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Environmental considerations

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As the global community turns its attention to environmentally friendly business practices, those printers who are trying to “go green” should be encouraged to learn that, as most available dye-sublimation inks are water based, they have the green advantage. “The same cannot be said for solvent dye sublimation,” says Mimaki’s Steve Urmano. “There are many discussions today about the UV process being green but that is after the ink is cured.”

Typically the lower the VOC release, the less solvent is going into the atmosphere.Ê“Water releasesÊthe least VOCs, with solvent releasing the most,” Bart Read of Moss Inc. says. Head cleaning solvents for solvent- and oil-based machines require more specialized handling than for water-based inks. Also, the transfer paper needs to be disposed of properly and it can be recycled.

“Out of all of our other printing methods, dye sub is the most eco-friendly,” says Steve Gazdag of KSK Visual Ingenuity. “From recycled fabrics to shipping massive fabric walls in small tubes instead of crates, fabric just makes environmental sense.”

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