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Heatset Oven Testing.

During the application of blanket wash or even normal print in a heatset system, there is a risk of an oven explosion if the solvent level in the drying oven exceeds its "Lower Explosive Limit" (LEL). For most solvents in this process (usually hydrocarbon mixtures) the limit is about 0.9% by volume. This limit is described as "100% LEL" but for safety, all heatset ovens in Australia are restricted to 25% LEL (see AS1375 - 1985) or in absolute terms about 0.23% by volume.

For many years we have provided an analytical service to the industry in which the solvent concentrations are directly measured during normal printing operations and also on application of the automatic blanket wash. This service is usually supplied either during the commissioning of the blanket washing system or if the blanket wash is changed.

We use a heated line flame ionisation detector (FID) together with calculations based on the molecular weights of ink / wash components and drying oven exhaust rates. We have the full set of equipment and personnel necessary for the method of USEPA 25A (as used by the USA and Europe) available in Australia.