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Publication numberUS20040143914 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/351,889
Publication dateJul 29, 2004
Filing dateJan 27, 2003
Priority dateJan 27, 2003
Also published asCA2456394A1, EP1440812A2, EP1440812A3
Publication number10351889, 351889, US 2004/0143914 A1, US 2004/143914 A1, US 20040143914 A1, US 20040143914A1, US 2004143914 A1, US 2004143914A1, US-A1-20040143914, US-A1-2004143914, US2004/0143914A1, US2004/143914A1, US20040143914 A1, US20040143914A1, US2004143914 A1, US2004143914A1
InventorsRobert Flaherty
Original AssigneeFlaherty Robert C.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and laminate for applying dye sublimated ink decoration to a surface
US 20040143914 A1
Abstract
A method for printing a dye sublimation ink decoration on a surface of a type which is generally incompatible with dye sublimation direct image transfer. The method includes the steps of applying a coating receptive to dye sublimation ink printing to one surface of a release sheet. Applying an adhesive to the exposed surface of the coating. Removing the release sheet from the coating and printing a decoration on the coating using a sublimation heat transfer printing process. Positioning the adhesive against the surface which is to receive the direct image transfer to adhere and support the coating and the release sheet on the surface. In a further embodiment of the invention, a bonding enhancing layer is applied to the dye sublimation ink printing receptive coating, an embossable polyester layer is applied to the bonding enhancing layer, a hologram is applied to the embossable polyester layer and a high refractive index layer is applied to the hologram embossable layer all before the adhesive is positioned against the direct image receiving surface and is adhered thereto.
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Claims(7)
1. A laminate for facilitating sublimation dye printing on surfaces which are normally not adaptable to such printing, said laminate including:
a release sheet,
a coating receptive to dye sublimated ink printing applied to one surface of said release sheet, and
an adhesive applied to said coating on its surface opposite to said release sheet.
2. A method for applying a dye sublimation ink decoration to a surface of a type which is generally incompatible with dye sublimation direct image transfer,
said method including the steps of:
applying a coating receptive to dye sublimation ink printing on one surface of a release sheet,
applying an adhesive to a surface of said coating opposite to said one surface of said release sheet,
removing said release sheet from said coating,
printing a decoration on said coating using a sublimation heat transfer printing process, and
positioning said adhesive against said generally incompatible surface to adhere and support said coating and said release sheet on said surface.
3. The method of claim 2 further including the step of:
applying a bonding enhancing coating to said dye sublimation ink printing receptive coating before applying said adhesive.
4. The method of claim 2 further including the steps of:
applying a bonding enhancing coating to said dye sublimation ink printing receptive coating,
applying an embossable polyester coating to said bonding enhancing coating,
applying a hologram to said embossable polyester coating,
applying a high refractive index coating to said hologram embossable polyester coating,
all before applying said adhesive.
5. A laminate including:
a layer of a dye sublimation ink printing receptive material,
a bonding enhancing layer applied to such dye sublimation ink printing receptive layer,
an embossable polyester layer applied to said bonding enhancing layer,
a hologram applied to said embossable polyester layer,
a high refractive index layer applied to said hologram embossable polyester layer, and
an adhesive applied to said high refractive index layer.
6. The laminate of claim 5 further including a substrate laminated to said adhesive.
7. The laminate of claim 6 further including a dye sublimated ink data applied to said dye sublimation ink printing receptive layer.
Description
    BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention is directed to a method of attaching a dye sublimated ink decoration to a surface of the type which is generally incompatible with dye sublimation direct image transfer and a laminate for use in practicing the method. Sublimation transfer processes have been found to be particularly useful in printing full color reproductions onto polyester fabrics. Other materials, especially plastics, with the exception of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are not well suited to dye sublimation ink transfer. Davis, U.S. Pat. No. 4,395,263 teaches a process for the heat transfer of sublimable dyestuffs to various organic and inorganic surfaces, but the process requires treatment of the surface receiving the dye transfer with a thermosetable binder layer followed by curing to form a thermoset, heat resistant laminate. Poole, U.S. Pat. No. 5,962,368 teaches the decoration of objects using heat shrink film as a transfer sheet for sublimation imprinting on an object. The sublimation ink is first imprinted onto a heat shrink film. The object is then enveloped in the heat shrink film and the film is heated to shrink over the object to be decorated.
