Some Tips To Select Right Sublimation Paper

     As a specialist supplier, Fei Yue Paper Inc. carries a broad range of sublimation transfer papers. As our customers are entitled to objective advice, we wanted to describe the right paper choice in a simple diagram for us to use when advising them. When we showed the draft diagram to a number of dye sublimation experts, they encouraged us to provide more background information. Thus, this article evolved from a diagram into a manual for choosing the right sublimation transfer paper, based upon the professionals’ collective experience. Unfortunately, it is not the simple diagram that we thought of at the outset. Rather, it is more complex. 
 
    sublimation printingFirst, we shall discuss the fundamental choices for ink systems: water-based, oil-based or solvent-based, then we will provide a guide for water-based systems focusing on three aspects:
 
   transfer onto textile fabric versus transfer onto a hard substratethe 
 
  “basis weight”- “high speed” versus “normal” transfer paper
 
   Finally, we shall look at other aspects of the transfer printing operation because the right paper choice is by no means the only condition for successful transfer printing.
 
 
  Today, let's talk about the second part---“basis weight”- “high speed” versus “normal” sublimation paper, when should we choose? 
 
  Nearly all sublimation transfer papers for inkjet printing on the market today fit into one of the following weight categories: around 45g~70 g/m2, around 80g~100 g/m2, around 120g~140 g/m2.
 
  In the case of printing on open substrates, four criteria should be considered for the correct paper choice: Ink load, pattern difficulty, web tension control and printing speed.
 
 Criterion 1 ­ Ink loadingsublimation printing
 
  This is the general and dominant rule. The higher the ink loading, the heavier the paper has to be in order to accept the moisture from the ink without any problems. The relationship between ink loading and paper weight results directly from the water absorption by the paper.
 
  Criterion 2 ­ Difficult patterns
 
  Difficult patterns demand heavier paper. What is a “difficult” pattern in this context? One that has:
 
 1. an asymmetrical design
 
 2. blotches or bands with little or no ink alternated with blotches or bands with a high ink loading
  Difficult patterns pose a challenge for the paper’s dimensional stability because they create big, local differences in the amount of ink that will be absorbed. At the borderline between low and high ink loading, the transfer paper has a tendency to cockle.
 
Criterion 3 ­ Roll-to-roll or roll-to-sheet
 
   Roll-to-roll operation of the printer allows for a certain amount of tension control. Although the different types and makes of printers vary considerably in this regard, as a general rule roll-to-roll printing results in better process control than roll-to-sheet, in which the paper web is cut off immediately after the printing heads. Additionally, when the printed paper is processed from the roll in a transfer calender, conditions are ideal for the use of a light-weight sublimation paper.
 
Criterion 4 ­ Printing speed
 
   The higher the printing speed, the lower the paper weight can be. Cockling causes problems mostly when it happens directly beneath the printing heads. The papers for open substrates are designed to slow the water absorption in the paper structure. From this, a higher printing speed takes the cockling away from the danger zone under the print heads. 
 
 
 
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