Sublimation Success: Troubleshooting problems with photo panels

If you're having issues sublimating photo panels, consider these troubleshooting tips.

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If your image appears blotchy, striped or wavy, or colors are running into each other (watercolor effect) (Image 1), moisture is most likely the problem. ChromaLuxe panels hold a lot of moisture, especially large panels. Make sure all moisture sources are eliminated by pre-pressing all panels for at least half of their normal pressing time and using either polyester cloth or newsprint over the substrate. Sometimes there is moisture on the paper from the inks themselves. Drying the paper can be sped up by placing it inside the press, ensuring that the top and bottom platen are 4 to 5 inches apart and let the paper sit for 2 to 3 minutes (do not close the press).

If your image appears blown out, blurry and yellow (Image 2), this is due to over-pressing the image. Decrease the total pressing time by 15 seconds. You may have to test a few images and keep decreasing in intervals of 15 seconds until you get a perfect result.

If your image appears faded or grainy (Image 3), this is due to under-pressing the image. Increase the total pressing time by 15 seconds and keep increasing the 15-second interval until a perfect result is achieved.

If your image looks perfect (Image 4), but there is a random spot which didn’t sublimate, increase the pressure. Double check that your pressure is at least 60 psi.

If the substrate is warping (Image 5), moisture is a common problem. To best solve this, remove the substrate after pressing and place under pressure for 24 hours to allow it to regain its flatness. If you’re stacking two items together, place a protective sheet to avoid dye migration or image distortion.

– Kalina Mondzholovska, Coastal Business Supplies

Kalina Mondzholovska

Kalina Mondzholovska serves as the content marketing specialist, responsible for SEO content writing on the Coastal Business Supplies website, Help Center and blogs. In this role, she is also responsible for all of the in-house photography for banners and products. In her spare time, she is a freelance artist and photographer and enjoys rock climbing, biking, hiking and yoga. She can be reached at [email protected]

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