The perfect solution for industrial sublimation printing with Ricoh G4/G5 Printing Heads
Benefit from the high productivity potential of large format digital printing with the Easy 3.3 Subly series of high performance water-based sublimation inks.
With the several years of experience and pioneer of sublimation printing ATPColor is leading the way in advanced in ink chemistry to enable digital sublimation printing on a truly industrial scale at the highest printing speed..
Easy 3.3 Subly series inks are tuned for Ricoh G4/G5 printing heads allowing optimum performance and quality across a range of applications including fashion, interior textiles, sportswear and flag & banner.
The inks are designed to give optimum performance in color, ink release and process efficiency, each being fundamental to maximize performance with:
• Simple, easy. fast dry printing process;
• Suitable for printing on sublimation paper or direct to textile;
• High transfer efficiency allowing use of low weight papers from 40grms up;
• Ease of use in the latest large format printers;
• Excellent application performance;
• High color intensity;
Easy 3.3 Subly inks series is suitable for printing onto transfer papers for application to polyester using most paper enabled large format water-based piezo printers. Easy 3.3 Subly series inks can be used for direct printing to many polyesters in addition to transfer printing
Easy 3.3 Subly series inks are tested on the most frequently used printers equipped with Ricoh G4/G5 print heads.
The suitability of the inks for individual systems and applications should be validated by the user. ATPColor is available to support such tests as required. For optimal printing, the relative humidity rate must be kept at 55% or higher and the ambient temperature should be around 20°C (70°F).
Easy 3.3 Subly series inks are designed for transfer to the substrate via any type of sublimation transfer paper or film.
It is possible to print directly on the textile and made the fixation on a separate calender.
Once printed, the transfer paper should be handled with care and the ink transferred to the fabric as soon as possible after printing.
To obtain a good color transfer and fixation, the printed substrate should be transferred at 200°C for at least 30s.
It is recommended to pay special care to the printer maintenance in order to ensure optimal running of the printer. The following operations are recommended in the unlikely event of missing jets:
• Regular check and cleaning of the wiper;
• Regular check that temperature and humidity are in the required range;
• Regular check and cleaning of the capping station;
If the inks dry in the nozzles, the normal cleaning procedure built into the printer should be applied. It is recommended to use the recommended cleaning solution for the ink set being used.
If you plan to let the printer in stand-by for more than one week, it is recommended to purge and clean the printer with flush and install a Parking Flush.
General Info on Textile and Sublimation Printing
1) Direct printing on fabric guarantees beyond any possible doubt better penetration of the ink/pigment in textile substrate so that printing on media like flag can achieve a high see-through effect, You are putting the ink directly on the substrate and you are not transferring it with sublimation;
2) Transfer paper is not needed for sublimation;
3) A single big calender can generally handle more plotters, Calenders of good quality can transfer at high speeds (depending on the time of contact, which is generally between 30 and 60 seconds) even 100 or 200 meters per hour. It is obvious that if you use plotter printing at 30 sqm/h a single calender can support 3 plotters allowing the investment in the calender to be shared across several plotters. This rule is valid only when using a plotter with “slow” print speeds, when printing to 70/80/100/200/300 sqm/h this speed is very close to that of the calender making this argument pretty useless;
1) Because we are no longer printing on paper, instead we are printing directly onto the fabric, it is necessary to use a plotter that has been designed and engineered to print directly on fabric. Because fabric does not have the same characteristics and dimensional stability as paper, a more advanced feeding system is necessary. Although you may find commercially available plotters that have had various systems added and modifications made to accomplish this, what is most important is being able to have precise control of advancement of the fabric. Without control of media feeding speeds, acceleration ramps, etc, the phenomenon of “banding” can occur on some or all media.
2) In most cases it is not possible to use a simple polyester because the ink will migrate on polyester fibers, so that it is necessary to use fabric that has been prepared for digital printing;
3) Depending on the printer engineering you could waste meters of fabric before you can start printing and meters wasted at the end of the printing, take this into consideration;
4) It is necessary to buy a press or a separate calender;
5) The print job is necessarily divided into two distinct phases, print and transfer with different expertise required;
6) You need additional space for the press or for the calender, those system are quite large especially when the format is 2,6mt or 3,2 mt;
7) Some Calenders require at least 60/120 minutes before being operational, others 60/120 minutes are require for cooling down, as a consequence you must have the calender (and the power consumption) on for all day even if you will not use it intensively;
8) The cost of a plotter designed for direct printing on fabric is greater than a plotter to print on paper, vinyl;
9) To protect the felt of the calender you should always use an additional sheet of very thin paper called "protective paper" to protect the felt in the calender from possible stains. Sometimes when the ink coverage is high or when using media with an open weave such as mesh flag, two protective sheets might be needed needed, one for the calender felt and one for the calender itself;
10)You have to dispose the protective paper after the process;
11) The replacement of the felt of the calender is complicated and very expensive.
Risks during the printing phase/fixation
1) When the fabric is rewound and the inks are not completely dry (and some printers do not have a dryer) the ink will stick or "migrate" from colored to white parts creating ghosting or replicas on the white parts. The phenomenon can be avoided by stopping the migration drying the media (and the inks) at a temperature of around 120°c only a few commercial systems provide for this possibility. This phenomenon may be more evident if the paper it is not immediately sublimated;
2) If the fabric feeding system is not carefully designed contact may occur between the head and the fabric or the advancement of the fabric is not consistent;
3) If the fabric feeding system is not specifically designed for the fabric but is a quick and easy modification of a paper feeding system, you can have a printout that has a length of 200cm, the same one printed after it will be 205cm and again the same it can be of 197cm, this happen when every step of the media is not constant and does not take into account the difficulties of the media;
4) Depending on the inks used it can be that you need to wash the output, in this
perspective it is very important NOT to use standard sublimation inks (the ones used in the “traditional process”) because those inks have a brownish carrier that will stay on the media surface and will be NOT fixed. When some water goes onto the media you will have black/brownish stain of ink. It will be a disaster when you have a colored area beside white ones. This will not happen if you will use inks dedicated to the direct printing because the carrier is transparent. IF you will have a colored stain it means that the fixation has not been good enough;