Learn the process of coating mugs that stand out.
For over 20 years, we’ve been helping people put their stories on the personal items of their lives From large companies to brick and mortar stores that support the entrepreneurial spirit of creativity, we’ve shipped out millions of mugs and other drink ware such as travel tumblers, smartphone cases and more. And what we have learned is that capturing a moment in time, a logo or a message is part science..
In the most simplest explanation, sublimation is the process of imprinting your desired surface with vibrant images or text using a special sublimation printer and ink combination. In our last blog The Basics of Sublimation we showed you what you needed for sublimation and why it was so important. We know that if you really want to offer your community, customers or friends those crisp images then understanding the need to have the right tools is important. If not, all those memories captured on camera or messages that meant something will fade over time and be forgotten.
So, before being able to actually print something using the sublimation process there are a number of different things that one needs to consider. One of the most important things to remember is to coat your sublimation blank with a special sublimation coating which will embed your images into the surface permanently and with vibrant results. This process is something we have been doing for years. Our Orca Coating has become a symbol of what to look for when considering imprinting full color images on various substrates. But first, we want you to know how exactly the sublimation coating works. We’ve put together the complete process below to help you understand the importance of it and why when you purchase a hard coated mug from us you know that our craftsmanship is something we take pride in.
The Process of Sublimation Coating
Sublimation coating is the process of applying a translucent substance on your desired product before it can undergo the printing process. The process of sublimation coating is pretty simple. Each company has its own special formula that they use to coat their items. Here are two ways to coat a product.
- Use a sublimation spray coating machine to coat numerous products at once.Manually coat each item one at a time.You will need to decide whether you want an translucent or a white polyester paint coating on your item.The use of a translucent coating solution is considered better as it does not hinder the looks of your chosen products. For example, if you are looking to print something on white or even color like a t-shirt then consider a translucent solution. It will blend in with the actual color of the shirt or else it will look like a white primer coating on the fabric.
- The second step is to coat your product with the respective solution – making sure that the entire surface of the product is fully covered with the coating solution. The third and the final step in this process is to let the coating dry up completely. Always make sure that you sublimation blanks are completely dry and hard before printing on them, otherwise printing disasters can happen. Trust us, we know!!!
The Science of hard coating
Printing with sublimation only works on products coated with a polyurethane coating. Once coated, images can be imprinted by means of sublimation transfer. This coating can be applied to products such as ceramic mugs which is something we have perfected in our wheelhouse of sublimation products and services.
The coating is intended to provide a stable layer for fixing images to the surface of products like our mugs. This protects the image from erosion and abrasion during use such as washing and even the heat of microwaves. These coatings belong to the class of polymers comprising epoxies, acrylics, polyesters and polyurethane. What we have discovered is polyurethane dominant compositions mixed with epoxy resin and a blocked polyisocyanate provide the best image quality possible and prevents adhesion and fading from repeated dishwasher cycles.
What Makes Our Sublimation Coating Different Than Others
As we said before, we’ve been in the business along time. We’ve made plenty of mistakes which over time has taught as vast amount on best practices. We believe that what makes our patented sublimation coating different is that it is more durable than the generally used coating and also it allows the print to look, clearer, livelier and resilient to time. This means that products like our range of travel mugs and other personalized items tend to be more attractive and waterproof making them easier to use on a daily basis. It also means that a lifetime of washing them without having to pay special care towards them will not affect them. What we also love about our coating process is our technique unique in that our special coating holds the colors in its true self, hence showcasing the exact colors as in the transferable image.
The coating is intended to provide a stable layer for fixing images to the surface of products like our ceramic mugs. This protects the image from erosion and abrasion during use such as washing and even the heat of microwaves. These coatings belong to the class of polymers comprising epoxies, acrylics, polyesters and polyurethane. What we have discovered is polyurethane dominant compositions mixed with epoxy resin and a blocked polyisocyanate provide the best image quality possible and prevents adhesion and fading from repeated dishwasher cycles.