We know already about the sublimation process : read here
Our HD Metal Print are first print on transfer paper using Fine Art Inkjet pigments. With an heatpress, the transfer is then vaporized into a special coating on the aluminum. The materials form a permanent bond, making the print extremely robust.
Dibond is the trade name for a composite material that uses two thin aluminum plates joined by a thicker solid polyethylene joint. The Dibond panel, a few millimetres thick, therefore has the appearance and rigidity of aluminium without having the weight. In the vast majority of cases, reproduction on Dibond consists in gluing an RC (Resin Coated) type paper print on one of the two sides. Much less frequently, it is a direct thermal printing on a panel, which may or may not be covered with a layer of white substrate.
In the first case, the print run will have the same susceptibility to aggression and ageing characteristics as the paper run. In the second case, the printing techniques consist of a simple deposit of ink on the surface, without any particular protection. The adhesion of these inks remains very limited.
From the point of view of the colorimetric space reproduced, sublimation is equal to most silver or inkjet prints on glossy or superglossy papers. On the other hand, the fragility of the papers and their sensitivity to external aggression are naturally very high: fingerprints, tears and all kinds of products leave indelible marks. Humidity, temperature differences, light exposure and pollution also have a rapid and major influence on the brightness of reproductions on the most sophisticated papers.
The excellent color palette presented by these papers at the print output is reduced very quickly as soon as the images are exposed.
Under exposure conditions, paper prints cannot be sufficient on their own. They must be set under a bed-mat, framed and placed under glass. This not only significantly increases the cost of the work on display, but also introduces disruptive elements between the work and the eye.
Diasec is also a trademark describing a technique of laminating a paper print on a transparent methacrylate or plexiglass plate to protect the printed surface from UV rays and external aggression. In some cases, the back of the print is also laminated on a Dibond, for maximum rigidity and protection. While the paper prints used now have a lifespan of more than a hundred years, the same cannot be said for the thicknesses of glue and translucent material that are placed between the image and the eye and significantly degrade the image definition. They tend to yellow and tarnish when in contact with ambient air, and are chemically very sensitive. The use of alcoholic, acidic or solvent solutions is prohibited, otherwise cracks may appear in the protective layer.
Even more recent direct printing on rigid substrates cannot guarantee perfect and durable adhesion of the image to surfaces. UV printing, which can cover a large number of materials, does not allow colorimetry to be controlled, and is also very sensitive to friction and mechanical aggression of the substrates.