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Tutorials & FAQs

Your questions. Our answers.

In this extraordinary time, which affects all of us, we would like to offer you the best possible service and being as close as possible. As it is currently impossible to support our customers and partners on site, we would like to use this digital channel. We want to help you optimizing your processes and worklflows with answering every questions you might have.

Below you will find tutorial videos of helpful hints and tricks how to use our papers as well as FAQs in written form for basic questions. All in all, everything you ever wanted to know about S-RACE dye sublimation papers and the secret behind it. 

If you don’t find an answer on your topic or your specific question – don't worry. Just ask your question here and we will be happy to answer it. Click on the button below and use our contact form. Georg Ullrich, our Application Technology Manager, will be happy to answer it – maybe even in one of his new tutorial videos. 

We are looking forward to your questions.

Thank you very much, goodbye and stay healthy.
Your Team S-RACE

Ask your questions here

Video Tutorials

Video 1

Suitable Substrates for Sublimation

Video 2

Generic ICC Profiles

Video 3

Printable side of S-RACE®

Video 4

Drying Time of S-RACE®

Video 5

How to test S-RACE®

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Our answers to your general questions

General FAQs

  • Which side of S-RACE® is the printable side?

    First of all, on our boxes of S-RACE cut sheets there is an information which says: "Please notice, the top side (yellowish side) is the printing side. Don't print on the brighter side!"

    So, if you open the box by removing the lid, the side facing up is the side to be printed. In case the paper is upside down in the box, we have two possibilities to find out the printable side:Hold a sheet of paper against the light - the printable side is completely matt (due to the microporous coating), while you can see a clear reflection of light on the rear (the rear side is not coated).

    A second way is to flip the first sheet, compare the colors of the paper, the yellowish side is the printing side.

    Please also notice, how the paper has to be placed in your printer.

  • What is a RIP software?

    A Raster Image Processor (RIP) is software that contains all the necessary modules to "translate" (rasterize) print files for output systems,
    such as large format printers (LFP). It includes modules for data management, ICC profiling, color and output control which can be summarized 
    within the so called print environment.

  • What is the Print Environment?

    The print environment is a full set of printer settings, which allows the operator to print out all files in the same way. It includes e.g. the settings speed, resolution of the printer and number of passes. Furthermore the calibration like linearization and ink limitations (per color channel and in total). Finally also the ICC color profile.

  • What is an ICC color profile?

    The ICC color profile displays a 3D-color space (L*a*b*) of a particular set of printer, ink and media combination which is implemented into the print environment.

  • How can I create my own print environment including ICC color profiles?

    Necessary is a color measurement device (spectrophotometer) and software for profile creation. The main steps to create a print environment are:

    • Linearization (The way printer controls the amount of ink)
    • Setting a total ink limitation
    • ICC profiling
  • Which temperatures and transfertimes are recommended?

    FOR SUBLIMATING ONTO HARD SUBSTRATES

    For dye sublimation transfer with S-RACE® on hard substrates testing is essential. For most applications we recommend a transfer temperature of ca. 190°C. Time and pressure depend on size, material and shape of the substrate. We recommend to follow the instructions given by the original substrate supplier.

    For photo panel applications from ChromaLuxe® or Unisub® please check the support portal: www.starttosublimate.com

     

    FOR SUBLIMATING ONTO TEXTILES

    Temperature
    For dye sublimation transfer with S-RACE® higher calendering temperatures are beneficial. For best results we recommend to use a transfer temperature of 205°C to 210 °C. Using this temperature will enhance the transfer quality e.g. optical densities and line sharpness.

    Transfer Time
    Sublimating with S-RACE® at 205°C to 210 °C only needs a transfer time of 25–40 sec. for optimal results.

    Depending on the thickness (grammage) of the paper and the application, transfertimes can vary. For detailed recommendation, please have a look at our Instructions for use.

  • Does S-RACE® not release all the ink / less ink during sublimation?
    <p>Does S-RACE® not release all the ink / less ink during sublimation?</p>
    • Why does it look like as if on S-RACE® paper there is more ink left after the sublimation process then on my former (swellable) sublimation paper?

    • Am I wasting, instead of saving ink?!

    • Is there really more ink left on the S-RACE® paper or is it just an optical phenomenon?!

    Tests in our analytical department and our application laboratories have shown us a contrary picture.

