About Water Transfer Printing or "Hydrographics" is the dipping process of transferring patterns to multiple surface objects using water displacement. Any material that is hard surfaced and non-porous such as: metals, wood, glass, ceramics, fiberglass, and all types of plastic can be printed on to. There are hundreds of different patterns to chose from including: woods grain, camouflage, carbon fiber, snakeskin, or even hundred dollar bills.
Prep As with any coating process, preparation of the part is the key element to a quality finished product. The part needs to be cleaned, sanded, primed, then wet-sanded to be prepared for the next stage, which will be applying the base coat which is chosen to correspond with the appropriate pattern. Different color base coats control the shades of the patterns.
The pattern that you want comes pre-printed on a water-soluble vinyl film. The film is cut according to the size of the part to be dipped. Then it is laid on top of clean water in a specialized stainless steel or polyethylene tank made for water transfer printing. A chemical activator is sprayed which dissolves the film, leaving the printed pattern floating evenly on the water. Finally the part is ready to be dipped. The water being displaced by the object causes the pattern to efficiently wrap around the part and bonds the print to it no matter how complex the shape, creating a continuous finish.
The part is now removed and rinsed in a parts washer to remove any residue or contaminants. Then an automotive grade clear coat is applied to protect the pattern. The clear can be applied in a full gloss or matte finish. For the finishing touch, the part is wet sanded, buffed, polished, then packaged ready for pickup or delivery.
If you have any question please feel free to call. prices vary on orders.
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