Water transfer imaging, also called curve coating
printing, or hydrographics, is a way to transfer an image to a 3D surface. This overcomes problems faced by offset printing,
such as, the image not printing in hard to reach areas, or the higher expense of equipment. The water transfer imaging process
can be applied to the surface of materials such as metals, wood, plastic, stone, bakelite, ceramic, and many more!
Our Hydro-Dipping or Water Transfer Printing Process
is very durable! We use only the highest grade materials. After all items are printed they receive a clear coat finish in
either a high gloss, semi-gloss or matte finish. Master Decorators will help you determine which products will be best suited
for your items. Whether you need UV resistance, scratch resistance, or flammability
resistance, Hydrographics-uk has
the right products for you.
The Hydrographics Dipping Processwe use
a process called hydrographics to custom paint and decorate just about anything from hunting gear to car interiors
to home furnishings. Hydrographics (also referred to as Immersion, Water Transfer Printing, or Liquid Dipping) is the process
of applying decorative film to rigid and semi-rigid products including, but not limited to, plastic, wood and metal substrates.
Hydrographic finishing provides complete 360° coverage over corners and in the crevasses of the most difficult three dimensional
parts. The process typically includes the following 5 steps.
STEP 1: Part surface preparation –
The surface must be cleaned of all dirt, foreign materials, and surface oils. This is also the time to apply any additional
primers, such as our Adhesion Promoter, if you choose to do so.
STEP 2: Base coat application
- The base color will depend upon the film used. For example: a base color of brown will be required to produce a wood grain
image, silver to produce a metal image, and tan to produce the camouflage images. You must allow the base coat to dry before
applying the film.
STEP 3: Apply the decorative hydrographics film - The film is
placed on top of the water in the dipping tank. The film is then sprayed with an activator that is used to dissolve substrate
that holds ink. The part is then dipped through the floating, liquefied ink pattern. The surface tension of the water forces
the ink image onto the part.
STEP 4: The part is washed using clean water to remove
any residual ink and activator. The part then is allowed to dry in open air before finishing.
5: Finishing - A clear coat is applied to the finished piece then polish.