Awards & Engraving

March '20

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A&E MARCH 2020 • a-e-mag.com 11 open your heat press after sublimating a product, your product maintains its high temperature for a period of time that is dependent on the mass of the product. While fabrics cool off quickly, ceramics such as mugs or tiles stay hot for a long time after they are removed from the heat press. During this time, the pores on the poly coating stay open, and the sublimation dyes remain in their gas state. This means that the dye gasses continue to migrate sideways, and some gases can come back out of the pores of the poly coating. I have seen ceramic mugs that have been taken out of the heat press and placed directly on a table without quickly cooling. Some of the sublimation dyes had outgassed while the mug was hot, and since hot gases rise, once the mug was eventually cool, the image has a blur running upwards where the sublimation dyes floated upwards and reentered pores to the top of where the actual image was supposed to be. This ruined the finished product. When the sublimation process is done, you need to cool your products as quickly as possible. This step can be crucial if you are trying to achieve fine text on your image. One of the hardest fine texts to achieve is a white text on a black background because the black dyes encroach on the white text area if not cooled quickly. It is difficult, but not impossible. I have achieved this on an aluminum name badge by zeroing in on the time by seconds, and then quickly removing from the heat press and dipping into warm water. The water quickly cools the aluminum out of the sublimation heat zone to stop the dyes from continuing to move. PROPER PROCESS FOR GREAT RESULTS Like most things in life, if you do them correctly, you generally get good results. Sublimation definitely works that way. If you are aware of the variables that affect your finished results, and use the proper procedures, you will get great results that impress your customers. A&E

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