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topic 46505

Sublimation Coating Formula



A discussion started in 2007 & continuing through 2017

(2007)

Q. Dear Sir,

My name is Ali and I am in Pakistan. We have recently purchased sublimation dye print machines and blanks from Hong Kong. It works great but we want to make our own blanks for sublimation printing. In our country there is no company which sells sublimation coatings; none have any idea. We are the only one who are doing this work.

Is there anybody who can tell me how we can make our own sublimation coatings and what is its formula.

Thanks for co-operation.

Ali

M. Ali
manufacturer - Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan


(2007)

A. First, an aside to bring readers up to speed and minimize confusion:
"Sublimation" means going directly from solid to gas without the middle step of liquid. The best known example of sublimation is dry ice, which goes from a solid directly to carbon dioxide gas without ever getting wet.

The sublimation coating process is sort of an "iron-on coating". You print an image onto paper using special dyes in an ink-jet printer, press it against another object, and apply heat. The dyes/inks that you used in the ink jet printer sublimate, i.e., turn to gas, and are absorbed on the surface you wish to coat.

Strictly speaking then, it is actually the dye/ink which is sublimatable. But when people talk about "sublimation coatings", what they actually mean is the clear/white polyester paint/coating they put onto the sign, cotton T-shirt or coffee mug, which will accept this sublimated gas, and pick up and hold the image.

Hi Ali. I think polyesters take sublimation, and that includes lots of paints. But optimum formulations appear to not be generic information. So I would suggest that you either try some common clearcoats and paints, or do a free patent search, both to learn what particulars supposedly makes it work best, and some things you need to refrain from doing. Good luck!

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


(2007)

A. Hi,
Sublimation coatings for your purpose would consist of a resin, solvents and a dye that volatizes when it is heated. To obtain a formula to meet your requirements, you could follow the route that Ted has suggested or spend some money on a consultant. Nobody will be willing enough to give away freebies as formulation costs time and money to develop.

Terry

Terry Hickling
Birmingham, United Kingdom


(2007)

A. YOU CAN USE THE CLEAR COAT THAT IS USED AS A FINISHING COAT WHEN YOU PAINT A CAR. IT SUBLIMATES REAL GOOD.

WILFREDO TORRES
- ADJUNTAS, PUERTO RICO



thumbs up signThanks, Wilfredo. Does it continue to be able to absorb sublimates over a long period, or is this something that you must do while it cures or as soon as it cures? I guess I'd hope that automotive clearcoats don't absorb and get easily stained by organic gases indefinitely :-)

Regards,

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



July 26, 2008

Q. In the name of God ...

Dear all,
I have the same problem as you. If you solve your problem, please tell me.

ebrahim safa
- tehran, iran


April 1, 2009

Q. Hello I am from Ireland and am looking to know how to put photos onto tiles -- plaques using sublimation -- laser and then onto gravestones outdoors.

patrick j steacy
printer - athlone westmeath Ireland



thumbs up signHi cousin Ebrahim; hi cousin Patrick. Please do your best towards making this dialog fun, useful, and informative for all by posting what you do know, not just what you don't know :-)

You've probably tried something, -- so, in a word, what did you do and what happened? Have you tried the automotive clearcoat as suggested by Wilfredo? Thanks!

Regards,

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


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


July 9, 2012

Q. Angela, I tried Rave 4, didn't work. What am I doing wrong. How much do you apply, how many hours do you let it dry, bake time and heat. Do you cure the tile before sublimation? Thank you.

Agustin J. Villarreal
- Mcallen, Texas USA



Sublimation Coating for hard materials


Sublimation Coating for cotton fabric

August 25, 2012

Q. How to make sublimation coating for heat transfer printing.

Sanjay Singh
Sublimation printing work - Ranchi, Jharkhand, India


September 27, 2012

A. SANJAY, URETHANE CLEAR COAT AND URETHANE WHITE PRIMER WILL SOLVE ALL YOUR SUBLIMATION PROBLEMS. YOU CAN COAT ANYTHING, AND IT IT IS A HARD DURABLE COATING. YOU CAN APPLY IT TO WOOD OR METAL, EVEN CERAMICS, AND IT IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL AUTOMOTIVE PAINT DISTRIBUTOR. TRY IT AND YOU CAN STOP ASKING THE SAME QUESTION :-)

WILFREDO TORRES [returning]
- adjuntas, PUERTO RICO



thumbs up signHi Sanjay. Please don't start the thread over again, as that just makes it longer without moving us forward; rather, please request clarification on anything you didn't follow, or make a comment about something from the discussion above that you tried, or tell us something from your own experience. Thanks!

I don't know much myself, but while the hard automotive clearcoat that Wilfredo suggested is appropriate for hard surfaces, it doesn't seem like something you'd want to put on a cotton shirt, so also please also tell us what you are trying to coat.

Regards,

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



October 23, 2012

Q. Thank you very much if what you said is right. But one thing more: please tell me how to mix it, what would be the quantity of each, and how to apply. Thanks for all, especially who is giving solution.

