Sublimation Printing Process on Roller Sublimation Heat Transfer Machine

heat transfer machine
Looking like something you might expect to see in an industrial laundry, Roll-type Calendars heat transfer machine are large, made from a lot of heavy-duty metal and usually more expensive than Flatbeds. They are however generally faster than flatbed presses, require less operator attendance and are the only option if you intend to produce rolled goods.
 
Paper and fabric are fed together (often on a roll) into the unit and a heat resistant belt holds the fabric tightly against the rotating drum. The fabric and paper exit out the other side of the drum where they separate and are wound up on their own individual take-up spools - See diagram below:
 
 
You’ll also notice that there is a third roll in this diagram (shown in green). When sublimating to thin or mesh fabrics a roll of protection-tissue or backing-paper must be run also to prevent ink sublimating right through the fabric and staining the belt. This is also necessary when doing “cut-piece” production, where the design on the sublimation transfer paper bleeds out larger than the cut fabric piece. More on this later.
heat press machine
 
The rotation speed of the drum determines determines the dwell time. Calendars with larger drum diameters mean that you can move the fabric faster while still achieving 45 seconds of contact. Drums in the 7” - 14” diameter range are sufficient for small to medium scale production.
 
There are two types of heating technology, known as “electric” and “oil”. The descriptions are somewhat confusing as both types use electricity to heat the drums. The “Oil” type uses a drum that is filled with oil that is heated to high temperatures by heating elements. The use of oil means that temperature fluctuations are very small and heat is very even across the width of the drum. This translates to very consistent color when stitching together garment pieces that may have traveled under different parts of the drum. The “Electric” type is cheaper and traditionally used heater coils to heat the air inside the drum. “Electric” drums are not as well regarded as they typically have less even heat, particularly at the edges and are more prone to heat fluctuations and in turn, color fluctuations however the newer “Infra-red” technology looks promising at solving these issues while keeping the price low.
 
heat transfer machine