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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

hope some one can help me.

Just when I thought I sussed the mug sublimation, I am having problemsin pressing. I press my mugs at 200oc for 180 seconds. First few came out fine but now they seem to blemish and/or bold colours like black come up patchy and faded. On black, you can even see the trace of the heating elements from the mug press....

Anyone know why this is happening? Any help would be helpfull. Oh and before I forget, some parts seem to crumble of come off as if the coating is week, plus some blisters too. Not all mugs but a fare few.

Thanks
 

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I would say the issue could be not enough pressure. If you are trimming the paper and the issue is near the edge.Then the paper could be trimmed to close and this would cause the design to bleed. .... JB
 

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We are new to mugs ourselves but we were surprised how easy they were. Came out flawless from our first one. I'm not to brag, trust me, we are the dumbest in clumsiest in this group. My point is, if we (as dumb as we are can do it) then I am sure you can. So maybe it's not what you are doing wrong, maybe it's the quality of the ink you got or the sublimated mugs that you are using??
 

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Hi. First thing you need to do, is a nozzle check on your printer, to make sure all the nozzles are firing up ok. Sublimation inks can clog more often then regular inkjet inks.

The UK market is currently flooded with cheap sublimation mugs coming from China. Some are actually very good, but many have an indifferent quality, when it comes to the sublimation coating on the outside of the mug. Without a good receptive surface, you will strugggle to consistently get quality images onto your mugs. It is the coating on the mugs that 'draws in' the ink from the transfer paper and gives you the final result.

Edges crumbling are usually the result of damage in transit. Surfaces blistering would indicate a poor quality mug that has been incorrectly coated and with very little quality control taking place, once it has left the kiln. If you have more than one mug like this in the box, I'd avoid using your current supplier again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks DreamGlass, I guess it is the mug itself as on a couple of mugs I could scratch the surface off with my thumb nail. But the fading in the colour is mainly on bold colours like black on the background. It comes out like i coloured the mug in with a water colour paint.

I will take a picture and show what I mean. I have also started off really well in printing the mugs but they were mainly simple images with plenty of white background. Also the ink is from sawgrass with quality paper. However i will do a nozzle check but I am sure they are ok as the print comes out fine and there are no tale tale signs of streaks or lines on the image to indicate that they are clogged.

I will post an update soon.

Paulo
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is a picture of a couple of mugs that I made to test it out. as you can see they came out fine but then it all changed. I will put the bad ones up soon.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi,

Right I took a couple of bad images, Sorry from phone camers but you get the drift from the images.


This one shows the peeling, scraping.... it tends to peel of like wet transfer but also feels like it is taking a layer off the mug. It happened as soon as I peeled the paper off. Also, it shows the fading in the colour which if you look carefully you can see the outline of the heating elements.


This one shows the blisters. Is this because it is too hot, too tight or because of fingers touching the mug before pressing?


Sorry for the quality of the pictures. Thanks again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm gald you figured ot out . . ... JB
Lol I wish I had. Its a very simple step but now having some bad luck. Got a feeling its the mugs with a chance that the press isnt helping either. Will get there soon I hope.....
 

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I think the issue could be, you are getting some dust particles on the mug and it 's causing you some issues. You need to make sure you wipe of the mug an the transfer before attaching the transfer to the mug. I think what your calling blistering is dust particles not allowing the ink to permeate the substrate. The fading could be the the fact that the transfer isn't on the mug tight enough or it could be more dust issues. I will say this is a tough form of decoration and takes a lot pf patience and perseverance to master. Good luck. .... JB
 

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Hi. Your problems are down to one of three variables being wrong.

Insufficent pressure: Insufficient temperature: Defective mug coating.

As JB suggested, it is important to carefully wipe the mugs before attaching the transfer paper. The pressure adjustment can work loose, so you need to ensure that the mugs are firmly gripped and you cannot turn them when locked in the press. The ink is peeling off as it is simply resting on the surface of the mug, rather than being absorbed into the coating. Try adding another 20 seconds onto your timings and see if that has any effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will say this is a tough form of decoration and takes a lot pf patience and perseverance to master. Good luck. .... JB
I guess this is good in a way as i figure this out then all the others should come out well.

I always make it a rule to wipe the mug clean before applying the paper but it still comes out.

As for the fading, If I make it any tighter I get to see the elements clearly. I have used a teflon sheet too but it still comes out unless I am supposed to use a silicone sheet, if thats what you call it (thick jelly type sheet).

Simple mugs is no problem but these images are. I will try washing the mug first and dryi it with a lint free cloth and see if that makes any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi. Your problems are down to one of three variables being wrong.

Insufficent pressure: Insufficient temperature: Defective mug coating.

Try adding another 20 seconds onto your timings and see if that has any effect.
Hmmm, what pressure should I give? I make sure that the mug cannot move inside the press. I have given it a harder pressure but found that the heat elements show on the on the transfer. The temperature is around 200-220oc. Timing? I set it at 180 seconds/3 minutes but I heard that some say that they give it 210 seconds. I thought this would definately cause the images to blister but i guess its well worth a go. Wont lose anything but I am still worried about the pressure and the elements showing on the mug.

Thanks for all your help guys. Much appreciated.

Paulo
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi DG & COEDS,

I have taken your advice and hey presto it looks like it works. I tried it with a different dark image and it seems to be ok. Looks like I had a bit od dust on the mug or there again it could be a fingerprint.

My next load of mugs will be from another suppplier and i will order a sample as i now have 300 mugs to sell off.

Thanks for your help again Guys
 

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Hi DG & COEDS,

I have taken your advice and hey presto it looks like it works. I tried it with a different dark image and it seems to be ok. Looks like I had a bit od dust on the mug or there again it could be a fingerprint.

My next load of mugs will be from another suppplier and i will order a sample as i now have 300 mugs to sell off.

Thanks for your help again Guys
Paulo,

I am not sure if this is the problem, or, one of them, but there are different kinds of coatings on mugs...
By that, I mean there is cheap coatings, and good coatings, in other words, better made mugs all around.
The cheaper coating ones are not to be used, or at least I don't use 'em, and was told (here) to not bother with them as they won't last.
The hard coated ones (hard coat inkjet) last and last, I use 'em for my coffee and so does my wife,, they are dishwasher safe, and so far, none of the mugs I have made have any problems.
When you said that you can scrape the coating with your fingernail that made me think you have the softer coating, which ain't good.
The brand I use is Cactus, they are also from China, but they are top quality, they have different grades, and are supposedly hand-picked to get the most round shape, which is better.
(I don't know if they hand-pick every one, but I haven't had any that were misshapen at all)
I didn't buy my mugs at the above place, I bought them locally at TOG.

If you plan on buying 300 of 'em, I'd definitely check into a hard coated brand, that may not have been all of your problem, but it could explain some of 'em.

I hope this helps some.

Randy
 
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