Application of Hydrography for Imitation Wood Finishing

At Reliant Industrial, we pay a lot of attention to the development of new finishes in order to offer you an ever-complete palette of choices.
Today we would like to present to you a finish that will allow you to stand out with an original finish: Imitation Wood.

This process is carried out by hydrography, also called decoration by immersion or painting by immersion (hydrodripping or hydrocoating).

This method makes it possible to decorate all types of plastic parts with customizable patterns.

What is hydrography?

It is a technique that was developed more than twenty years ago and has now been used for decades, especially in large-scale industry, and especially in the automobile industry to decorate pieces with original renderings.

You have probably already seen this kind of finish in car dashboards with parts printed with faux wood patterns or imitation wood.

How is this type of impression made?

Hydrography is a transfer technique that is similar to what could be assimilated to decalcomania and which consists of passing a decoration printed on a film to its support.

This printed decoration can have the rendering of your choice, it can be the result of your own design, but in this case, we apply a printed decoration of imitation wood.

A solution called activator is then added to melt the film.
This is mainly due to the water in the tank on which the film will float and in which we will be able to immerse the desired piece.

Your part will be placed in the tank for a few moments so that the film can be impregnated on the part. The immersion time depends on the size of the part and its surface volume.

After the immersion step, the part will be carefully removed from the tank and will have to dry. It will then be rinsed to remove any unwanted impurities and production marks.

The last step is the addition of a varnish that will allow the part to be UV resistant as well as resistant to traces of use and handling.

What type of materials can I select for this technique?

Thanks to the flexibility of hydrography films, they can adapt to any type of support and all types of materials that we use in rapid prototyping.

We are therefore able to offer you this technique on all of our materials, regardless of the production technology used. This finish can be applied to our 3D printing resins as well as to vacuum casting polyurethanes.

Our machined plastics and metals can also take advantage of this process in order to best customize your parts according to your needs.

The wood finish on your plastic parts can, for example, give the appearance of furniture or parts for outdoor use. This printing technique makes it possible to multiply the possible renderings in order to test several finishes before finding the one that suits you best.

If you want to know more about this method or have your project quoted with this finish, you can contact us now via our contact form or by email.