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How can I coat mugs for sublimation printing on a low budget



A discussion started in 2002 and continuing through 2017 . . .

(2002)

Q. I am looking for a coating that can be applied to ceramic mugs as a preparation for ink jet sublimation.

Rudy Barcenas
Mundo Bonito - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico


(2007)

Q. We are a small unit that does heat transfers on ceramic mugs, for corporate gifting.
We are experimenting with a glass based coating (glass stoving) which is sprayed as an overcoating on the mug after the decal has been transferred. The mug is then heated in an oven at 150 °C. The results are satisfactory, but need to be improved. The glass coating can be scratched out with a little effort. The coating does not adhere very well or permanently to the ceramic mug. Hence we find the coating is not suitable for sublimation transfers.

Could you please suggest an alternative coating and temperature for firing.

Our unit is located in India.

Your valued suggestion will be sincerely appreciated.

Warm Regards,

Noel Vaz
Proprietor - Thane, Maharashtra, India



Q. Hello! I'm looking for polyester that can coat the sublimation mugs and how can I spray it?
Best regards
max

Maximiliano Capuzzi
sublimation - Porlamar, Venezuela



A. Hi Maximiliano and folks. This specific material is available on e-bay, and probably other sites..But please search this site for many other threads of ongoing discussions about other materials that you can buy or make that will accept sublimation coatings. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



(2002)

RFQ: I'm looking for sublimation coating polymer to apply on ceramic mugs and glass as a preparation for sublimation.

Thank you.

Preda Calin
- Baia Mare, Maramures, Romania
outdated



RFQ: I'm looking for a supplier of the coating to make items sublimiteable. I intend to coat these items myself here in the Philippines to lower the costs since our exchange rate is around 50 - 52 Pesos to a US Dollar.

If I don't do this, sublimation will not be acceptable here due to the cost. And I wouldn't want to happen because I see enormous potential on sublimation.

Thanks!

Jimmy Tiu
- Philippines
outdated


 

RFQ: Dear Jimmy,

I too am also searching for a supplier of the coating to make items sublimiteable and find enormous potential market on sublimation.

So if you have found one now please do share with us.

Siegfred

Siegfred Ubalde
- Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
outdated


 

Q. Did anyone find the material for sublimation? I could really use the help here.

Ronald Dozier
- Jacksonville Florida


March 2014

A. Hi Ronald. There is brief coverage of this topic in a recent edition of Products Finishing magazine at:
www.pfonline.com/articles/dye-sublimation-coating(2)

To summarize, in case that article goes off the air, it recommends using a 2-component polyester of wax-free composition. Single component coatings (unless specially designed for sublimation) are unlikely to work well because they may contain drying oils which will interfere with the process. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(2007)

Q. Hi, My dad is looking for polymer coating for ceramic cups or mugs, for sublimation printing. Also do you have any information on polymer coating, such as is it toxic?, and other general information, I would really appreciate any help.

Mandy Fell
student - Lillian, Alabama


wikipedia
Polymer

March 2014

A. Hi Mandy. The word polymer alone doesn't means much, as it covers plastics, proteins, and other things. But the particular polymers in question are polyesters similar to car paints.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



(2003)

Q. I would like to coat mugs for sublimation printing. I read one letter advising to use 2-part polyester resin. I work in a small environment as well as budget for high end spray guns and booths. What is the best way of attaining a clear finish on the mugs. And do the resins come in aerosol spray cans. Please advise.

Thanks,

Geefamo
- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Rave hair spray
(Pkg of 6 cans)

June 13, 2011

A. Hey, don't go out and buy the expensive sublimation coatings. I've been doing months worth of research. You really aren't going to believe this but go purchase Rave 4X hairspray =>

..(yeah, I'm serious). I've successfully used it on porcelain tiles, wood and most recently a 100% cotton T-shirt. When I used the T-shirt I washed it three times in cold water (didn't use hot) and dried it. NO COLOR FADE. The reason I did this research is because it takes me a week to get the coating in and as a business just starting out I couldn't afford to have a lot of it in stock.

Angela Muir
- Leeds, Alabama USA

October 21, 2011

Angela: Are you sure these will work? How about the durability on ceramics?

Mamoru Chiba
- Philippines

Sublimation Coating for hard materials


Sublimation Coating for cotton fabric

March 2014

Hi Mamoru. The coating type should be optimized for the kind of object you are putting them on; t-shirts, for example, use soft and absorbable treatments; they don't use the same glossy hard coatings as mugs. And that idea holds whether you wish to sublimate into the coatings or not. Hair spray might be fine to be absorbed by a cotton t-shirt (I'll take Angela's word), but hair spray doesn't seem to me to be a suitable coating for a mug regardless of whether it is sublimatable.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



To minimize searching and offer multiple viewpoints, we combined multiple threads into the dialog you're viewing. Please forgive any resultant repetition.



(2004)

RFQ: I'm looking for sublimation coating polymer to apply on ceramic mugs and glass as a preparation for sublimation.

Thank you.

