The Process
 Water Transfer Printing ~ Hydrographics


Hydrographics is a decoration technology that uses a specialized film printed with a range of natural and abstract patterns to decorate complex shaped plastics, metals and other materials.

 

The specialized film is floated on the water surface and transfer of the pattern is effected by the pressure of the water. With this method, even decoration of complex 3 dimensional shapes is possible.

 

Hydrographics technology can decorate plastic, metals and ceramic, audio-video products to automotive interiors, expressing high-quality woods and sharply defined lined-patterns.

Is Water Transfer Printing (Hydrographics) durable?

We like to let our product speak for itself. Some of our largest clientele are automobile and boat manufacturers who demand highest standards of quality and durability. Many parts we manufacture spend the majority of their lives in direct exposure, such as boat instrument panels. The clear coat we use is automotive grade, designed to withstand nature and time.



Want to see the Process in Action?

All Parts go through a Multi-Step Process to ensure a Show Quality Finish.

Please View our Videos to see some parts going through the process:

 


Sanding the Part to prepare for Epoxy Primer which bonds the part and makes a good starting surface. 
After the Epoxy Primer is cured, the Part is then sanded again and is sprayed with Sanding Primer to get rid of any remaining Imperfections. 
After the Sanding Primer is cured, the Part is then sanded again to get the Part ready for the Base Color.

Note: If there are still Imperfections, then the Sanding Primer step may be repeated several times to get rid of the Imperfections.



 


The Part is painted with a Base Color prior to the Dipping Step.



 


The film has already been placed on top of the water.
An Activator is being applied to the film which gets the film/water ready for the Part to be dipped.
The Film turns to a Oil-Like Status floating on top of the water.
The Part is then dipped into the film/water. (Upward pressure of the water causes the Ink to wrap around and adhere to the Part.

Note:The Part has to be inserted at the correct angle and speed to insure an even pattern.




 


The Part is now being sprayed with a Clear Coat.
This step is actually repeated 5 times so that the Part receive 5 coats of PPG UV Automotive Clear.
The final Clear Coat is then sanded and the Part is Buffed to a Show Winning Shine.



How Long Does it Take to Finish a Part?

The time for a Part to move through the entire Multi-Step Process can be affected by many factors such as Complexity and Condition of the Part and therefore is difficult to project an accurate timeline up front.

Also the Time can also be affected by a preceding part that loops through the Steps multiple times.

As a result of these factors, we ask that you please Allow a Minimum of 3 Weeks for a Part to be Completed.