At Liquid Concepts we get asked all the time what is your most popular carbon fiber combination that gives the most realistic looking carbon fiber. Well in this post we want to share with you guys just that -the most realistic carbon fiber for the hydrographics films. First you want to start off with the correct foundation to make sure your coating will last and be very durable. We always recommend using around 80-100 grit media to blast the part. Depending on the type of part you have, you may blast it at 20-60 PSI depending on the type of blast cabinet you have. After its blasted and the entire surface has been etched, you will want to blow it off with a high pressure air nozzle and properly hang or place the piece that is getting coated.
After its blasted then you want to spray a direct to metal epoxy primer for the best adhesion. We recommend using the P-250 DTM Epoxy Primer as it sticks to almost any surface as well as direct to metal. Once you have let the primer flash off for the proper amount of time, you will want to pick out your base color that your going to use on the part. For this step we will be using the Charcoal Grey Metallic. This is an awesome color by itself and when you use it for the base under a carbon fiber, it makes the carbon really “POP”! After you have the base coat sprayed, make sure the part is dry to the touch (Usually around 5-10 min.) Once it is dry to the touch then we are ready to make the magic happen and make that part look like a custom carbon fiber piece!
For the carbon fiber, the go to film is the CF-282. This is a black and clear film that is as close to carbon fiber as you can get. When you place the carbon over the Charcoal Grey Metallic then you get a color combination that looks very realistic and close to real carbon fiber. There is a few things to remember about this film and we will go ahead and share them with you here – Make sure the sticky side of the film is down on the water. When cutting your film for carbon fiber, make sure to give plenty of room for error so as to not stretch or warp the carbon as much as possible. This carbon takes the standard soak time of 1 minute on the water at 80-90 degrees. After the carbon has been sitting on the water for 60 seconds, spray the Liquid Concepts Activator and make sure the film “Glasses Out”. When it turns to glass you are good to dip you object in the film.
After you dip the part in the realistic carbon fiber, make sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any and all PVA from the part. Afterwards you can let it air dry or blow dry it off. Once the part is fully dry it can now be hung or placed back up to have it ready to be clear coated. To make sure your customer gets the best durability and longevity out the hydro dipping, we recommend spraying the C-500 High Solids Glamour Clear. This clear coat is made to give a long lasting shine and excellent UV resistance when out in the sun! After everything is sprayed with a high quality clear, your part is now finished and will look amazing! Using this paint color and hydrographic film combination with high quality products from Liquid Concepts will have your customers wanting to come back for more all the time!