Why do I have duplicate images or text on my panels?
This issue is common, if you sublimate large metal sheets. We call this problem 'ghosting', and it is caused by the expansion of the metal. Follow below guidelines to solve this issue. Smaller panels will almost never show this kind of issues.
During the sublimation process, the aluminum panel will expand in all directions, and the paper will shrink in the opposite direction. This means that the panel will move during the sublimation process. The bigger the panel, the more expansion you have (expansion of 1 meter aluminum = 4mm). You will notice this ghosting problem mainly with black text on white backgrounds (for example if you produce signage boards).
To avoid this ghosting issue, we advise to :
- use a good sublimation paper: the Truepix Classic sublimation paper is a good choice to reduce the shrinking of the paper.
- use lower temperatures to sublimate: using less heat will reduce the expansion rate. We advise to use 175°C/345°F (you can download the low temperatures list here).
- pre-heat your paper and panels: pre-heat the panels before you start the sublimation process. In this way, the panel is able to expand, and the paper will shrink. We explained this pre-heating process in below guidelines.
- use heat tape: make sure the transfer paper is taped with heat tape to the panel. If not, the paper can be lifted up when your heat press opens.
- STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR PANEL AND YOUR HEAT PRESS
- turn on your heat press
- let it heat up to 175°C
- setup the correct sublimation time (download our 175°C/345°F time table)
- put now your ChromaLuxe panel on the top bed of the heat press
- attach the paper with heat tape to the blank panel
- add on top of everything a sheet of Endura fabric.