Heat transfer printing
This method of printing can be used for transferring a print onto fabric, paper, plastic and many others.
There are also a few ways to do heat transfer printing; by ink, through thermal printers and through heat presses.
Inks and Substrates
Heat transfer printing requires a specially formulated heat transfer printing ink. The ink is comprised of a sublimatable dye, fine powder graphite and a strong acid in a carried liquid. Suitable substrates for this process include paper, wood, plastic, natural cloth, synthetic cloth, carpet material, concrete, glass, steel, porcelain and ceramic.
Heat transfer printing involves the use of an inkjet or electrostatic printer. The image to be transferred is created via computer, which is attached to an inkjet or electrostatic printer. The printer's print head transfers the image by applying heat and pressure onto the ink ribbon and substrate
Heat Transfer Presses
There are two types of heat transfer presses--platen type transfer presses and rotary drum presses. Platen presses are often used for printing individual pieces whilst the rotary rum press is more suitable for printing numerous pieces of the same print. Basically, the transfer is made by pressing the carrier paper that houses the ink and image to the end substrate and applying heat.
Heat Transfer Applications
Heat transfer printing is used for multiple applications. Manufacturers use this method to create banners, signs and displays. It can also be used for ceramics, ski and snowboard designs, T-shirt and other apparel designs, among other applications. People can use heat transfer printing to apply images to countertops, flooring, mouse pads, bags and large format textiles.
One of the benefits of using the heat transfer printing method is the lack of liquid byproducts. The carrier paper is the only waste to be disposed of after the process. Also, it is ideal for short- or medium-run projects, so presses aren't running all the time.