Muhammed Demssie
asfaw - Jeddah, Al Balad, Saudi Arabia
outdated


(2005)

Q. Could anyone please help or advice on how to apply the relevant coating on ceramic mugs before it is used for sublimation printing?

Dugbarnor Doku
Printland - Accra, Ghana


(2005)

Q. Could someone please help me with how to coat mugs and other sublimatable products for printing with sublimation? The price for shipping these products is horrible !

Naledi Motswasele
Those boys productions (pty) ltd - Gaborone, Botswana


(2005)

Hi Niledi. I don't know too much about this subject, but I see many sites that sell everything from the sublimatable inkjet cartridges, to the printing papers, to the coating materials, to various fixtures and machines for the transfer of the images. While it is certainly very expensive to ship mugs, I don't see why the shipping cost for a drum of the coating material should be prohibitive. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(2005)

Q. Hello, I am new to the sublimation business and I own only one mug press. So far, I am very impressed with the results and I would like it to be part of my small business. I have a small scale desktop printing business and my target market is not Class A. If I do offer the sublimation mugs using coated mugs imported from other countries, I find that the price seem so high. I would like to search for ways on how to coat ceramic mugs for sublimation. Please help. Is it easy? I heard that you can use polyurethane . I've tried it, the graphic did transfer to the mug but it didn't seem to have that glossy coating that the coated mugs have. please help.

Hazel Dy-Henry
hazelson digital - Quezon City, Philippines


December 23, 2012

A. Hi Hazel, and folks. Threads 29907 and 12938 suggest several ideas including hair spray; and thread 46505 claims that regular automotive polyester clear coats will accept sublimation well. Please let us know what you learn either way.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



Some success and some errors in sublimation coating

March 28, 2014

Q. Hi Ted,
Thanks for doing such a noble job of helping people by your website. I am also in trade of heat sublimation printing on mugs and plates, but in our country most of the blank products are imported from China so they are common; everyone has the same products. I want to develop new products and designs but problem is the same: The COATING, HOW TO COAT THE PRODUCTS, WHAT ARE THE CHEMICALS? I tried above said formula of clear coat with hardener but there is problem after printing print paper sticks to the products. Then I have to wet the paper to remove from product. On some surfaces it leaves the print and on metals it completely washed away. Does anybody know the solution or correct method and ratio of chemicals.

dinesh jain
product developer and businessman - new delhi delhi, india

March 2014

A. Hi Dinesh. Thanks for the kind words, but running this site is just how I earn my living.

It may seem slightly magical that polyester clearcoats can absorb sublimatable ink, but you must not let this steal your focus from the principal issue that they are paints/coatings and that what you are trying to do is to paint/coat a substrate. When you say it washes away from metals, I am not sure if you are talking about the coating or just the image. If the coating is washing away I can only say that you must study painting as much as sublimation science. Paints only wash away if the substrate is dirty, or has not been properly prepared and activated, or if the paint material is wholly inadequate in composition. Try properly pretreating the metal, priming it with a white paint, and THEN applying your 2-component wax-free 100% solids polyester paint for sublimation.

If the paint is sticking properly but the sublimation image washes off, it means it has not been absorbed into the coating. Please read the short Products Finishing article we linked above, and find out if your clear coat has waxes or other ingredients that hamper the absorption. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



How can I start a sublimation coating factory?

March 27, 2015

Q. I want to start a sublimation coating factory but I do not know how to go about it and the requirements.

kudakwashe vhinyu
student - bindura zimbabwe


March 2015

A. Hi kudakwashe. Apparently one of the downsides of today's electronic technology is that it doesn't make economic sense to spend years writing a good book or DVD anymore, only to have it ripped off :-)

... because it's funny, but I've been looking hard but unsuccessfully for many years for a book covering the whole subject of sublimation coating and haven't found even one. I think you'll need to read what's available on the subject in a half-dozen different arts & crafts books and manufacturing technology books because I don't think you'll find a good tutorial :-(

Luck and Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


August 25, 2016

A. The company I work for has experimented with countless materials and substrates doing sublimation. From fiberglass resin to hairsprays and automotive clears. The key is 100% polyester coating. We found by far on most substrates, other than fabric, a special powdercoating clear works every time and a pound of inexpensive powdercoating goes a long way. We sublimate all our faceplates of steel doing this. We put a white base on, either liquid or powder. Liquid tends to yellow but works fine. Then spray the clear and it's ready to sublimate. Results are perfect as long as proper pressure, temp, time are used which vary with material. I hopes this helps. Would be happy to answer any further questions.

Chris cook
- Columbia ,Tennessee, USA



Sublimation printing onto rubber

February 21, 2017

Q. We are trying to print onto a rubber key pad. We have successfully used the sublimation process and printed the keys. They looked ok not stellar but they'll work. The problem is when we came in the next morning the numbers were gone. Yesterday we couldn't get them off and today its like disappearing ink. I'm assuming that the rubber has adsorbed the ink. What's the best coating to treat the rubber with prior to sublimation?

Thank you for your input.

Billy

Billy Hitt
- Knoxville, Tennessee USA

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