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The technique of decoration with sublimate inks, otherwise known as transfer, allows to put on 3D objects drawings and graphics created in 2D. In this way you can get decorative effects impossible to realize directly on the object.
Requiring no investment and with a simple application, the transfer foil technique has developed rapidly in many areas: eyewear, jewelry, watches, sporting goods and many others. The last world approached is fashion, as transfer is fitting well in the sectors of furnishing and gift items.
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TRANSFER DECORATION SYSTEM
METHODOLOGY FOR A CORRECT TRANSFER ON METAL SURFACES
Put a lacquer on the surface and cook it: The transfer adheres to painted surfaces only. By changing the base it is possible to get many different effects: A classic and elegant style is obtained by applying the clear coating directly on a plated object (gold-plated or silver-plated or others) while a bright effect is due to the application of a pastel color (white, pink, yellow) under the clear coating. It is inadvisable to put only a pastel color or a dark color because after transfer the decoration will remain under the clear coating and using dark colors the transfer will disappear.
Apply the transfer sheet to the metal object: For a good transfer a perfect adherence between sheet and object is absolutely necessary. There are several application systems. The most used are the following:
• By hand: in this case the adherence is done by a good application made by the operator. The transfer takes places at high temperatures. 190°C is the most suitable temperature, but it is also possible to have lower temperatures for longer times. The minimum temperature is 140°C. A normal oven will be suitable to get the transfer. Cooking at 180°C the transfer will take few minutes (10-15 min), at 140° the time will be longer (near 1 hour).
• By hot press: in this case the transfer will be very fast (only 20 sec at 190°) and it is not necessary a work by hand, but it is possible to decorate only flat or near flat surfaces and only a part of the object.
• Vacuum system: suitable for big productions. It is necessary to use a special vacuum machine.
Let the object cool down and remove the transfer sheet: Now the decoration is on your metal object under the clear coating and its resistance depends just on the lacquer you use.
This decoration system has been successfully experimented also on plastic, glass, wood, pottery, leather etc. It is only necessary that all these materials resist at 140°C min.
The transfer system is achieving a bigger and bigger development many application fields like spectacle frames, jewelry, watches, sport articles and so on.
It is a very simple system to use and it is not expensive. Therefore it is now getting unreplaceable.
METHODOLOGY FOR A CORRECT TRANSFER ON PLASTIC SURFACES
For materials that can't resist at 140°C min as acetate it is not possible to get the transfer directly on the object. In this case the decoration is obtained as following:
Make the transfer using a hot press: the transfer must be made on a thin sheet of plastic (less than a mm) at 180° for few seconds (40-60 sec) with a special transfer sheet: there will be no deformation because the surface of the plastic sheet is flat.
Stick the thin sheet on a plastic thick sheet: the thickness depends to the object: to make a frame a sheet of several mm is used. For a good adherence between the two sheets a special glue must be used.
Cut the object from the plastic sheet with a pantograph