Awards & Engraving

March '20

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10 a-e-mag.com • A&E MARCH 2020 to-side calibration of when the ink droplets are jetted. The Paper Feed Adjustment is pretty self-explanatory. You should perform these calibrations periodically to maintain the best print quality, and they only take a few minutes to complete. QUALITY OF YOUR SUBLIMATION PAPER AND PRODUCTS Using a high-quality sublimation paper helps create high-quality images on the fin- ished products. Sublimation paper has a surface coating that holds the sublimation dyes on the surface. This stops the dyes from moving outward. If the sublimation dyes moved outward, your image becomes blurry on the paper, and therefore ends up being blurry on the finished product. There is a big difference in the quality of sublimation coatings that are on sublimat- able products. Just like the quality of sub- limation paper affects the quality of your finished image, high-quality coated subli- matable products help you render higher quality images on the finished products. CALIBRATING YOUR TIME AND TEMPS To understand how this works, we need to quickly review how sublimation works. After you print your image onto the sublimation paper, you place it against your blank product and place it in a heat press. When the poly coating on your product is heated up, pores in the poly coating open up. At the same time, the solid sublimation dye particles that have been printed onto the sublimation paper heat up and turn from a solid state on the paper into a gas. The dye gas goes into the open poly pores. At the correct time, you remove the product from the heat press. As the product cools, the pores in the poly coating close back up, and the sublimation dyes turn back into a solid form and are sealed into the pores. That gives you your finished image. This process happens at a specific time based on the temperature of the product in the heat press, so the better you have your times and temperatures dialed in, the more accurate your finished image will be. If you keep your product in the heat press too long, those dyes that are in a gas state continue to migrate through the pores sideways, which blurs your image. RAPIDLY COOLING YOUR PRODUCTS Rapidly cooling your products is an extension of the prior section. When you You can see that the sublimation dyes have migrated upwards from the text. This happens when the mug is not cooled down quickly.

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