Dye Transfer Sublimated to Aluminum
Sublimation onto metal is a new, cutting edge, way to transfer the dye of an image, but has been used in the textile industry for decades. Sublimation itself is the process of going from a solid to a gas, back to a solid---skipping the liquid state. The image is first printed onto a transfer paper and then is adhered to pretreated aluminum.
The aluminum and transfer paper are placed into a custom heat press, which is heated to temperatures exceeding 380 degrees Fahrenheit. While being subjected to extreme heat and pressure, the dyes from the transfer paper turn into a gas, are pressed into the surface of the metal, and then solidify into the treated aluminum. As the dyes cool they are permanently infused beneath the surface of the metal substrate.