How To Hydro Dipping: The Complete Transfer Printing Process


Hydro Dipping Process

Hydro Dipping Step 1: The Surface Cleaning for Base Coating

What you need to prepare for base coating are grease and hydro dipping dip-kit . Before base coating , you need to make sure that the item is very clean which is made up by grime and water . Hydro dipping dip kit comes with a Scotch pad and a piece of either wet or dry sandpaper with 800 grits on which can be used to lightly scuff the part you are dipping so that the primer can be bonded with the part . This is essential .

Also , don’t forget to wear latex gloves to clean the part , which could avoid any grease from your hands dipping on the base . In this process , you are not allowed to touch items to be printed . This is to prevent any grease from getting onto the item from your fingers , which affects the result of the painting reaction .

In order to wipe the item thoroughly without any remaining dust/debris prior to priming , the tack cloth is highly required instead of the regular wiper . This will leave your item very clean and be ready for the next step in the hydro dipping process .

Hydro Dipping Step 2: Priming and Base coating

The primer should be ready to apply after all prepares . We provide all kinds of primers , including white , black and other colors . Shake the can vigorously for 2-3 minutes before applying a light dust coat . Next, Wait for 10 minutes and then apply a slightly heavier coat . Wait another 10 minutes , and then apply what should be your final coat . Do it gently to avoid the reaction as the solvent evaporates meeting painted item .

If the item still isn’t evenly covered , then continually add coats until it is evenly covered . Then , Wait for one hour for the part to be fully dry before moving on to the next step . Onto the next step in the hydro dipping project , Any primers can be removed completely with dry sandpaper which is in hydro dipping kit .

The next step in the hydro dipping process is applying the appropriate base coat . supply the color we recommend to your film if there is one . If the film has transparent parts in , you will be supplied with the paint color you have chosen . The paint we provide in the aerosol cans is automotive base coat paint . This is high-quality paint , which works well with the primer and films, performs well out of the aerosol can .

Hydro Dipping Step 3: The First Drying for Hydro Dipping

In order to avoid applying too much once , you should begin with small coats . Ten-minute drying after the coating is required . Dry the coat for 10minute (60℃-200℃, the temperature setting depends on the material) in drying oven or tunnel till its at least 80% dried before moving into the next step of the hydro dipping process .

Hydro Dipping Step4: Dipping

This is without a doubt that our favorite part of the hydro dipping process. Before hydro dipping , you need to start the heater of your hydro dipping tank for 30-90minutes and check the water temperature controller. You should prepare your items and cut the suitable size hydro graphics film when the water temperature is up to 25-30℃.

The item is now nearly ready to be hydro dipped in your hydro dipping film pattern. Use the masking tape provided “back tape” to the edge of your item. Leave the tape overlapping over the edge of the item . This helps that when the film breaks away during dipping , it will break on the tape. Which means that any problem occurs on the tape , but not the edge of your item.

If there are any areas with water rushing through where hydro dipping applied in , tapes should be applied to these films as well. This stops the hydro dipping pattern being pulled and distorted when water rushes through these areas.

after water warmed to 25-30℃ , lay the hydrographic films without bubbles of air and water between the film and the water trapped on the water. The film will be spread out and fill the surface area of the water after you apply the hydro dip activator. So use a tub that is approximately 10-15mm slightly bigger than the piece of film you are using.

Pinch the film‘s corner with wet your finger and thumb. The side that adheres to your finger is the water-soluble side and this side should face down in the water. Leave the film on the surface of the water for 45-60 seconds (the time depends on the film) before applying the activator.

Shake the activator spray can and slowly pass it over the film. Dip your item through the hydro dipping pattern with 45 degrees , when the film looks very glossy and acts like liquid on the surface of the water.

You can adjust the dipping angle (regular angle is 45 degree).

Hydro Dipping Step5: Rinsing or washing

After hydro dipping , you take your item out and rinse with clean water for five minutes in your hydrographic rinse tank until the residual PVA being washed away and the item is no longer slimy to touch as well.

Hydro Dipping Step6: Drying For Removing The Water

After rinsing , you can put the items into the drying oven or drying tunnel for removing the water about 20-30minutes. Certainly , you can put them outside if sunshine is sufficient.

