Sublimation: What is it and How Does it Work?
Sublimation is a digital print technology that allows the reproduction of full-color images on a variety of substrates. Common sublimated products are coasters, mugs, photo panels, t-shirts, ornaments, and signage. Unisub and ChromaLuxe dye sublimation products are rigid and flat polymer coated items, specifically, Aluminum, Steel, Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and Tempered Hardboard (THB). These are called substrates.
What is the Sublimation Process?
Everything starts with a digital image such as a family photo, an illustration, or a graphic logo. The image is printed using a dye-sublimation printer loaded with transfer paper using sublimation inks, also referred to as dyes.
The combination of the printed transfer and the coated substrate are placed together into a heat press. Using temperatures up to 385°F/195°C and medium to high pressure, the heat allows the inks to activate and migrate away from the printed transfer paper. As the inks become a gas, the pressure from the heat press transfers the gases into the substrate’s coating. The pores in the coating open up and accept the inks. Upon cooling, the pores close, and the image is now infused into substrate’s coating, and cannot be scratched off.
The result is a vibrant, colorful, high-quality, easy-to-clean product that can last a lifetime.
You can use this same sublimation process to produce profitable gift items and stunning photographic prints for home use or fine-art exhibition. Sublimated products are easy to make and are top sellers in the personalized and photo gift markets. You can read more about how and what to sublimate at www.starttosublimate.com
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