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letter 46505

Sublimation Coating Formula



A discussion started in 2007 & continuing through 2017 -- add your Q to bring it back to the Hot Topics page.

(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


Inkjet Cartridges


Sublimation Ink

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


September 4, 2015

Q. I have a sublimation printer, inks & paper and heat press. Can I sublimate things that are not sold as sublimatable? For example- a piece of wood. Do I need to coat it with a clear coat or such before I can transfer onto it? What is recommended temp and time for wood? Thank y'all for any help!

Carrie Buse
- Tupelo, Mississippi, USA


September 12, 2015

A. It usually all boils down to being all about the research and reasoning things out doesn't it? I also am just now getting started with sublimating tiles and other ceramics. The suggestion of using clear coat made sense to me, so I decided to do it the easy way and do the research myself.

There are basically three kinds of automotive clear coat. There's the (ACRYLIC) spray can that you buy at Walmart, (which I wouldn't hold out much hope for), a URETHANE based clear coat that mixes in two parts, a resin and a hardener (three if you count the reducer), and a POLYESTER (not polyurethane) based clear coat, which also uses reducer and hardener. Of the three, the urethane MAY sublimate, or it my not. I just don't know.

Bodyfiller

The polyester though is by definition what you need to sublimate. It makes a very tough polyester coating used for automotive and marine applications where wear & tear are the norm. Of course it's not what you need for apparel, but it should be good for any hard substrate like ceramics, porcelain, metal, hardboard, wood, stone, etc. It cures by a chemical reaction, not heat, so no oven time is required. There's also a product called "DOLPHIN GLAZE Self-Leveling Polyester Finishing", that you can get from Amazon that looks interesting.
I believe that the gel coat used for fiberglass is also a polyester compound that would have to be painted on with a brush or applicator of some kind.
Again, I'm no expert. I'm just now getting geared up to try some of this. I'm just passing on what I've learned from my research. I also got some Dyepress to try. The thing that bothers me about Dyepress though is that it's water based, and being a woodworker first I know that polyester resins and water don't get along very well. I've also heard reports about the release paper sticking to dyepress coated objects. I'll try it and we'll see.
Professional people will use professional products, and my money is on the polyester clear coat as the one that the professional don't want you to know about. I'll let you know what I find out as I try it, or if someone else tries, pass on the information.

Peter DeBrucque
- Greer South Carolina USA


October 1, 2015

thumbs up sign Peter,
I found your post most helpful! Thank you for sharing. How did your trials turn out?
We are looking into sublimation on wood.
Thank you!

Amber Michele
Signs - Texas USA


October 2015

A. Hi Carrie. I have never done sublimation and can only respond from my book knowledge, but maybe even that is better than an unanswered question :-)

The idea behind sublimation is that the ink on your paper sublimates (turns to gas rather than liquid) when you heat it. If the paper is pressed against a substrate that can absorb it, it will. Thus, I think that the required temperature & time are defined by the sublimation ink manufacturer rather than the substrate.

I don't think natural materials like wood or cotton are good at absorbing the gaseous ink. I think you need a clear coat as described by others, including Peter, just above. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


January 25, 2016

A. I am trying out some today. I know this thread is old but no one really answered it. It was a bunch of jumping around.

I been using a company out of Arizona since we started a year ago. The coating supply we bought lasted us a year (about 80 dollars worth). We are currently doing glass and blanks are now more affordable than ever before. We do t-shirts metal tags and even have our own type of dog tags made for paracord and are the only company in the paracord company offering our ideas to clients. No one wants to invest in sublimation when shoe lace charms are so ready available. Well shoelace charms cost about a dollar and your print time and glue (that's expensive glue to hold). We can press one out for about 60 cents that tag and all its more durable than shoelace which if you don't glue correctly it pops off and ruins the project.

Anyway, today I'm trying a new coating. As I learned it's all part of the poly family so I got polyurethane clear coat yesterday. Will spray. let it dry, and then plan on a small heat time cause it's glass. So I'm thinking 1:30 seconds at 300 because it will already be dry just need to bake the coating on or bond it together. Then I will use my transfer at 300 for 1:30 as well. Well image comes out great on my first glass. I tried now I'm just trying to see if it can be sustainable (smooth finish with no streaks and I'm not having to use a paint sprayer or load a hopper to paint it). Rather just spray on out of a can instead of mixing putting on and have runs in the clear coat or streaking.

