Hydrographics or "Camo Dipping", also known as immersion printing, water transfer printing or water transfer imaging, is a method of applying printed designs to three-dimensional objects. The hydrographic process can be used on metal, plastic, glass, hard woods, and various other materials.
Our process differs from a run of the mill "dip em and ship em" business. We have 30 years of experience in the automotive and collision repair, painting and finishing business. That experience allows us to bring a level of durability and attractiveness to hydrographic printing that is not commonly available with this process.
The piece to be printed is first cleaned and aluminum oxide blasted to prep the surface for adhesion, then the item is coated with an automotive strength primer that includes a hardener, exactly like your truck. This process virtually seals out any future corrosion that could reach the surface. Once hardened, an automotive base coat color is applied depending on the choice of pattern or paint. At this point a polyvinyl alcohol film that is gravure-printed with the graphic image to be transferred is floated on the surface of a vat of water at a specified temperature that dissolves the backing leaving only the still solid image floating on the surface. A special chemical activator is then sprayed on the film to dissolve it into a liquid and activate a bonding agent.
The piece to be decorated is then lowered into the vat, through the layer of floating ink that remains. The ink, sitting on the surface then wraps around and adheres to the piece being submerged. With multiple dippings, hydrographics printing can achieve full 360° coverage of the piece's surface, including small crevices.
After removing the piece from the water and allowing it to cure, we apply several coats of automotive grade clear coat, in glossy, satin or the hunter preferred "dead flat". This entire process creates a minimum of 4 levels of protection to give the "new" piece an industrial strength, hardened finish that has a superior weatherproofing, scratch resistance and UV protection that requires little to no maintenance on the treated surfaces.