Sublime growth for Queen’s Award firm

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Queen’s Award winner Diamond Dispersions is celebrating achieving record sales in November and December.

The Sheffield firm, which supplies key materials for making printing inks, says year on year sales have grown by 35 per cent.

Sue Wright, who co-founded the company in 2007 with Peter Callahan, said: “It’s taken a huge amount of hard work, time and investment to get to this stage but we believe we have developed the very best dye sublimation inks in the world.

“We’re working with even more OEMs and, after three years of building business in South America and the Far East, we’re experiencing particular growth from customers in Brazil and South Korea.”

Darnall-based Diamond Dispersions says its pigments are selling well, but the biggest growth has been for dye sublimations, and that is the area of the business that the company plans to continue expanding this year.

Diamond Dispersions started out making pigment dispersions – tiny particles of pigment suspended in water, which are used to make ink jet printer inks – and moved into supplying dyes, dye sublimations and UV sensitive inks.

While pigments aren’t soluble in water, dyes are. Dye sublimations are a half way house – a dye that doesn’t dissolve in water and turns straight from a solid into a gas when heated, allowing it to permeate fabrics, put permanent images on plastic products or be used for producing high quality photographic prints.

Dye sublimation is widely used on sports gear and, increasingly, for fashion products.

UV sensitive inks, meanwhile, offer the benefit of curing instantly, with no drying time, producing a water and weatherproof image that is ideal for hoardings and building wraps.

The company won a Queen’s Award for international trade last year after almost doubling overseas earnings during the previous three years.

More than 80 per cent of the company’s products are exported, with 60 per cent going to the Far East and 30 per cent to China.

The Darnall-based company has also established footholds in Brazil and the Ukraine.