STEP 1: CLEAN
Using 91% isopropyl alcohol, cleaning cloths and gloves, ensure that the work piece is clean. To reduce exposure after cleaning parts, wearing gloves is suggested to avoid re-contamination.
STEP 3: BASE COAT
Apply the base coat. Once you have chosen your pattern, the process of determining the basecoat color is critical to the overall look desired. The base color chosen will determine the overall look of the finished part.
STEP 2: PRIME
Use the correct primer to ensure proper adhesion of the paint. Similar to priming, hydrographics is a mechanical bond process. Plastics, metals, ceramics and wood may require specific and unique primers.
STEP 4: Film placement
Put the film on the surface of the 89-100 degree water making sure that there is no air trapped between the film and the surface of the water and that the liner is not to be removed.
STEP 5: FILM hydration
In order to allow the PVA and liner to begin hydrating and dissolving in the water, hydrate for 50-80 seconds. The water temperature will greatly affect the time needed for proper hydration as the film is water and temperature sensitive.
STEP 6: ACTIVATE & WAIT
Spray the activator from side to side holding the gun approximately 12-18” from the surface in an overlapping pattern as typically done when laying down a consistent path of activator with other films. The speed at which this is done will determine the amount of activator being deposited.
STEP 7: DIP
After the activator has been sprayed over the film, wait 3-5 seconds and then dip the item through the surface typically at a 30-40 degree angle. This angle is determined based on the product being decorated and the surface that is needed to be covered.
STEP 8: RINSE
After dipping, rinse any residual film off of the part (note the enhanced speed at which the SmartSolve film rinses). Typically this is done with a light spray manual or automated vs. running water over the part directly or out of a faucet.
STEP 9: DRY
Part can then be dried using convection heating or air drying dependent on the method being utilized or speed preferred. Convection drying is typically done at lower temps. and may help in the final appearance of the part in cases where high mineral content is present.
STEP 10: CLEAR COAT
The final step is clear coating. Clear coating is recommended for all hydrographically decorated parts. This helps seal in the inks and allows for a cleaner finished product. When the part is dry, apply the clear top coating (Matte, semi-gloss or high gloss).
Water transfer films are very sensitive to humidity and temperature. You must store the film appropriately to ensure longer life, the film should be stored in a controlled room and humidity should be below 60% and room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Packaging and resealing all unused product ASAP is recommended to extend the quality of the product and to avoid bubbling of SmartSolve film in moist or humid conditions.
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