Whether Dye Sublimation Printing Can Be Done on Plastic Items?

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Whether Dye Sublimation Printing Can Be Done on Plastic Items?

Dye sublimation printing is one of the best ways a business can use to create professional looking, bright products. However, many people don’t know if dye sublimation printing can be done on plastic items. The answer is “yes.”

The high heat the sublimation process uses can cause the plastic to melt or warp, effectively destroying the item. In order to use sublimation printing on a plastic item, it needs to be reinforced, usually with fiberglass. Plastic items that have been formed—in other words, they have a specific three-dimensional shape and design—cannot be printed, even with fiberglass reinforcement. A plastic item would have to be flat, but they can be cut to shape later on once the printing is completed.

sublimation printing

Keep in mind that not all plastic is made equally. The chemical structure of plastic varies on what its base is. Certain plastics, even with reinforcement, cannot be printed on because of what goes into their production. Anything that is dark in color, or is pre-colored before printing also cannot be used. The dyes present in a colored piece of plastic would interact poorly with the dyes used in the sublimation process. Not only would the printing fail, but it could also damage the product. For any item being printed with dye sublimation, only bright or “true” white items should be used. Light colors, like tans or grays, can be used, but the colors used in the printing dye might be diluted by about 15%-25%.

An alternative method of dye sublimation printing of plastic items is spraying the item with a clear and/or white base coat. This is usually used to print on wooda, leather, and glass items that dye sublimation printing normally doesn’t work on or are difficult to print on. The coating is polymer based, so it will allow the process to be successful on non-polymer items. The coloring of the coating, usually white or clear, allows items that, regardless if they’re polymer based, do not meet the color requirements necessary to have a successful dye sublimation printing on its own.

sublimation paper

We FeiYue Digital Technology Co., Ltd mainly manages sublimation paper, inkjet printer, digital printing inks, calendering machines and accessories, operating this industry has been more than 10 years experience. After continuous improvement of the product, to ensure product quality can also be profit at the same time to the minimum, to ensure that customers enjoy the best price and the best quality products.


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