Hydrographics Facts

Before water transfer printing (WTP) is done, the target object must be treated properly. Pre-treatment is a process where the appropriate primer and base coating are applied to the object. The use of quality materials and equipment is integral to this process. By getting this step right, the durability and adherence of the printed design is preserved for many years. So, make sure that the final protective coat is applied properly and that you invest in the right branded products to get the desired results.

Temperature resistant:

The versatility of hydrographics is evident in its use across a variety of industries. A reason for this is that WTP patterns are immune to climate changes. You don’t have to worry about your guitar, hubcap, light switch, laptop case or athletic equipment losing its color or sheen.

Here’s just how heat and cold resistant hydrographics is:

(1) Water transfer printing images withstand very high temperatures of up to +300ºC and very low temperatures, by which we mean snowy driveways and ice environments. This is why the technique is so extensively employed to manufacture outdoor products. From boats and motorcycles to guns and military equipment, hydrographics encompasses uncountable 3 dimensional objects that weather harsh weather on a daily basis. Hence, the military and aviation sectors extract maximum advantage from this technique to benefit from lasting durability and performance.

(2) Home décor products with WTP patterns are shielded from outside elements. But change of season does expose them to hotter, cooler or more humid environs. Their appearance is not affected in any way by mild temperature changes.

(3) Hydrographic films are developed to protect against ultraviolet rays of the sun. They contain specific chemical components that deliver high levels of UV protection to enhance the look and life of products. In the context of automobile applications of water transfer printing, cars and bikes exposed to sunlight for a significant part of the day do not suffer in any way regardless of whether it is the hot engine cover sporting amazing patterns or the multi-colored WTP printed wheels.

Excellent adhesive quality :

Will the patterns stick and stay? Yes, they will, maybe even forever. The adhesive quality extends to all types of material and every type of object on which hydrographics works. Here’s a brief description of how adhesiveness is retained.

First, the ink from the hydrographic film is activated to convert into liquid ink. It is then transferred onto the surface of the objects undergoing Water Transfer Printing. This triggers a chemical reaction between the surface and the ink. The chemical compounds in the ink promote effective binding between the two surfaces. In other words, adhesion starts increasing.

The adhesion keeps increasing even after the dipped piece is rinsed at a certain temperature to remove the residual. At the time, the piece is drying out after the rinse, which prompts the ink durability to start increasing.

The clear coat is an important part of the process. It ensures firmness, resistance to scratches and longevity. It also adds minimal surface thickness to the printed object, which is critical to its overall look and feel.

All printed pieces with water transfer printing/hydrographics process can be reprinted. All you have to do is just sand the surface of the piece to make it smooth and clean, and repeat the process.

Check out our Scratch durability test on some Airsoft accessories (A Matte clearcoat was applied to all the pieces)

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