Sublimation on Aluminum: The Complete Guide

The process of sublimation on aluminum has become extremely popular, especially with the introduction of sublimation dye transfer kits.

If you are planning to try it out yourself, it can be daunting to find all the information that you need in one place.

That’s why I’ve created this complete guide to sublimation on aluminum, so that you have all of the information that you need in one place, and can get started with your own project!

What is Sublimation on Aluminum?

Sublimation is a process in which a solid (ice) changes directly into a gas (steam). Sublimation is what causes snowflakes to form, clouds to form and even rainbows. Sublimation happens when there is a large pressure differential – for example, when your freezer turns warm room air cold.

When you place an item that can sublimate onto aluminum foil, you are placing it on top of thin barrier between two extreme temperatures. This change in temperature causes your material to sublimate from its solid phase into its gaseous phase – thus changing ice crystals into steamy water vapor particles that eventually vanish leaving behind condensation or wet spots behind them.

Aluminium Sublimation Photo Panel

What is sublimation

Sublimation is a process of changing from a solid directly to a gas (like your breath changing from ice crystals to vapor), without going through an intermediate liquid phase. In other words, sublimating substances go straight from solid to gas and skip over liquid altogether.

Sublimating materials must be heated above their freezing point so that they can change directly into vapor. At that point, their particles gain kinetic energy, escape the forces holding them in place in their solid state, and break free into a gaseous form.

Types of sublimated products

  1. Sublimated T-Shirts 2. Sublimated Shorts 3. Sublimated Sweatshirts 4. Sublimated Vests 5. Sublimated Long Sleeve 6. Customized Jackets 7. Sublimated Bags 8. Screen Printing 9. Embroidery 10. Other Products

Advantages of sublimated products

  1. Sublimated products are 100% customizable and can be used for a wide range of applications, from apparel to promotional items, from mugs to mouse pads.
  2. Sublimated products are durable; they will not fade or crack over time.
  3. Sublimated products offer unlimited design options with no set-up fees or minimum quantities required for most designs (some exceptions apply).
  4. Sublimated products are eco-friendly and have a low carbon footprint, making them an environmentally friendly option for both business and personal use.
  5. Promotional sublimation items can be used as giveaways at tradeshows, conferences and conventions, making them a useful marketing tool that will be kept around long after your event is over. 6. Because they are not printed directly onto paper, sublimated products are not subject to variations in color due to changes in temperature and humidity; they also do not require special storage conditions to prevent warping or curling like printed materials do.

disadvantages of sublimated product

  1. Sublimated products have a shorter life span than printed ones, as sublimated inks are not as durable as regular inks and can fade over time or when exposed to heat or sunlight.
  2. Sublimated products cannot be customized with different colors or patterns, like printed ones can be (although some companies do offer multiple color options).

Common concerns about sublimation

Printing a sublimated image onto clothing can be a scary process, especially when you’re new to it. It seems like there are dozens of things that can go wrong and ruin your design forever, but with some education and good information you’ll have nothing to fear.

When you know what can happen (and how to fix it), printing and sublimating clothing is easy, effective, and fun! Here are some of our top questions we receive about sublimating clothing – read more below to learn more!

How long do you sublimate aluminum?

Since there are so many variables that go into sublimating aluminum, it can be difficult to give a simple answer to how long you should use each print. Using time as a gauge for when your piece is done is not always accurate.

However, it is important to make sure that you do not over expose your design because too much heat can damage or warp your piece. There are a few things you can watch out for while sublimating to ensure that you do not over expose your design.

For example, bubbles in the ink will appear if there is too much heat being transferred from your press bed and if these bubbles get too large they could start warping or damaging your piece as well.

Can I sublimate on Aluminum?

Sublimation is a process by which a solid material changes directly into gas. A well-known example of sublimation is dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) turning directly into gas without going through a liquid stage. Most metals are not suitable for such application as they do not change easily from solid to gas, especially at room temperature.

Aluminum is an exception. As far as I know, aluminum and its alloys are only materials which can be sublimated easily at room temperature and pressure. But there are conditions when even pure aluminum can be sublimated under vacuum conditions (still at room temperature). More details in later sections.

What temperature does aluminum sublimate?

The melting temperature of aluminum is 660°C (1,220°F), so it sublimes before it melts. It begins to sublime at approx 400°C (752°F). Typically between 446 and 526 °C, depending upon how quickly you ramp up or down in temperature.


Sublimation is an excellent way to personalize your phone. It’s far less invasive than having a case and your phone still looks clean, sleek, and professional. It also protects your screen from minor scratches which could lead to larger problems in a worst-case scenario.

As you can see, it doesn’t take too much effort to get started with sublimating your iPhone aluminum backplate. It’s certainly worth giving it a try if you want something unique and classy for your device.

Last Updated on October 24, 2022

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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is an editor and author for Printerchief, specializing in creating informative content on the topics of office printing and paper processing technology. When he is not working, he enjoys exploring the great outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, along with activities like hiking, cycling, fishing, and reading. Additionally, Andrew loves working on various projects for his home and garden to keep himself busy and continue learning new skills.


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