  • [0002]
    This invention is directed to a method for applying a dye sublimation ink decoration, which may be text, images or a combination thereof, to surfaces which are normally not compatible to receive such decorations absence special treatment of the surfaces. The invention is also directed to a laminate to be used in the practice of the method.
  • [0003]
    An object of this invention is a laminate which can be adhered to a smooth, flat surface of almost any material and has a surface which is receptive to dye sublimation direct image transfer.
  • [0004]
    Another object of this invention is a laminate which can be adhered to a smooth, flat surface of a material which laminate incorporates a frangible hologram embedded therein and has a surface which is receptive to dye sublimation direct image transfer.
  • [0005]
    An additional object of this invention is a method of using a laminate having a surface which is receptive to a dye sublimation direct image transfer by printing on the surface of the laminate using a sublimation heat transfer printing process and then adhering the laminate to the incompatible surface.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0006]
    The invention is illustrated more or less diagrammatically in the following drawings wherein:
  • [0007]
    [0007]FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view through a first embodiment of a laminate of this invention with the thickness of the layers of the laminate greatly exaggerated for clarity of illustration;
  • [0008]
    [0008]FIG. 2 is an illustration of a step in a first embodiment of a method of this invention utilizing a laminate of the type shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 3 is an illustration of a subsequent step in a first embodiment of a method of this invention showing a printer applying a decorative surface to a laminate of the type shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional illustration showing a hologram being applied to a second embodiment of a laminate of this invention;
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken through a second embodiment of a laminate of this invention with the thickness of the layers of the laminate greatly exaggerated for clarity of illustration; and
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 6 is an illustration of another step in a second embodiment of a method of this invention showing a printer applying a decorative surface to a laminate of the type shown in FIG. 5.
  • DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION
  • [0013]
    A first embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings. The layers of the laminates are shown in cross-sections with their thicknesses greatly exaggerated for clarity of illustration. In the first step of this embodiment of the invention, a dye sublimation acceptance layer 11 is applied to one side of a release sheet 13 by a gravure press. Dye sublimation acceptance materials are well-known in the art and various types are listed in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,962,368. Many commercially available dye sublimation acceptance coatings would be acceptable in this application. These commercial coatings consist of vinyl components (vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate, vinyl ester) dissolved in solvent such as methyl ethyl ketone or toluene. Additional components may be added to inhibit evaporation or to change the viscosity at the coating equipment.
  • [0014]
    A primer layer 15 is applied to the opposite or exposed side of the dye sublimation acceptance layer 11. The primer layer is used to improve the adherence of a layer of adhesive 17 which is applied to the opposite or exposed side of the dye sublimation acceptance layer 11. The adhesive 17 is preferably a heat sensitive polyolefin or extrudable polyester. Suitable primers include any commercially available primers distributed by ADM-Tronics (Polaqua brand-name) or Mica Corporation (such as A-131X) or similar product. Any other materials that could be used as primers to enhance adhesion would work for this layer. Included in this list are dissolved polyester components, dissolved styrene components, dissolved vinyl components, and many others. The laminate as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings can be sold as a commercial product to those who wish to apply a dye sublimation acceptance layer to surfaces of materials, especially materials that are not receptive to dye sublimation acceptance printing without the prior treatment of the surface of the material. The use of this laminate does not require heat treatment of a transfer film containing a sublimation ink decoration.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 2 of the drawings shows the step of adhering of the composite laminate of FIG. 1 to a substrate 21. The substrate 21 may be made of almost any material, but in this illustrative example is a laminate of the type used in credit cards, ATM cards, driver's licenses, and other forms of identification. A conventional substrate used for such purposes is formed of an outer film of a hard, tough, abrasion resistant, biaxially oriented thermoset polyester resin. The inner layer of the conventional substrate 21 is a polyester resin, usually a polyethylene terephthalete. A layer of a thermoplastic adhesive resin is located between the inner and outer layers of the substrate 21. The invention is not limited to the use of this particular substrate, but is merely an example of a surface to which it is difficult to directly apply an ink sublimation decoration. Other substrates to which the composite laminate of FIG. 1 have been adhered include talc-filled polypropylene, synthetic paper, high impact polystyrene, wood, high pressure laminated sheets of melamine and phenolic plastics, aluminum and paper.
