Awards & Engraving

August '17

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A&E AUGUST 2017 • 67 "You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over." —Richard Branson Sublimation where you would be pressing items one after another. If you are pressing ceramic tiles, where you would be using a Nomex felt pad and a Heat Conductive Rubber Pad, you should also preheat those items prior to actually pressing a blank tile. WATCH OUT FOR THE BLUE MEANIES What in the world are blue meanies? If you sublimate shirts without lint rolling them, you undoubtedly have seen them, but you may not know what they are or where they come from. When you pull a polyester shirt out of a plastic bag, you charge the shirt with static electricity. In drier times of the year, or climates where it is dry all of the time, static electricity will be worse. Since the shirt is full of static, it attracts dust particles in the air more so than if it was not full of static. Dust particles contain polyester par- ticles, and they are generally not visible to the naked eye. If you press a shirt with the dust particles present, the color in the particle will outgas and get a little bit bigger than the original dust particle. When you open the press and take the transfer paper off, you will see little (mostly) bright blue sublimated dust-shaped specks covering the entire area that your heat press touched. Finding those blue meanies for the first time is irritating. Finding out that they will not wash out is downright upsetting. The good thing is that this need not happen. To prevent a bad case of the blue meanies, all you have to do is use an adhesive-style lint roller. Place the shirt onto the heat press over a piece of Vapor Foam. The Vapor Foam holds up the portion of the shirt that will be sublimated so that only that area touches the top platen of your heat press when it closes. Gently lint roll the area of the shirt that will touch the top platen of the heat press. That should remove all dust from the shirt and prevent a nasty case of the blue meanies. JUMPSTART YOUR MUGS If you are sublimating mugs with a mug press, it can be hard to get a good image from the top of the mug to the bottom. (It should be noted that all mug presses func- tion a bit differently, but all of them gen- erally have trouble with a top-to-bottom image.) Part of the problem is that the bottom of the mug has more mass to it than the top, and a mug press only heats the side of the mug and not the actual bottom. The closer you get to the bottom, heat will be sumped away by the cooler mass, and your image will get lighter. You can help out your mug press by setting your mugs on an electric griddle set to low. This will preheat the bottom of the mug, giving it a head start, and will allow you to get a better quality mug closer to the bottom. If you don't have a griddle handy, and are not using your swing-away press, you can sit the mugs on top of the hot heat press, and the radiant heat will preheat the bottom of the mugs for you. LEARN FROM WHEN WE FELL OVER As you learn sublimation, you can learn from when others fell down, and try not to fall down yourself. In these articles, we try to pass on information that we have learned over many years of sublimation experience. These are three great tips, but there are many more archived on the A&E website in the articles that we have written throughout the years. You may still fall down every once in a while, but each time you do, you learn something to make you a better sublimator. Kevin Lumberg is a Sublimation Sales Specialist at Johnson Plastics Plus. Visit Johnson Plastics Plus on the web at www.johnsonplasticsplus. com. For further information, Kevin can be reached at 800-869-7800 ext. 5737 or by email at Blue meanie on a shirt after pressing. A&E

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