Water transfer printing, also known as Hydrographics or Immersion printing,
allows to apply, by dipping, onto the surface of an object, pre-printed patterns, provided as PVA inked film sheets.
The technique is simple and the results are quite impressive, in terms of quality and decorative imitation (wood, fibers, camouflage, skins...)
The process is well known to all, as it has been used for many years to create for example the wood paneling elements for dashboards.
Water Transfer Printing is applicable to all types of materials (from wood to glass), as long as the surface has been properly primed and/or prepared (cleaning, sanding, application of a primer )
Once the object has been decorated and top coated, it’s highly resistant and durable.
Please watch the videos on this page
The first stage consists of degreasing, dusting, drying and sanding the object to create a good adherence.
In which cases should an adequate primer be applied to ensure perfect adherence ?
> On bare metals, plastic, glass and ceramics
A filler primer, that will need sanding, can be used on rough and irregular materials, such as wood.
Find all the primers in the section
Depending on the transfer printing film used,
you can choose a primer or a paint (1K basecoat) which colour is close to the colour of the film for semi opaque films
or a black background for transparent films :
Examples : Black colour for carbon fiber (transparent film)
Choose a light color for the snake skin effect
The background must be sanded finely, be dry and free of any potential contamination (silicones, grease).
STEP BY STEP GUIDE :
HOW TO PLACE THE PRINTED FILM
Choose a dipping tank which is adapted to the size of the piece you want to soak in (deep enough, not too wide), and fill it with water at a constant temperature of 12 to 19°C.
Cut a piece of water transfer printing film, and apply masking adhesive tape all along these edges. The edges are taped to prevent any movements caused during the spraying of the activator chemical.
Carefully lay the film onto the water surface, facing downwards. Avoid air bubbles. Allow to stand for 1 to 2 minutes.
Apply a quick coat of film activator with a sprayer or a spray gun, at a distance of 20 cm.
Leave on for 5 seconds before to lower the object to decorate into the tank.
(Please respect the safety instructions when applying the product)
Lower slowly the piece into the dipping tank, with an inclination of 30 to 45 °, and with a progressive forward movement.
Once the object is fully immersed, disperse what remains of the film on the surface of the water, before to remove the piece from the water
Give the piece a long and thorough wash/rinse with hot water (around 50 to 60°C), to remove all ink residues that may be found on the surface of the piece
For very resistant materials such as metal, hot water may be used at temperatures up to 150°C.
DRYING AND TOPCOATING
Allow to dry thoroughly at room temperature or in an oven,
then a clear coat is applied to protect the design and give a beautiful glossy finish.
We recommend our automotive type UHS BS830 top coat, as it is among the strongest and brightest clear coats.
The transfer film should be stored in a cool, dry place
We can provide almost a thousand different various patterns. Ask anytime for our catalogue. Minimum Order : 100 or 250 sqm.
100m² = 500 € 250m²=1000 € (HT)
Additional Tips & Advice:
How to know the right side for film application? Simply run your wet finger across the surface, if it sticks, it's the right side facing down the water.
Do not put too much activator (1 pass is enough) and do not exceed the 15 seconds time of action.
After dipping the item in the water, hold it underwater for 5-10 seconds
Allow to dry for at least 1 minutes before to rinse:
Rinse thoroughly, until the oily layer disappears.
It is strongly advised to apply to our 2K Special Base for dipping all Cel-Dip substrates without sanding within 12 pm
Information for Carbon Films:
The 3 Hydrographic "Carbon" films have different pattern sizes:
GW12010 Opaque Carbon 1m: 5mm
GH112-1 Transparent Carbon 0.5m: 3mm
TSTR9031 Clear Carbon 1m: 4mm
Film patterns/Background colour Matching
Some films are opaque, others are transparent
Carbon GW12010: White background or Light background
Carbon GH112-1Trans: Black background
Snake GW2630: TAll lights Backgrounds, even pearls or metallics backgrouds
Snake Gold GM1208: White background or Light background
Bubbles GH158: All backgrounds except Black
Flame Skull GWR-006: White background
Wood GW2251: Brown background
Forest GW12526: White background
Dollar GH160 : White background
Marble GH006 : Light background
Mini Skull GWA147 : All lights Backgrounds, even pearls or metallics backgrouds
Puma GW12746 : White background or Light background
Zebra GW12484 : All backgrounds except Black
TSCF5084 LIGHTNINGS - Light background
TSCY197 ANTIC MAO - Light background
TSCY720 4DIMENSION - White background
TSCY884 WEAPONS - White background
TSCY1012 3DIMENSION - White background
TSDY1971 RED MARBLE - Light background
TSHQ003 INDIAN GRAPHICS2 - Light background
TSHW9036 INDIAN GRAPHICS3 - Light background
TSHY678 INDIAN GRAPHICS4 - Light background
TSKH121 MINISKULLS 2 - Light background
TSKH3015 CALIFORNICATION - Light background
TSKK923 MEXICAN STYLE2 - White background
TSKK9088 TRUE FIRE - Light background
TSKR9009 CASINO 2 - Light background
TSKR9010 DARK SKULL - White background
TSMX433 GANJA 2 - Light background
TSPM061 DARK SNAKE - Light background
TSNY 3002 HOLOGRAPHIC LASER - Black Background Recommended