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Sublimation: The Science Behind it!

Sublimation: The Science Behind it!

Sublimation is an advanced technology for product decoration. This method allows you to design digital designs, take something that has been drawn by hand, and convert it into digital format or permanently imprint a digital photo into a product. From bags, shirts, phone cases to mugs, the list of items that can be decorated using sublimation is endless. All you have to do is print your design on a special paper transfer using a sublimation printer and complete the transfer using a heat press. Simple and easy.

But how does sublimation work?

There is more than meets the eye in the process of sublimation. This is a chemical process where dyes are embedded into polymer surfaces. Substrate manufacturers have found an ingenious way to embed polymers onto products’ surfaces. Adding a polymer coating on glass, wood, metal, and ceramics helps make these surfaces sublimatable. The past few years have seen remarkable growth in the demand for sublimated products.

The science behind sublimation

Scientifically, sublimation is a process where solid matter is transformed into a gaseous form without turning into liquid. This may sound puzzling since you know that sublimation inks are in a liquid state. What you may not know is that sublimation inks are different from your usual inks. Sublimation inks are made of a mixture of carrier fluid and solid dye particles that are highly viscous. Upon applying heat and pressure, the polymer molecules open up, making the dye solids turn into gas.

In a gaseous form, the dyes move to occupy the open spaces in the polymers, which then closes after cooling. The dye particles then change into a solid and become imprinted onto the cooled surface. When using sublimation, you end up dyeing the fibers of a piece of cloth or the substrate’s surface, resulting in a high-definition print, resistant to fading or chipping when washed.

Sound too technical? We break it down for you to deliver quality products

The sublimation process may look so complicated, but you do not have to be scared since YBA Shirts handles all the science so that you can get quality imprints on all your products.


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