Aaron keen
- Seminary Mississippi USA



January 27, 2016

Q. Hi everyone I have been going through the thread; I was trying to do printing on EVA foam (from which Flip-Flops/Thongs/slippers are made). After searching a lot I found that it can be done with sublimation printing.

But I have some confusion will the listed primer/sublimation coating work good on flexible material like EVA? I heard some people use Loctite from Henkel but don't know if that can work. Your experience and some shadow on this might help me, thanks.

Bboy lingham
- Melbourne,Australia



March 31, 2016

Q. Hi,
1. When applying clearcoat should we also apply the hardener for it?

2. If so: How long should we leave the tile to cure? Or is there an alternative (quicker) method to cure?

3. If not: How long should we leave the tile to cure? Or is there an alternative (quicker) method to cure?

4. In 3D vacuum machine, when placing the print on the tile for sublimation - what temperature and time setting should we assign?

Please advise.

Prem kumar
- Colombo, Sri Lanka


March 2016

A. Hi Prem. I think you may be misunderstanding the meaning of the word "hardener" in this context. There are two general types of clearcoats:
- "single component" clearcoats, where water or solvent evaporates in the air or in an oven, or UV radiation cures the coating, leaving a solid coating behind.
- "two pack" or "2k" or "two component" clearcoats where nothing evaporates; instead, the two components chemically react with each other to produce a solid hard coating. Sometimes the two components are called "part A" and "part B"; but sometimes (and it's confusing) people will call "part A" the clearcoat and "part B" the hardener ... but they're really just A and B, and there is only sticky syrup, no clearcoat, until the two parts mix and react. Once they are mixed they harden fast, somewhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours depending on the components and the mixing ratio.

That should answer questions 1, 2, and 3. Sorry I don't know the answer to number 4 but suspect it depends upon the sublimation ink, the press design, the pressure, the coating you are sublimating onto, etc.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


April 7, 2016

Q. Thank you for your feedback, I did run an experiment by applying a 2 part clear coat on the ceramic (gloss) tile, allowed it to cure for 24 hours and then I sublimated a print on it at the temperature of 200 degrees for 6 minutes, the image came out pretty well but there were some problems that came along with it. They were:

1. glossy finish was compensated, it looked as if it's semi-matte.
2. there was a paper trail on top of the print sublimated, which I fear is what makes the print look matt (but I can live with that).
3. I also tried some testing on the sublimated ceramic tile:
a) I tried pouring water on the ceramic tile and the tile tolerated the water spill, so it's a pass.
b) I also tried spilling some thinner on the printed tile, but the print did not hold well, it slightly stained out, so it's a FAIL!
c) While doing this I noticed the clear-coat peeling off the ceramic tile like a transparent sticker, EPIC FAIL!!

Now my main concern out of this list above is the peeling off and the inability to withstand thinner; I believe clear-coat can hold thinner without an issue, but this gave me an opposite result. What do you think I did wrong? Peeling off is my main concern since we spend a lot on the clear coat, et.c just to see the image peel off is disappointing. The question that came up was: is the glossy ceramic tile's surface too smooth to hold on to clear coat? Have I missed something here? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thank you.

Prem Kumar [returning]
- Colombo, Sri Lanka


April 2016

A. Hi Prem. I'm just the website administrator with some general knowledge of metal finishing. I've never even attempted sublimation coatings. Hopefully another reader will offer help.

But "thinner" is a very broad term. The first google link I followed offered Thinner 5, Thinner 222, Thinner 290, Thinner 308, Thinner 316, Thinner 357, Thinner 616, Thinner 902, Thinner 909, Thinner 990, and Thinner 995, all based on different solvents, as their basics. So what do you mean by "thinner"?

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



April 13, 2016

Q. Hi I was wondering if anyone has any more answers on how to use the sublimation coating spray? Does it harden the cotton quite a bit? I'm interested in doing full t-shirt prints and don't want the cotton to look synthetic.

ruth viljoen
hag moon - south africa



April 22, 2016

thumbs up signI read about the automotive clear coats, tested a few, didn't have good results and then I read the suggestion about polyurethane. I bought a can of Minwax fast drying polyurethane clear gloss. Three coats on a sublimation license plate, using a 3D vacuum sublimation heat press with the temperature set at 185 and the time at 2 minutes 30 seconds.