Amjad Rasheed
business promoters - punjab pakistan


December 3, 2012 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Dear Sir,
I need a formula of coating on mugs, photo frame, etc., so kindly tells me what chemicals suit it.

Thanks & Regards

Sachin Sharma
- Delhi, India


December 2012

A. Hi Sachin. We appended your inquiry to a thread which partially answers it. As you see, there are coatings specifically marketed for the purpose, and two-part automotive clearcoats are apparently very good as well. Polyester coatings may work well. If you are trying to optimize your own chemical formulations from raw commodity chemicals, there are many books that cover how to formulate paints, but if you are already experienced in paint making, I would suggest that you search expired patents for formulations. Good luck.

Regards,

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



March 21, 2013

Q. Ali I appreciate what you will done to make your own sublimation blank. If you don't mind, I want to know the procedure / formula to make the sublimation blank; I hope you will consider my request sympathetically.

Thanks & Regards,

Abdul Wahab
- Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan


April 1, 2013

Q. Dear Sir,
First I thank you for your co-operation to every one.
Now we are start SUBLIMATION PRINT in Mumbai (INDIA) on Metal.
We request you please writeup that which chemical and its percentage along with process so we will easy to manufacture the chemical.
Regards

Hemant Musale
METAL INDUSTRIES - Thane, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA


April, 2013

A. Hi Abdul; hi Hemant. Did you try Wilfredo Torres' simple answer of just spraying your blanks with urethane two-part automotive clear coat, which he already offered twice? If not, is there a reason that it isn't applicable to your need?

When an answer has been offered that sounds simple, cheap, and universal, we should not just endlessly belabor the question. If Wilfred's answer has proven unsatisfactory in some particular way, we'd like to hear the reasons so we can continue to learn rather than drown in this ennui of dull and endless repetition instead of posting your own situation and what you do know. Thanks!

Regards,

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


May 15, 2013

Q. Getting inconsistent results sublimating using automotive finishes we sublimate.

1/4" to 5/16" thick aluminum disks, using sprayed automotive base coat/clear coat finishing systems. We have a approx. 35% loss rate due to off gassing. We are using a 160 °C, 15 min, vacuum oven. If anyone has any help or advice using a urethane clear coat to sublimate onto, please.

Christopher Johns
- MANCHESTER, New Hampshire, USA


September 24, 2013

Q. I am so appreciative of all of the information being given here. I hate to keep asking the same questions over and over but I am still a bit confused. I am interested in either the hairspray Rave4X (for obvious cost-effectiveness) or 2-part automotive clear coat options. I am going to start doing sublimation onto tumbled marble tile. My question is: for either of these processes would I need to bake the tile before sublimating? Or just spray and let dry?
My prior process was a bake transfer with lots of hands on labor so I'm hoping these techniques will save lots of time!

Lara Wilkin
- Santa Clarita, California


September 24, 2013

A. Hi Lara. Although Angela suggested Rave4X on several pages here, she also has a later posting on letter 25612 where she suggests Dyepress instead. I probably wouldn't consider that a retraction about hair spray, but a clarification on its limitations. I think two-part automotive clearcoat does not require baking, but the sublimation process itself will later require heating to make the dyes sublimate (convert from solid to gas).

Porous materials absorb small amounts of moisture from the air, which cannot help but turn to steam at high temperatures and force their way through the coating. So, although I haven't done sublimation, as a general rule I'd expect that you have to bake such stuff immediately before coating. Good luck!

Regards,

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


September 30, 2013

Q. Frustrated. Just bought a new Ricoh 3110 and heat press to upgrade my tumbled marble tile image business and can't seem to get things to work! I have sublimation ink and the computer properly configured for printing, researched time and temp (200 °C for 8 minutes). I have tried the Rave4x hairspray as well as the 2 part automotive spray coating techniques, and still my images are coming out very faint. Anyone have any suggestions to what I am doing wrong?

Lara Wilkin [returning]
- Santa Clarita, California


October 1, 2013

A. Have you asked Ricoh? You probably are not the first to have this problem.
If they are no help, I would contact tech services of a competing company to see it their product will work and how they do it.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


April 17, 2014

A. HI EVERYBODY

I TOO DO SUBLIMATION ON CERAMIC ITEMS AS A HOBBY AND OF COURSE I USED TO BUY THE SUBSTRATES. I ALSO HAVE AN IDEA OF MAKING MY OWN SUBSTRATES BUT STILL NOT HAVE TRIED ANY BECAUSE I COULD NOT FIND THE NECESSARY INGREDIENTS THAT I HAVE READ IN MOST SITES.

THANKS FOR THE MANY SUGGESTIONS HERE AND I ALSO NOTICED THE MANY FAILURES ENCOUNTERED AFTER TRYING THOSE SUGGESTIONS. MANY OF THOSE WHO FAILED HAVE NOT MENTIONED ABOUT THE TYPE OF (NOT BRAND NAME) SUBLIMATION PAPER USED SO IT MAY BE THE PROBLEM LIES THERE.

