Learn About the Durability of Hydrographics
When you’re preparing to do a hydro printing project, you might want to know how durable the film will be on your finished item. There’s an investment of your time and money when you do hydrographics, so it’s important to know what to expect. Find out how long hydrographics typically last on different types of items and whether or not the film is likely to wear off over time.
Typical Lifespan for Hydrographics
A typical lifespan for the hydrographic film adhered to an item is five to fifteen years. For many types of items that you’d want to hydro dip, this would cover its full lifespan. Items that aren’t handled much, such as a vase or figurine, may have a much longer lifespan. Like items that are painted, if you handle the item a lot with bare hands or abuse the item by leaving it out in the direct sun or a windstorm, the hydrographics may not last as long.
What Causes Hydrographics to Wear Off
Improper handling is the leading cause of hydrographics that wear off. If the item is allowed to rub or scrape against other items, this could lead to a faster deterioration of the film. Leaving the item outdoors in inclement weather could also make the hydrographics wear off faster.
If you don’t clean the item before starting the hydro dipping process, you could end up with a film that doesn’t adhere properly. The film may also deteriorate faster. The film’s instructions will explain how to prepare the item. Another issue is how you handle and touch the item. If your hands are greasy, oily, or dirty, those substances will be transferred onto the item you want to hydro dip. Oil, grease, dirt, and petroleum products can interfere with the bonding and adhesion processes. Not allowing the film to dry for the correct length of time or applying the clear coat too quickly before the film is cured could also shorten the lifespan of the hydrographics.
Choose the Right Adhesion Promoter
If you’re doing the hydro dipping yourself, make sure you choose the right adhesion promoter. This is a material that you apply to the item before you do the primer and painting. The type of adhesion promoter you need will depend on the material of the item, the type of coating you’re using, and what you’ll do with the item.
Consider a Protective Clear Coat
To make your hydrographics last longer, consider a protective clear coat. Use the clear coat produced by the same manufacturer as the film you applied to the product. The two products are designed to work with each other and are compatible. A clear coat provides an additional barrier between your hands or the environment and your hydro dipped item. The clear coat also has a UV inhibitor that prevents the hydro film from fading if it’s exposed to sunlight.