Sublimation, as defined by science, is the quick change from a substance’s solid to the gas phase. It only happens at particular temperatures and pressures and does not transition into the typical liquid form. It is a broad phrase that simply relates to the physical change in state and is used to describe the solid-to-gas transition. A carrier material is used in the sublimation printing process to transfer designs onto a range of materials, such as T-shirts and ceramic mugs. For this, specialized sublimation printer and sublimation inks are employed. Since MCYK printing is used for sublimation, white cannot be created using any combination of base colors. White materials and those of any other lighter color can both be printed on. But if your design contains any white, sublimation won’t work with it.
Limitations of sublimation
One of the main restrictions for sublimation, aside from the material that can be employed, is the color of any materials. Since sublimation is essentially a dying process, textiles that are white or light-colored produce the best results. A digital print method can be preferable if you wish to print on a black shirt or other darker materials.
Sublimation printing process work
The term “sublimation” refers to a physical process in which solids move from the solid phase straight into the gas phase without first becoming liquid. The transmission of the intended pattern is greatly aided by this method. Using a thermal transfer press, a transfer foil or transfer paper is first printed mirror-inverted, then put on the target material and heated to 230 °C for 30 to 60 seconds. In their gaseous condition, the dyes sublimate at this temperature and are easily able to enter and cling to the fibers. You won’t feel any residue because the colors were successfully transferred into the cloth and weren’t just glued on; the motif is smooth and long-lasting.
What types of printers are appropriate for sublimation printing?
Water-insoluble dispersion dyes are typically used in sublimation printers (i.e. viscous dyes). These are also frequently referred to as “subli” printers or sublimation printers. Special sublimation printers are needed because of the ink’s consistency and temperature sensitivity. Only special water-based inks can be utilized with standard inkjet printers. However, switching between regular and specialty inks is not advised due to residue buildup in the print heads and tubes.
Which materials are suitable for sublimation printing?
Polyester, a fabric consisting of plastic fibers, is the best type of carrier material. Polyester content needs to be at least 80% for sublimation printers to produce the best prints. If additional materials are utilized, such as cotton shirts, ceramic mugs, or metal plates, they must be coated with polyester; otherwise, the theme would fade quickly and natural materials, like cotton, could burn at high temperatures. In contrast, polyester starts to melt at high temperatures, creating pores in the cloth through which the colour gas can enter. White or light-colored backgrounds are the finest choice. Textiles made of dyed polyester can only be printed in black.
Which printers are suitable as sublimation printers?
Water-insoluble dispersion dyes are typically used in sublimation printer (i.e. viscous dyes). These are frequently known as sublimation printers or, in more informal terms, sublime printers. Due to the ink’s consistency and temperature sensitivity, you require these unique instruments. Only water-based special inks can be utilized with standard inkjet printers. However, switching between standard and specialty ink is not advised since the print heads and hoses may get contaminated with leftover ink.
What materials can be printed with sublimation?
Polyester, or cloth consisting of synthetic fibers, is a suitable substrate. The polyester percentage must be at least 80% for the sublimation printer to produce the best prints. You must coat other things, such cotton shirts, porcelain cups, or metal plates, with polyester if you use them. The motif would only last a brief period of time because the ink cannot sufficiently permeate these materials. Additionally, natural textiles like cotton can catch fire very quickly. On the other hand, polyester starts to melt when heated, creating pores in the cloth that the dye gas can enter. White or light-colored backgrounds are the best. Polyester fabrics that have been dyed can only be printed in black.
What potential fields of use are there for sublimation printers?
As soon as the material is made of or coated with polyester, there are virtually no limitations to the application. For instance, lanyards, pillows, and towels can be personalized as gifts or for visitors. Signs, mugs, cell phone covers, and even snowboards can be personalized. T-shirts and workwear can be printed with a club emblem or the company name.
Advantages of sublimation printers
Any motif, including intricate photo motifs, may be printed and transferred onto a variety of materials with ease, flexibility, and relatively little expense thanks to sublimation printing. High precision, which allows for the printing of intricate motifs, is another characteristic of sublimation printing. By doing this, you can avoid post-treatments and prolonged wait times after the transfer because the motif is available right away.
The ink is totally enclosed in the substrate’s fabric rather than just being applied to it, which has a variety of benefits: One difference is that you don’t feel the pigment that has been applied, which can easily rub off or become brittle. However, the colors are vibrant and seldom ever fade. In order to avoid losing the color brilliance, you may easily wash or rinse them. Additionally, they are immune to hazardous environmental factors like UV rays. Due to this, sublimation printing is also appropriate for outdoor applications, such as printing on flags. Additionally, the ink does not seal the fabric, preserving qualities like breathability that make it perfect for sportswear and club jerseys. Since no binding agents or solvents are needed, sublimation printing is also a very eco-friendly method.
How does printing with a sublimation printer work?
What exactly does the term “sublimate” mean? Sublimation is a chemical sense that refers to the quick change from a gaseous state to a solid state or vice versa. In addition to the cartridges, expensive sublimation paper is also utilized in traditional inkjet printing. With our products for creating sublimation themes, this is different. Here, you can work with regular copy paper in place of the special paper. A transfer press is additionally required to carry out the evaporation process at temperatures of up to 230 °C. In this way, microfibers and other materials, as well as traditional polyester fiber fabrics like T-shirts, jeans, and sweaters, receive the color and firmly lock it in.