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What is Thermal Transfer?

Oct. 30, 2019

Thermal transfer is a new way to print patterns on a variety of materials, especially for making a small variety of personalized and custom-made products, as well as printing patterns containing full-color images or photos. The principle is that the digital pattern is printed on the special printing paper by the special transfer ink through the printer, and then the special transfer machine is used to accurately transfer the pattern to the surface of the product at high temperature and high pressure to complete the printing of the product.

Thermal transfer technology can also use a variety of different transfer materials to achieve different printing effects, the most important are film transfer and sublimation transfer.

Heat transferable goods

Not all products can be printed by thermal transfer, which involves factors such as heat resistance and smoothness of the product. Due to the continuous advancement of technology, products that have been developed using thermal transfer technology include: clothes, cloth bags, hats, pillows, sublimation ceramic mugs, tiles, watches, mouse pads, coasters, hanging calendars, medals, There are hundreds of kinds of goods such as pennants.

Textile transfer, common textile transfer technology is film transfer and sublimation transfer.

(1) Sublimation transfer: The technology is mainly applied to clothes with polyester on the surface, such as quick-sweat shirts and Physical comfort shirts, and the best in white clothes (printed position is white, but clothes Other parts can be other colors, such as colored sleeves. After the coloring of the colored clothes is digitally sublimated, the ink blends with the colored fibers, which makes the color of the pattern different from the original. It is not recommended.

(2) Film transfer: The technology is mainly used for clothes with extremely high cotton content. All kinds of colors can be transferred by film, but dark clothes should use special transfer paper for dark clothes with higher price. The glue is heavier and the quality is unstable.

Transfer of ceramic products

Ceramic products are sublimated and transferred to a product at a temperature of about 200 degrees Celsius. The color is sharp and the pattern is highly secure. However, the general mug cannot be directly transferred, and the pattern must be transferred after a special treatment of a coating.

Being able to achieve such strong market feedback is all expected, because the machine has the following advantages:

Printing is simple. With a heat transfer machine, you only need to prepare another ordinary computer. A machine operator can perform the printing operation completely independently, saving manpower and material resources, and the method is simple and ready.

The location is accurate. The problem of positional offset encountered by manual printing is avoided, since it is a one-time multi-color printing, and there is no problem of color registration. These advantages can also be combined very effectively with engraving and etching, printing beautiful images in the engraved areas, or performing precise etching after printing.

Picture printing. Traditional printing methods, such as silk screen printing, cannot make all color transitions according to the picture, so the effect of silk screen printing will have a clear color boundary. In the middle of the two colors, it is difficult to reflect the color transition according to the picture itself. However, many products require high-precision, high-complexity patterns such as printed trademarks and logos, and the application of gifts and handicrafts is more extensive. 

Thermal transfer is divided into two types: plane transfer and surface transfer. The plane transfer can only transfer the flat surface, while the surface transfer realizes the breakthrough of transfer, enabling any object to be printed.

If you want to give a friend a special gift, you can find us to custom sublimation mug.

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