Dye sublimation is the transfer of special inks to a variety of polyester-coated materials. In doing so, the sublimation dye is converted from a solid state to gas at a temperature of approx. 200°C.A mirror image of the print design is printed on sublimation paper using sublimation inks in a suitable inkjet printer. Afterwards, the image is affixed to the polyester-coated material with the aid of a Teflon adhesive tape. The print design is then transferred using a transfer press, such as INTRON COLOR PRESS, for flat materials and INTRON MUG 2000 for cups and mugs.
A dye-sublimation ink consists of a solid pigment or dye suspended in a liquid vehicle. An image is printed onto a transfer pape which is also called release paper and the paper is brought into contact with a polyester fabric using a heat press. Under heat and pressure, the solid dye sublimates and suffuses into the fabric, solidifying onto the fibers. The image physically becomes part of the substrate.For years, printing via a transfer medium has been the standard dye-sub method. However, there have emerged systems—called direct dye-sublimation or direct disperse—that can print directly onto a fabric without requiring a transfer sheet. It’s tempting to think, “Aha! Now I can save money on transfer paper,” but it’s not quite as simple as that. Both varieties of dye-sub have their advantages and their disadvantages, and if you’re new to the technology, or are looking to invest in a dye-sub system, it pays to understand the benefits and limitations of each.
Image quality is the big advantage of transfer process.With transfer paper, during sublimation, the ink doesn’t penetrate far into the substrate, remaining close to the surface. In contrast, direct disperse penetrates further into the fabric, which—much like inkjet printing on plain paper—means that fine detail is lost and colors become less vivid.Steven Moreno,ounder and principal of L.A.’s MY Prints, a digital print shop that specializes in apparel prototyping and garments for entertainment industry costume houses, as well as flags, banners, and other display graphics. thinks that the difference will always be clarity because you’re always going to get a cleaner, crisper print when you’re doing a print to paper and then transferring.Another advantage of using a transfer process is that you can work with any kind of surface with a polyester coating: banners, mugs, flip-flops, you name it. “There are so many applications, and that’s really the benefit of a transfer process,” said Check. “It makes it a very versatile solution.”
What is the applications of sublimation printing?Sublimation printing is used primarily for printing on ceramics. With this process it is possible to create dishwasher-safe high gloss cups and mugs with multicolored designs in quantities starting with one in an affordable manner.Moreover, our printable metal signs and plates can be used to create permanent calendars with this process.