Alabama Patent of the Month – August 2023

Dye-sublimation printing has long been a popular method for imprinting designs onto various articles like t-shirts and sweaters. However, it has faced challenges when it comes to softer substances like low temperature plastics and plastic foams. These materials are unable to withstand the high temperatures and pressures required for proper dye diffusion, leading to unacceptable alterations in the substrate during the dye sublimation process.

Condé Systems Inc., experts in color printer and Sublimation supplies, have broken new ground with their revolutionary polymer coating. This coating is specifically designed to preserve the properties of low temperature plastics during dye sublimation, providing a faster and more efficient marking process for manufactured goods.

The composition of this coating consists of an optically clear synthetic organic polymer base, featuring two layers. The first layer, supported by the low temperature plastic substrate, contains infrared (IR) electromagnetic radiation reflecting additives. Meanwhile, the second layer, supported by the first, incorporates light-scattering particulate additives.

This innovative combination enables the diffusion of disperse dye ink into the light-scattering layer while protecting the low temperature plastic substrate from being altered by the application of IR radiation. The result? Vibrant and attractive images achieved with standard disperse dyes that are preferred by consumers.

Traditional low volatility disperse dyes have been unable to match the color saturation and quality that consumers expect. Condé Systems’ new polymer coating, however, allows for a faster and more efficient dye sublimation process on low temperature plastics, making it suitable for commercial manufacturing settings. 

With this revolutionary technology, manufacturers can now decorate and mark various articles made from low temperature plastics and plastic foams with ease. From polyester fabric to acetyl, polycarbonate, and nylon, no material is off-limits for this cutting-edge dye-sublimation printing process.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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