Sawgrass Ink Earns Permanence Rating from Research Firm


Charleston, South Carolina-based sublimation ink company Sawgrass Technologies announces that its SubliJet-HD Pro Photo XF inks for the Virtuoso 25” 8-Color HD Product Decorating System have earned a print display permanence rating of 64 years from the independent research firm Wilhelm Imaging Research. The rating applies when the ink is used to imprint ChromaLuxe high-definition photo panels.

Wilhelm Imaging Research, referred to by Sawgrass as the world’s leading independent print permanence testing laboratory, conducted comprehensive, multi-factor print permanence tests under standard interior light conditions on ChromaLuxe high-definition photo panels imprinted with SubliJet-HD Pro Photo XF prints. The results found extended colorfastness and image permanence of 64 years and more than three times that of prints made on silver halide photo paper.

“Print display permanence is a top concern for those who imprint fine art and photographic images, as the quality and lifespan of the images are incredibly valuable to customers,” says Darcy Mauro, president of Sawgrass. “Because we know that light can have a significant impact on the longevity of a print, we developed SubliJet-HD Pro Photo XF inks to provide extended image quality for these applications when exposed to light.”

When displayed, unframed prints made with the latest generation of ChromaLuxe aluminum photo panels are far more stable and longer lasting than Kodak Endura or other current silver-halide papers, including silver-halide prints framed under UV-absorbing acrylic or glass or when face-mounted to UV-absorbing acrylic, according to a Sawgrass press release.

“Very complex interactions take place between sublimation inks and the ink receptive polymer coatings of dye sublimation prints, both during the short, high-heat image transfer step involved in making the prints and, very gradually over time, during the long-term display and storage of the prints,” says Henry Wilhelm, director of research at WIR. “What a print looks like when it emerges from the heat press tells you nothing at all about how long it will last. You can consider permanence—or the lack thereof—to be the invisible factor in sublimation printing.

“In terms of how long your prints will last, sublimation on metal photo panels is a new and rapidly advancing technology, and all aluminum photo panels—frequently referred to in the marketplace simply as ‘Metal Prints’—are by no means the same. If your lab is using untested products, both you and your customers are flying blind.”   

SubliJet-HD Pro Photo XF inks were developed by Sawgrass in partnership with ChromaLuxe. They are one of five ink sets designed for use with the Virtuoso 25” 8-Color HD Product Decorating System.

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