Hydro Dipping Step7: Top Coating

After rinsing your hydro dipped item and leaving air to dry , you can apply the top coating. Again , shake the aerosol can be provided vigorously for 2-3 minutes. It is very important to apply very small dust coats of lacquer over the print , to begin with.

Applying a wet coat immediately can cause the lacquer reacting with the print , and make it distort. Apply a very light dust coat and leave to dry for 15 minutes.

Then apply another light coat and leave it to dry for 15 minutes. After this whole process , you can start building up heavier coats applying to a final wet whatever is in smooth gloss , satin or matte type.

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How to Hydro Dipping Well for a Starter


Tsautop Hydrographic provides a competed hydro dipping article on our website, and also design a hydrographic image which includes the hydro dipping steps by steps.

But there is a situation that someone also can’t understand and can’t do hydrographic well, so I decide to write a hydro dipping guide for starter, hope to help you a lot at the beginning of water transfer printing.

Before hydro dipping, there is an important thing you need to do.

Firstly, answer the following questions:

What product do you do?

As a hydrographic starter, you need to ensure which product you will do, realize the shape of your hydro dip item, so you can know the difficulty of this item.

rim hubs and scooter hydro dipping

Products with a large arc or complicated shape are more difficult than the panel.

What material of your hydro dip item?

Water printing transfer printing film can be printed on kinds of materials via water medium, but different material needs to be matched with suitable oil primer.

So you need to prepare the relative oil primer for your product.

Choose the right primer: PP material needs PP oil primer, PE material need PE oil primer, Ceramic material needs ceramic oil primer, glass material needs glass oil primer.

hydro dip primer

And there is an important thing, hydro dipping only can use the oil primer, please do not use water-based primer, metallic primer.

PS: If ABS material, then no need primer, this material can do hydro dip directly.

Which size of the hydrographic item?

Please check the size of your hydro dip item, and then you can cut the suitable hydrographic film sheet for a test.
water transfer printing blue hoverboard

No need to paste tapes at the side of hydro dipping film, unless your hydro dipping tank (or basin) is too big according to the WTP film sheet, or just make a frame bigger than the film on the water.

 If you realize all the above questions, then you can prepare to do hydro dipping now.

Preparation before hydrographic:

1. Suitable primer.
2. Spray gun.
3. Hydrographic film sheet.
4. Hydro dip item.
5. Activator B.
6. Hydro dip tank (or other containers)
7. 28-35 degree water (heat water via hydro dip tank or put the water into the container)

Hydro Dipping Kits


The process of the hydro dipping:

1. Clean the hydro dip items.

Clean hydrographic parts – Polish it with sandpaper –  Clean hydro dipping item again – Dry out.

2. Spray oil primer on the items.

To spray primer on the items with the spray gun, and please pay attention to choose suitable oil hydro dip primer according to the material.

3. Dry out the hydrographic parts.

4. Put the hydrographic paint film on the water.

At this step, also have customer asked me which side face the water, and which side face you when put the hydrographic film on the water.

5. How to distinguish the right side of the hydro dip film faces the water.

To wet your finger, and catch and the water dipping film with your wet finger, then the gule side of the WTP film is the right side to face the water.

6. Spray Activator with a spray gun.

Please adjust the spray gun, to make sure the activator B can be sprayed like soft fog. Spray activator after put the hydrographic dipping film on the water 40 seconds later, at the same time, please spray activator evenly.

7. Put the hydro dipping item into the water through the hydrographic film.

Wait about 40 seconds, this film is dissolved in the water after activator spraying, then put the item through the water.

8. To wash the hydro dip items.

After hydro dipping, there are some wtp film dirty on the items, so you need to wash the dirty

9. Dry out the hydrographic parts.

10. Spray the gloss paint on the items.

Spray gloss or matte paint on the items to protect the painting pattern, so this paint can be kept in a long time.

11. Dry out the hydrographic parts.

the process of hydro dipping

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Water transfer printing vs baking paint?


Hydrograpgic film is made of nano material film and special environmental protection ink, paints images on the items via water medium;About baking vvarbishes, piano baking varnish is the most expensive and has a best decorative effect, with advantages of high decorative effect, hard surface, wear-resistant, bright, full and good adhesion.

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What application for hydro dipping?


Hydrographic dip can be applied electronic products dipping, living room dipping, daily necessities dip & business dipping application for phone case dipping, gun hydro dip, car rim hubs dipping, dashboard wooden hydrographic printing, etc.

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