|A leopard-print, dye sublimated, aluminum top rail|
As wild as it sounds, this pattern and many others are easy to achieve thanks to a finishing technique called "dye sublimation".
Dye sublimation is a coating process that transfers printed, high-resolution images or wood grain designs to metals such as aluminum and steel, using heat and pressure. This process allows inks to be permanently embedded, resulting in the display of an eye-catching image on the final product.
Some popular metal products that typically undergo this finishing process are aluminum railings, window frames, appliances, patio furniture, bathroom fixtures and doors.
The Dye Sublimation Process:
1. The metal is cleaned to be sure there is no dirt or oil present.
2. A base powder coat is applied to the metal in a light color.
3. The non-porous sublimation film transfer is wrapped around the metal.
4. Air is removed; heat and pressure are applied to create a perfect print.
5. The film is removed once cooled.