46505-1a 46505-1b 46505-1c

Guess what ... it worked fantastically! Now I did have to put a automotive clear coat over it to make it bright and shiny like you would get from a sublimation plate.

jeff_johnson
Jeff johnson
The Print Shop - Lake Charles


May 31, 2016

Q. Dear Sir:
hope not to disturb you, I'm trying to remove the ink after sublimation and I have tried many solvents such as benzene and acetone and others, but they didn't work. I hope if there is some solvent that is able to remove the ink without removing sublimation coat.
Thank in advance.

Ali Alkaraly
- Ismailia, Egypt


August 23, 2016

A. Dear Alkaraly,
Before, thinner used with success for the removal of ink. After, I switched to ethanol 98% successfully also. Put the pieces in a closed container with alcohol and wait some 24 hours and then scrub with a sponge. The ethanol is low cost in Brazil; it's a renewable product, and less toxic.

Eugênio Leite
- Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará, Brasil


July 24, 2016

thumbs up signHi all,
Thanks Ted Mooney and others, I try it using polyurethane varnish. Result is OK. I apply it to wood from using paint brush. Dry 2 days and heat press 180 seconds in 320 °C heat.
thanks again all.

Amal Ishantha
- Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka



August 18, 2016

thumbs up signHi, I am Ruth and live in England and am new to this forum. I have tried on and off for a number of years to make my own sublimation blanks and have had very little success.
I have tried Digicoat opaque and white coatings with a little success, white did not work as when heated blisters popped up all over the surface, the opaque had better results but nothing spectacular. I was very interested to read about the min wax but could not get hold of it here. I bought a can of Valspar quick drying clear gloss and hoped for the best! Tried 3 coats and all I ended up with the sublimation paper stuck to the blank (sandstone with a finely ground level surface) and no ink transfer. Tried again with the 3 coats then cleaned the stone with Digicoat adhesive promoter (blank was a bit sticky afterwards but don't worry) then used the Digicoat opaque coating as per instructions on the can and used my 3D vacuum heat press for 2 X 8 minutes and the result was very good. Some colours work better than others, did not have much luck with blues and purples, this may have something to do with the fact that the stones came out of my oven quite golden after heating with the Digicoat even though they went in clear!
Thank you so much to the person who mentioned the minwax, I would never have thought about it had I not read about it here.

Cheers.

Ruth Longstaff
- Darlington, County Durham, England


September 1, 2016

Q. Hi sir,
I am sharath; I have take up sublimation printing recently. But when we take out the print, the colors are not exposing correctly in the output. Can you say how to set the color for the picture in photoshop?

k sharath
- karimnagar, telangana, india


July 10, 2017

A. Sharath,

The color gamut for sublimation ink does not match the printer cmyk gamut.

Victor Lui
- San Francisco, California, USA



November 4, 2016

thumbs up signI read all of this thread and found it very interesting as well as helpful as I am just about to embark on starting to work with sublimation. I appreciate all of the comments and will continue to watch this site for more helpful information as I go along.

Gwen Rieout
- Woodstock,NB Canada


May 16, 2017

A. Hi all. First off I read the posts form all around globe, I found a place to get a 2 part gloss, semi gloss and fabric coat and all are water clean up and thinning.
These people say they ship all over world. Just google Dyepress.

Rick Collins
- Moreno Valley California USA


May 11, 2017

A. Try pva glue and water.

yun sy
- china


May 31, 2017

A. You can get single part (no mixing) water and solvent based Sublimation Coating in india which is similar to dyepress coating. You can contact NR Printz (Mysore).

Nithin rathod
- Mysore, karnataka,india


Mod Podge

June 6, 2017

I have tried the polyurethane clear gloss but after a few washes it faded. After looking at some reviews and redoing my process this is what I came up with:

Spray two coats of polyurethane (let them fully dry between coats -- about 30 min). After 2nd coat let it sit for 48 hours, then wipe down with rubbing alcohol. I set my heat press to 300 for 130 seconds. Remove and let fully cool down. I sprayed automotive clear coat twice, again letting dry between coats. Let sit for 48 hours and love results. Also for those items to eat and drink from, instead of automotive clear coat I sprayed on "mod podge" dishwasher safe for ceramics (use a sprayer to avoid streaks). Hope this helps.