  • [0016]
    The adhesive layer 17 of the composite laminate of FIG. 1 is positioned against the substrate 21 and the substrate and the composite laminate are processed by a commercial laminator 23 which engages a surface of the release sheet 13 as shown in FIG. 2.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 3 of the drawings shows the application of a sublimation ink decoration 25 to the dye sublimation acceptance layer 11 by a printer 27. The printing may be accomplished through the use of any conventional heat transfer printing process.
  • [0018]
    A second embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 of the drawings. In the second embodiment of the invention, a dye sublimation acceptance layer 11 is laminated to a release sheet 13 and a primer layer 15 is applied to the opposite side of the dye sublimation acceptance layer. An embossable layer 31 is next applied to the primer layer 15 and a hologram 33 is applied to the embossable layer 31. The embossable layer 31 is a soft polyester PETG which is amorphous, not crystalline. A high index of refraction (HRI) layer 35 is applied over the embossable layer 33 as shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings. The HRI layer increases the index of refraction of the hologram in the embossable layer 33. A suitable material for use as the HRI layer is indium tin oxide (ITO) or zinc sulfate.
  • [0019]
    An adhesive layer 17 is applied to the opposite side of the HRI layer 35 as shown in FIG. 5 of the drawings. This adhesive is of the type previously described for use with the first embodiment of the invention.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 6 illustrates the composite laminate after the adhesive layer 17 has been adhered to a conventional substrate 21 of the type previously described. FIG. 6 also shows the application of a sublimation ink decoration 25 to the dye sublimation acceptance layer 11 by a printer 27. The printing may be accomplished by any conventional heat transfer printing process.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7763190Apr 6, 2006Jul 27, 2010Transilwrap Company, Inc.Low-cost tough decorative printable film products having holographic-type images
US8323777Jun 18, 2010Dec 4, 2012Transilwrap Company, Inc.Low-cost tough decorative printable film products having holographic-type images
US8668979Oct 23, 2012Mar 11, 2014Transilwrap Company, Inc.Low-cost tough decorative printable film products having holographic-type images
US9120326Jul 25, 2013Sep 1, 2015The Hillman Group, Inc.Automatic sublimated product customization system and process
US9333788Jul 25, 2013May 10, 2016The Hillman Group, Inc.Integrated sublimation transfer printing apparatus
US9403394Apr 24, 2014Aug 2, 2016The Hillman Group, Inc.Modular sublimation transfer printing apparatus
US9446599Jul 31, 2015Sep 20, 2016The Hillman Group, Inc.Automatic sublimated product customization system and process
US9545808Jun 30, 2016Jan 17, 2017The Hillman Group, Inc.Modular sublimation printing apparatus
US9731534Jul 25, 2013Aug 15, 2017The Hillman Group, Inc.Automated simultaneous multiple article sublimation printing process and apparatus
US20060226563 *Apr 6, 2006Oct 12, 2006Albert Timothy WLow-cost tough decorative printable film products having holographic-type images
US20100266935 *Jun 18, 2010Oct 21, 2010Transilwrap Company, Inc.Low-cost tough decorative printable film products having holographic-type images
Classifications
U.S. Classification8/512
International ClassificationB41M5/035, B41M5/40, B32B27/36
Cooperative ClassificationB41M5/035, B32B27/36, B41M5/40
European ClassificationB41M5/40, B32B27/36, B41M5/035
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 27, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: TRANSILWRAP COMPANY, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FLAHERTY, ROBERT C.;REEL/FRAME:013716/0892
Effective date: 20030123