Can Dye Sublimation Work on Mugs, Plates, Snowboards, etc?
It is possible to do sublimation printing on rigid substrates. But you are going to need to treat the surfaces first for this method to work. The surfaces of mugs, glass, license plates, or snowboards are not coated with polymers unlike the fabric of choice for dye sublimation which is polyester. And so, you need to treat them with polymer-based spray.
Each of the mentioned item are different from each other, so each might require different degree of pressure, temperature, and dwell times, as well as being dependent on the variation of heat presses.
Pressing the Image onto the Rigid Items
With sublimation printing, images are first printed on a heat transfer paper. After that, the printed paper is then sublimated to the treated rigid item, be it a mug or snowboard. The image is then permanently embedded on the item’s surfaces, so you don’t need to coat or laminate the graphic to protect it. You can wash the item and the printed graphics won’t fade a bit.
In the past years, there are many types of heat transfer papers you can use dependent on the type of substrate you are going to be printing on. Big thanks to updates in technology as hybrid sublimation were made which allows the sublimation of graphics to both fabric and rigid substrates.
Sublimation Printing on Glass
You can also sublimate images on glass surfaces with the same principle explained above. The polymers sprayed on the top of the surface have like cellular structures that open up as it gets contact with heat and pressure during the sublimation process.
With heat and pressure, the dyes from the printed heat transfer paper are converted to gas and then filled in to the opened polymers. The cooling process starts after that, which enables the polymers to close, permanently holding the dyes in. This is why the printed colors won’t easily fade even with washing.
Sublimating Graphics on Outdoor Flag Banners
There are now decent dyes that are suitable for outdoor display. Plus, there are many good polyester fabrics out in the market that are also perfect for outdoor use.
For outdoor product and services advertising, the common promotional printed displays used include teardrop flags, feather flags, pop out banners, and beach flags. These are just among the many types out there.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barry K. Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!
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