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Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation is a printing technology that renders high resolution images on to the surfaces of duplicated or pre-recorded CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays by using thermal and electrostatic application to stamp ink onto the disc’s surface. This printing method is also known as a type of thermal re-transfer.

In order for discs to receive proper use of dye sublimation, they must be manufactured with a thermal coating that can withstand the high temperature and pressure of the print head. Both at-home consumer disc printers and professional media duplication services employ dye sublimation in their printing process.

Dye sublimation uses five colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white) to reproduce CD, DVD and Blu-ray images with sharp photographic quality at up to 600 by 600 dots per inch (dpi). The surface of these printed CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays also resembles a photograph with a glossy finish.

The course of action for dye sublimation begins with a reverse image of the actual disc print being copied to a digital file and printed on a layer of clear transfer film. The transfer film is naturally charged with negative particles and is drawn through a tub of positively charged ink that recreates the file’s developed reverse image.


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