When removing the protective film from your panels, make sure you’re not using any hard or sharp tools that could possibly damage the surface or edges, and that you’re actually removing the film without digging into the sublimatable surface. You may be able to save an aluminum panel with a chipped edge by sanding the edge until it becomes smooth, which also prevents future chipping. Use 220-grit sandpaper and a sanding block (available at any general hardware store). Sand in one consistent direction along the edge, holding your sanding block at a 45-degree angle to the face of the aluminum in order to bevel the edge at a 45-degree angle.
If you experience chipping on small aluminum shapes (some keychains, keepsakes, etc.), you can lightly sand the edge before sublimating to prevent chipping. Sand in a different location than where your heat press is located to prevent dust that may cause other sublimation issues.
Allow your panel to completely cool off before removing the transfer paper. Handle hot aluminum panels with extra care, especially around the edges.
Never lean panels against the wall. When leaning against a wall, panels can develop a slight bow that will cause them to bow when they are displayed. We recommend storing larger panels on a flat surface before displaying them.
-Shira Allego, Unisub