NIZAM THAHA
- COLOMBO SRI LANKA



June 3, 2014

Q. DEAR SIR,

WE ARE DOING MEMENTOES, SIGNS, NAME BOARDS, ALLIED WORKS.

NOW WE WISH TO INTRODUCE SUBLIMATION RELATED ITEMS.

SO KINDLY, ADVISE US THAT HOW TO MAKE COATING ON ACRYLIC IN REGARDING SUBLIMATION TRANSFER

KINDLY REPLY WITH YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE.

THANKS & REGARDS

NAGENDRAN VISWANATHAM
- CHENNAI, TAMILNADU, INDIA


June 17, 2014

A. Hi, I can remember Sublimation back to 1971. I've been doing Sublimation on Tiles since 1995. I used to get my coatings from America which was called COATOM from a company called novachrome.com; they have since closed. I do Tile murals with as many as 300 tiles and I now get my coatings from digicoat.com, I have tried my own coating including car clear coat and it does not work.

This is all a secret; why should we disclose it when it took us over 20 years to work it out? The bottom line is if you looking for the coating you have to buy it or carry on regardless.

Zack DP
- Nottingham UK


June 2014

thumbs up signHi Zack. True that few of us are willing to share all that we have or all that we know, but most of us can afford to share something ... as you have done. Thanks!

Regards,

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


February 26, 2015

A. I have to agree with Zack to an extent. Some of us have spent A LOT of time and money to figure this out. I myself have tried several different coatings to save money. I don't feel this is a place to cut corners. The coating I currently use is DigiCoat. Works great! What I have found is the easiest place to save money is on the printer and ink. You don't need to spend a grand on a printer and 60+ dollars per color on ink. I have also found your press times and temps will very depending on your weather. Good luck.

Mike Henderson
- Phoenix Arizona



October 25, 2014

Q. DEAR SIR,
WE ARE A COATING COMPANY MAKING INKJET PHOTO PAPER AND HAVE TWO COATING LINES AND WOULD LIKE TO DO COATING ON PAPER WHICH IS USED FOR PRINTING AND THEN SUBSEQUENTLY HEAT TRANSFER ON TEXTILE AND MUGS.
CAN ANYONE GUIDE ME TO THE FORMULATION, NAME OF THE CHEMICAL TO BE USED FOR PAPER COATINGS?
WARM REGARDS
P.K. SARIN

prem kumar sarin
- delhi India



November 7, 2014

Q. Dear Sir,

My Name is Brijesh from India. I want:

1. How to create a coating mug?
2. What coating Material are used in around the cup?
3. What Material are used in this coating? Please tell how to create this material. Material name & their mixing percentage.

Brijesh Rajpoot
- Bahadurgarh, Haryana, India


December 22, 2014

Q. Dear sir,
I have simple cups but I want to make them sublimatable to transfer the images. How do I do it?
Thanks.

babar zaman
- dera ismail khan, pakistan


December 2014

A. Hi Brijesh; Hi Babar.
I don't want to discourage anyone from trying to answer you, but 20 postings preceded yours on this thread, and this is but one out of more than 40 threads about sublimation coatings on this site alone. So the subject is broad. If the question is restricted to what coating to put on the mugs so they will absorb sublimated gasses, then polyester coatings, whether one part baked, or two-component reaction coatings, can apparently be used -- but remember that you need a food-safe coating. Many companies offer polyester coatings specifically for sublimation. If you are a coatings formulator, that should be a start. Good luck.

Regards,

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


February 5, 2015

Q. I am interested in printing heat transfers on 100% cotton fabric, please help me know the cheapest and colour fast way to do that. Thanks a lot. Bye

vinay kumar
VINAY - Ghaziabad, India


March 16, 2015

Q. I am just getting started in the dye sublimation business, as a home business to supplement my income. You stated that spending the money on quality coating was most important, which makes total sense. Did I understand correctly that one can use dye sub inks, other than sawgrass successfully? I was warned against other inks, but if they can be used and result in quality products I would like to know. That would drastically reduce the startup costs. Thank you!

Eunice Alexander
- Powel, Tennessee, USA


April 19, 2015

A. I use clear coat for cars with activator. I use 2 thin coats sprayed on, then cure in oven for 12 min at 385 °F. Works great on metal.

Kenny Moore
- salem Indiana USA


April 24, 2015

A. I purchased an Epson XP-310 printer from Walmart for $59.00. I purchased empty refillable cartridges from Amazon.com along with the sublimation ink. Although the printer would say not genuine ink when I added the sublimation ink, it still printed really good. I purchased 400 sheets of sublimation paper from Dyepress. I use a oven at 400 °F for 15 minutes.

Kathleen Mcpherson
K&A Customize Printing - Ridgeland, Mississippi USA


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