Forum > Tips and Techniques > Helpful Facts On Activator For A Better Dip

Hydro-H Posted 16-Aug-2013 13:08


We get many questions regarding advice on activator application and dipping windows so having consulted with Wt-Direct would like to share this information with you all. 

 No Hype only FACTS ! 

The window for dipping with WT-Direct activator is between 30 and 90 sec

The dipping window for an Activator is dependent on 2 main variables and would apply to all activators regardless of brand so be cautious of anyone claiming otherwise  !

  1) How heavily inked a pattern is.  The less ink on the pattern ie: films like carbon on clear film will allow a longer dipping  window. This is one of the reasons why carbon films are very forgiving and easier to dip with. 
 Heavily inked or solid films like the Shawnaughty designz  films, Ozarks films , solid Camo or solid flame patterns require more activator and the dipping window is shorter. One of the reasons why your process needs to be tighter if you are to dip these patterns consistently with great results.

  2) Water temperature. For every 1°C drop in water temperature you will see a significant increase in your Activator dipping window time, so for heavily inked and solid patterns on large panels or other large or complicated objects, you can gain more control over your dips by reducing your water temp from 30°C down to 28 °C

Remember a reduction in water temperature may result in an increase in soak time so you should carry out several test dips to fine tune your process.

General Advice Get to know your activator, get to know your films, trial different water temperatures to find what works best for you and stick to it as much as possible. This will bring the most consistent results!

 Make notes or keep a book on each pattern you dip with that you can use as reference for future dips. Your notes should include water temp, soak time and activator application. Note any previous problems you had and how you got over them.
 This is your “ Dipping Bible “ and will prove invaluable in the future, especially if you go long periods without using a particular film. 

 For many of you 30°C will be fine for 99% of the time but for those occasional bigger items or items that you are struggling with, the above advice will definitely give you a chance for a more successful dip.

 Work out how you are going to dip your items BEFORE you lay it and spray it !   The longer you wait after activating your film the greater the chances of your pattern degrading and losing its shape and sharpness 

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