    (1) The microscope cross sections / sideviews created by our analytical department are showing S-RACE® and a swellable paper before and after sublimation.

    • Due to the S-RACE® microporous technology more ink penetrates the color-receiving layer and partly into the rawbase, which enables the ink to dry much faster and give you even better results, e.g. line sharpness.

    • On a paper with swellable technology the ink stays mostly on top, which causes a longer drytime and lower quality level.

    • However, residual ink is visible on both papers after the sublimation process. On S-RACE® paper optically remains more ink after the sublimation process, then on the swellable paper.

    (2) The graphs made by our application laboratories show linearization measurements of optical densities (OD) created with no restrictions or profiles (ink channel output 0 – 100 %) converted by a RIP software. On the left hand S-Race® from top to bottom with the process colors CMYK in comparison to competitor papers on the right hand.

    • As you clearly can see: Using S-RACE® sublimation paper enables you to reach higher optical densities or to reduce your ink consumption if the aim is to match your previous print result.

    • The reason for this is the papers behavior of receiving and releasing ink. This is related to the different technology of microporous and swellable color receiving layers.

    • To achieve these benefits we recommend at least a new linearization or even a new print environment. Please also have a look at our Instructions for use.

    Result: S-RACE® reaches equal or even higher values of optical density. Due to the microporous technology there is the optical phenomenon that more ink is left on S-RACE®.

     

  • Why is a norm climate within storage and printing rooms recommended for S-RACE®? 

    Paper is a natural product which mainly consists of natural fibres. It has a certain residual moisture in the fibres, which can continue to work, expand or contract depending on the external conditions. When talking about climates, we are testing materials under three different climatic conditions: 

    First: Low/Low which means 15° Celsius and 20% relative humidity.
    Second: Norm climate with 23° Celsius and 50% relative humidity.
    Third: High/High at 30° Celsius and 80% relative humidity. 

    But what does this mean and what effects can occur if you do not comply with this norm climate? 

    • Positive curl (to the top) e.g. during printing can cause the print head to rub against the paper or, in the worst case, hit the paper and a printer head crash can occur. 

    • Negative curl (to the reverse side) e.g in the transfer process with a flatbed heatpress can effect, that by closing the heatpress, the heating element hits the paper and bends it, which leads to scrap. 

    Due to this normal paper behavior, we recommend that the material is only stored in its original packaging and processed under normal climatic conditions (23°C, 50 % RH). 

  • What influence does a change of substrate have?

    The following points affect the result:

    • Surface structure
    • opacity
    • white point
    • reaction time
    • tendency to yellowing
    • shrinkage of textiles
    • expansion of metal plates

    These points must be considered when creating the printing environment.

  • Why is a fast-drying sublimation paper beneficial?
    • As the speeds of sublimation printers continue to increase in the market, it is even more important that the paper has the ability to dry quickly, even without additional heating elements.
    • The classic swellable ink-receiving layer shows slower drying compared to a microporous ink-receiving layer (S-RACE®), which dries much faster.
    • With a fast-drying sublimation paper you have the possibility to increase your productivity and you can save energy costs by lowering the temperature of the heating units or even turning them off.
  • How can I prevent the paper from curling?
    • By determining the maximum total ink coverage.
    • Storage and production in norm climate (23°C / 50% rel. humidity)
    • Optimal adjustment of the tension in the printer.
  • Which grammages are available and what do the differences mean?

    Depending on the application there are different requirements for the paper:

    • Fashion / Homedécor:
      • Common grammages: 40 - 60 gsm
      • Machine type: Industrial
      • Ink quantity: Low
      • Special requirement: Maximum running meters per roll

    • Sportswear / Signage / Universal applications:
      • Common grammages: 65 - 100 gsm
      • Machine type: LFP / Industrial
      • Ink quantity: High
      • Special requirement: Thermal adhesive papers for elastic textiles

    • Hard substrates / Merchandise:
      • Common grammages: ~120 gsm
      • Machine type: LFP/desktop printers
      • Special requirement: Cut sheet / Optimal handling performance
  • Sublimation with fluorescent inks
    • What is different from other colours?
      • These colours are used as special colours (spot colours). Unlike all other inks, they are ONLY linearized, but cannot and will not be included in the ICC profile.

    • How can the colors be handled?
      • The print data must be created as spot color, then this spot color is replaced by the fluorescent ink in the RIP software with a color replacement.

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