the vinyl to hit. By pushing the pins under further it creates an even distribution of pressing at the bottoms of the doors and will stop blowing out under this situation.
In summary, there are many variables which can cause blowouts based upon settings.
Step 1: Determine if are having cold or hot blow outs
Step 2: If raising or lowering temp does not help then try working with your preheat
Step 3: If the above does not work email your settings, machine details and problems you are having to email@example.com
I hope that this article was helpful, be sure to contact us for further assistance.
Whitening on the corners of 3D Laminate thermofoil doors
There are many different tips and tricks to pressing. Often I am asked for formulas however I often find that each company may require different settings based upon the material they are pressing, the profiles, glue type, stage height and so on. One common issue that all companies have or will eventually face are whitening on the corners.
There are many misconceptions about what causes whitening on the corners and typically the laminate is blamed for the issue. Although the laminate can be a reason it is not necessarily the culprit. Read more to delve into the issues and the solutions on whitened corners on the doors.
First I'd like to separate lightening from whitening. I define lightened corners as separations between the print layer and the base film layer and whitened corners as separations between the top cap and the print layer. When you see a corner that is lightened it is typically revealing the base layer of the foil. One over generalization is that a lighter backer of the foil is the issue. When thermofoils are produced typically the lighter backer is used as the base tone of the design. Quality manufacturers have dozens of backers whereas a low end manufacturer may have only a few bases to choose or may use a white backer on a dark woodgrain for example. But most common you will find mustard , almond or chocolate backers on most woodgrains and if any foil is over formed it will reveal the base layer and therefore have whitened or lightened corners.
Another common mistake is that you can bend a sample and when it whitens that is evidence that the material will whiten when pressing. When you bend a thermofoil sample and it whitens it typically is forcing the top layer away from the base layer and this is very common among quality manufacturers and will not necessarily cause whitening on the edges when pressing. It in fact shows how they produce their film in respect to the printing layers whether direct printed, reverse printed or at what temperature the material was laminated at. In fact, many high end manufacturers darker colors will whiten when you bend them. So if a sales person grins and bends his sample to show that it doesn't whiten they are trying to show their product is of a higher quality but it is really just a bi-product of how they produce their product or may even show that their company doesn't even have the capability to produce by direct print with a finished top cap. They may actually be showing a weakness of their product and not even knowing it. By bending a sample it will not necessarily stop whitening on the corners when membrane pressing. In the application of miter folding PVC bending the sample does in fact have a direct correlation to whitening issues because the part will be bent at a lower temp whereas in membrane pressing the part is formed at full temp.
Want to know how to tell the difference between a top cap separation and a print layer separation?.... The key way to tell is if your parts lighten to a clear or bluish edge or if they whitened to the color of the base of the film. If they whiten to the base of the film then its not caused by the top layer separating. If the corner of the door is in fact bluish or clear in tone you can test it by rubbing it with a block of wood or flaring it with a heat gun. In a miter folding application of a thermofoil a wooden block or heat gun can be used to reseal the top cap to the whitened area. In a membrane pressing application the key will typically be to use a higher heat so that it soaks through the foil and does not cause a separation between a top cap and a print layer.
The most common problem with lightened corners are caused by either too much or too little heat. With too much heat you will over stretch the material and will typically find the outer doors that do not have jigs or are not on the edge of the table. The material is heated up too high and then there is no jig or tray filler to capture material and then the laminate may get over stretched on the corners. A simple solution is to put a jig / tray filler close to the edge.
Another common problem with lightened corners are caused by too little heat. When the material is too soft or has cold spots on the table the material can separate on the print in the areas where it is being stretched the most which is typically the edge or corners of the doors. You can put a heat strip in various places on the press to find any cold or hot spots in your table.
For darker colors such as a Wenge which has ticking you may also find that these darker colors are more likely to have too much heat applied to fast. What I mean is that the dark woodgrains are likely to absorb heat faster than a lighter woodgrain and especially when using bulb heating elements. In addition if the foil has aggressive ticking you may find that these deep ticks become separation starters. So the material pulls apart faster between the ticks. The solution for this is to move a jig / table filler closer to that edge and it should solve the problem right away.
In general most press operators think in terms of board feed rate in their saws or imput data into the press machine but we often have to think of membrane pressing as more of an art. To recap,
1. Whitened corners can be due to the material being too hot. Solution: Put fillers closer to the edge of the part
2. Whitened corners can be due to the material being too cold. Solution: Increase the preheat by 10%. Be sure to use heat strips to ascertain this
3. Dark woodgrains or items with deep texture can whiten easier. Solution: Put fillers closer to the edge of the part
I hope that you find this post helpful and if you would like to add any tips or points please feel free to send me an email.
Drying Racks for 3D Laminate components
Recently I received a call from a company who just got a press. They said they were looking for drying racks and that when asking around people recommend that they call me. I was so happy to hear this because it signifies that people know I will go the extra mile and if I dont know the answer I'll find it out. So I looked through my notes and right away found the following site which sells carts for drying thermofoil doors and other components.
Cost $325 for Drying Tower DT-50. 50 shelves 25 per side
This is the price the last I checked however it may change by the time you read this post.
If you are ever looking for something or need pressing assistance please dont hesitate to ask. Also if its a topic or product that you do not want me to publish on this blog you can also request that as well.
Dackor does sell tools at www.dackor.com/tools however we do not currently carry drying racks
Color inspiration from around the world, backstories on design inspiration and informative articles about marketing, membrane pressing and personal development. Author Mark Viers delivers fresh content that will help you and your business grow and thrive.