Differences among Thermal Transfer, Dye Sublimation Printers and Inkjet Printer

Digital thermal transfer

As many countries advocate the concept of environmental protection, the digital printing industry has been gradually valued and developed rapidly, so what are the digital printers you know about now? I often hear these words: digital thermal transfer, dye sublimation printer, and digital direct inkjet printer, and I’m going to introduce their differences to you.

Thermal transfer

thermal transfer

Digital thermal transfer is a new technology that combines traditional heat transfer printers and digital printing technology to print colorful images and patterns in a plateless form. Initially in China, this technology was mainly used in the production of advertisements, signs, cards, and ceramic images. Later, with the expansion of its application fields, it was more applied in industrial production, such as digital thermal printing and dyeing as well as garment production, shoe material production, and the industrial production of webbing, clothing labels, etc., What’s more, the number of applied products by digital thermal transfer printer is increasing. The earliest countries to apply dye heat transfer printers are the United States, South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, China, and other countries. In terms of the size of the market in the past two years, China has become the world’s largest digital thermal transfer processing market. Many international colorful printing ink brands of thermal transfers have begun to focus on the huge Chinese market, such as “SUBLISTAR” a Chinese thermal transfer sublimation ink, South Korea’s “Impression King PK” and so on.

Here, the digital thermal transfer printing we are going to talk about is a digital thermal transfer printer with inkjet printing technology as a technical form, because this technical form can guarantee a certain width and fixed length, which is suitable for industrial production. Currently, heat transfer printing, dye sublimation printing, and ink-jet direct printing are all called digital printing, and all three are new technologies that appear to adapt to the development of the personalized market and the needs of consumers for personalized products. Dye sublimation printer and thermal transfer appeared earlier, and direct inkjet printer is still in the promotion stage in China.

digital heat transfer

Dye sublimation printer

Dye sublimation printer​

The working principle of dye sublimation printers is: disperse dyes have the characteristics of sublimation at a certain temperature! The ink or ink containing dye is printed on the heat transfer paper, and then the transfer paper printed with the pattern is in close contact with the fabric. Under the control of a certain temperature, pressure, and time, the dye is transferred from the thermal printing paper to the fabric. After diffusion, it enters the interior of the fabric, to achieve the purpose of coloring. In terms of technology, there are three types of traditional dye sublimation transfer printers: silk screen heat transfer, gravure heat transfer, and offset heat transfer.

The consumables used for dye sublimation printers are called sublimation ink. After being heated and transferred by a thermal transfer machine, the basic requirements are a clear image, high color reproduction, and washing fastness. High-quality dye sublimation ink is mainly produced in the United States and South Korea, and domestic agents are mainly concentrated in Beijing!

The working principle of a dye sublimation printer is mainly used on chemical fiber fabrics and hard materials coated with thermal transfer coating. The color performance is perfect, and the transition is natural, high-precision, and comfortable to wear, but it requires more complicated processes such as steaming and washing. Conditions like printing and dyeing washing and drying equipment, reasonable steaming equipment, and working space are needed, so there are certain technical and investment restrictions for homework. At the same time, thermal transfer uses chemical consumables that are harmful to the human body. At the same time, the above-mentioned treatment process will generate a lot of wastewater and waste liquid, so it is not environmentally friendly.

Digital direct inkjet printer

Digital direct inkjet printer​

Pure cotton, is mainly thermosetting transfer printing and digital direct inkjet printers. After the heat-setting pattern is transferred, a layer of glue is formed on the surface of the attachment, which has a poor touch feeling and is not breathable. When it is used for dark pure cotton printing, there are many restrictions and it is difficult to promote! Digital direct inkjet printer is the most cutting-edge printing solution launched to solve the problem of pure cotton printing, and it is also the printing method adopted by domestic leading textile manufacturers to change their business concepts!

Previous printing solution has many traditional and complicated solutions, such as complex operation, pet film processing, and labor working. But now the combination of traditional printing techniques and digital printing solutions can produce various types of textiles with outstanding quality, rich color layers, and natural color gradients. And it can be made by one person and one piece. Furthermore, the patterns printed by thermal transfer, dye sublimation printers, and inkjet printers are breathable, comfortable, rich in color, and have no glue feeling. SUBLISTAR can perfectly represent the world of true colors. Because it uses consumables that do not contain any chemical components, it meets the standards of the new concept of environmental protection clothing and is suitable for low-cost and cheap clothing. The manufacturing industry where labor is the main advantage is changing to a new type of printing industry with high-added value that focuses on research and development, from production efficiency to brand efficiency. If the number of pure cotton clothes is relatively small and the effect is more pursued, of course, the direct digital inkjet printer has the best effect. But at the same time, the equipment is relatively expensive. And the digital direct-injection machine can also print pure cotton, but the user’s pure cotton ink is still very immature at present.

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