| Water Transfer Printing or Hydrographics (commonly known as hydro dipping, hydro imaging, fluid imaging, hydrograghic printing) is a 3D decorating process. Graphics like Carbon Fiber, Wood grain, Camouflage, Geometrical patterns are applied to decorate the items.
The Hydro Graphics process is worldwide used to decorate items that vary from Airplanes interiors to very small items like cell phone cases. Films can be applied to all kind of materials including plastic, wood, fiberglass, metal, and ceramics. For the most part, if the item can be dipped in water, the water transfer printing process can be applied.
This process utilizes a water-soluble film that contains the printed designs. Once an Activator has been applied, the film dissolves and leaves the ink on the surface of the water. The process requires a good preparation, the item to be decorated is first coated with a primer. After the primer dries, a base coat paint is applied to match with the pattern. So, for for example, wood grain prints often utilize a brown base-coat and many camouflage patterns use specific color base.
After the base color is applied, the item is ready for water transfer printing process. As previously mentioned, an Activator is used to activate the film.
Now, the item can be immersed into the water and the ink wraps around it. It is then washed and protected with a clear topcoat.