How are dye Sub Mugs Coated?

by Peter Sanders

How are dye Sub Mugs Coated?

To use the dye sublimation process on mugs a coating must be applied to the outer surface of the mug, we take a look how promotional due sub mugs are coated ready for us to decorate your branded mugs.

In previous blog posts we have discussed how promotional mugs are made and decorated. At Prince William Pottery, we use a process called dye sublimation and this process requires a mug to have a specialised coating on it. But not many know about what this coating is and the application process of the coating. We want to shine a light on this part of the production process to help you understand the whole production process of your promotional mugs.

Mugs used for dye sublimation are exactly the same as mugs used for screen printing. However, they do go through a further production process to apply a coating.

The first step of the production process is to wash the mugs, this is a vital step in the process as it removes any grease, dust or any other contaminants any of which can compromise the adhesion of the coating to the mug. If this step is missed out the coating will not adhere to the mug and will not be hard wearing.

The mugs then have a polymeric coating applied. There are many sources of polymeric coating which may comprise or consist of polyurethane, an epoxy resin, a polyester and an acrylic mixture. The coating can be clear, colourless or translucent. But many manufacturers use a white coating this is why dye sublimation mugs can look a lot whiter than ordinary screen printed mugs. An example of a coating that can be used is Ceraglaze S1475 produced by Neogene paints. This coating has a wide range of uses on many ceramic articles ther than for the dye sublimation process.

The coating is applied either by a High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spray application or they can be hand dipped in the coating. The coated mugs are then cured for 8-14 minutes at a temperature ranging from 200-230C. The mugs are then quality checked and separated into different grade qualities for various markets around the world.

The adhesion to the mug and the coating itself are key components in the quality of dye sublimation mugs. At Prince William Pottery, we strive to offer the best quality promotional mugs at the best prices.

However, there are many claims within the market of how many dishwasher cycles a mug can go through. But there can be many caveats to these figures. How long is a dishwasher cycle? What temperature, detergent and type of dishwasher is used (commercial or domestic) and finally is hard or soft water used? So, be careful when comparing different dye sub mugs, and question are they using the same test simulations?

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