Ivonne Guevara
Ivonne's hobbies - Imperial Beach, California


July 10, 2017

A. Ricky Collin,

Dyepress can be tried on other substrates, but not mugs, they have no SDS/MSDS.

Victor Lui
- San Francisco, California, USA



June 24, 2017

Q. We are looking for a way to coat the very popular double wall insulated stainless steel cups. After reading through this thread, I am thinking that we could possibly spray the cup with some of these suggestions and then use the mug press to put the design on. At least I THINK that's what I got out of these questions. I am a bit confused as to if I would need to put the cups in the oven to cure before trying to sublimate. ANY help is appreciated.

Sunny Hazlett
Bunny's Emporium - Lake Wales, Florida USA


July 10, 2017

A. Sunny,

Have you considered the poison, chemical and heavy metal problem? Please do not do it in that way, you might hurt people.

Victor Lui
- San Francisco, California, USA


July 4, 2017

Q. Hi. I did research on the net and found one or two products.
First one is Sublicoat A+B from MANOUKIAN, (www.eptanova.com/en/series-product/sublicoat-ab)

When I did search in the German language the results said as long as the coating is Polyester based (at least 80%) it will work perfectly. It needs to be 2-component system. I know it is quite the opposite of what the gentleman from Latin America said. I want to coat Aluminium sheets and on metals, polyester seems a better choice than urethane.

Levent Ocal
- Antalya Turkey


July 10, 2017

A. My personal opinion is: For a good sublimation result, using good sublimated ink, paper and printer is essential. Marketable sublimation blanks might be expensive, I strongly believe that the results are better than homemade ones, because we lack all necessary equipment.

I did try to sublimate coat by myself with two component chemicals brought from the market by spraying, it worked, but, it is hard to make a completely smooth surface. To me, for business point of view, the customer will not like it, Recently, I tried with screen printing with 120 grit, the coating is not thick enough.

So, my opinion is, if you want to be in sublimation business, use the proper equipment. You can see our products we printed for demonstration at www.memories1314.com; these are all real printed products.

Victor Lui
- San Francisco, California, USA


August 11, 2017

A. I have been dye sublimating images and pictures on all kinds of substrates including metal and wood for years. A manufacturer of sublimation coatings for industry is RN Coatings. Rich Neely is (was) the owner and chemist that developed the formula. His coating is used on ceramic mugs produced in china and elsewhere. They have (had) several coating plants in the US including Phoenix. I believe his coatings are 2 part polyester and you can add matte flakes to change to a satin finish if desired. A google search will yield his contact information.

Michael Gault
- Richmond, Texas, USA



Sublimation coatings on wood

August 22, 2017

Hello,
I'm experimenting a new product, SUBLIMATION ON WOOD.
I have tons of questions on my mind to get clarified.

Coating:
1. To get coated, what kind of hardwood is preferable(Low Cost)?
2. Does thickness of the wood matter?
3. How long do we have to wait to get the substrate cured? [I bought all types Dyepress (natural + Gloss + satin + White) Material]
4. Does the coated wood need to get preheated in a convection oven, before heat pressing?
5.Why preheat the coated wood?
6.What's the Best practice to place the wood in the Heat Press? (Coated wood, transfer Paper, Teflon sheet, Hard Sponge)
7. After inserting in Heat Press, How could we match Pressure, Temperature and press Time? Does it differ for each type of wood, color ?

Respond even you know any one of the above questions or all (I appreciate). That helps me and many others here.

- Many Thanks in Advance

Naveen Andrews
- Telangana, India


August 23, 2017

A. Hi, Naveen

1/ The wood they use is MDF;
2/ I think thickness does matter;
3/ You must experiment on your own;
4/ I do preheat the wood;
5/ to prevent vapor evaporation;
6/ try and error, no one will tell you the answer, we all spend a lot of money to get the answer;
7/ same as 6

Victor Lui
- San Francisco, California, USA



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