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Aluminium Finishes: sublimation.

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The aluminium finish by sublimation offers unlimited aesthetic opportunities with the guarantees and durability of the lacquer finish.


Sure you have heard about the aluminium “wood-effect” finish. Well, this type of finish is called sublimation or thermal printing. In this finish we use special inks that when we heat them they are transferred to the material and produce the same effect as wood grains, marble, granite and other different decorative effects.

Thanks to this process we can get any finish onto aluminium with all the guarantees of durability, maintenance and protection offered by lacquer finish, but without all the disadvantages of wood.  Isn`t it unbelievable? Furthermore, the process is very simple:

What does the process of sublimation consist in?

1. Powder coating.

The first step of the process is to treat the profiles and sheets with powder coating to give them a base of colour. This base of powder coating will have the right shade to imitate the desired type of wood or the colour of the finish by thermal printing. If you don’t know the powder coating process, we explain it here.

2. Bag packaging.

In this step we protect the profiles ends with a tape and we introduce the profiles in plastic bags. These bags have printed with special inks the wood grains or any other desired pattern.

3. Vacuum.

The air in the bags is extracted using nozzles in the ends of the bags, so the vacuum is created. Meanwhile, the profiles are checked to make sure the film is perfectly adjusted to the geometry of the element removing the trapped air.

4. Sublimation.

Then the profiles are introduced in an oven which is between 190 and 220º C. It is here where the sublimation effect on the aluminium takes place, the ink in the bag passes from a solid to a gaseous state. After a few minutes, the colouring is transferred to the profile.

5. Removal of the film.

Air is introduced in the bags containing the profiles so we can remove the film and cool them at the same time. Finally, relevant quality controls are carried out.

Extrual has more than 20 years of experience in this type of finishing. In addition, we have all the quality seals that ensure that our products are synonymous of trust. Therefore, if you want a product adapted to your needs, ask us.

Useful links.

AEA Video (here)

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