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activator issues?

IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,312Member ✭✭✭✭
Had a harley fender given to me to use as a test piece and then keep to use as a display but I'm having issues dipping the bugger. I'm using lightning bolt film and this last time, I did a fairly quick pass with activator and dipped right away. Center section went pretty good but the sides of the fender failed big time. By looking at the sides, to me they still look over activated but I don't get how. Should I maybe change the soak time from 60 sec to 50? Wasn't sure why I messed it up the first time so I did a speed shape with the exact same steps as above and it looks great.
When activating larger pieces, do you overlap each pass?

Steps done above:

90 F water
60 sec soak
1 pass K2 Super Brew (1.8 GPi gun), dipped right away
Sides looked like that right out of the water





Comments

  • DeviousDipsDeviousDips Posts: 1,522Member ✭✭✭✭
    Did it just stretch and lose the color?
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,089Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I honestly think you're just asking too much of the film. Looks like it's acting like some flame films that just don't like to stretch... A different, slower activator w/ some dwell time may help. Maybe straight k2 Brew? Maybe Jim @K2Concepts will chime in on this one.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 12,961Administrator El Jefe
    That's not over...that's under...and I agree with @MidOhioHydrographics I think you are asking a lot from that film...
  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,312Member ✭✭✭✭

    That's not over...that's under...and I agree with @MidOhioHydrographics I think you are asking a lot from that film...

    But, if I spray even more activator on it, the whole thing does what the sides did and slides right off the part. That's what I did the first time
  • smedlinsmedlin Posts: 1,630Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭
    The soak time is to get the film hydrated.

    "Rule of thumb" is 60 seconds.. because that's what most films need at 90F. Some need less, some need more. Shop conditions (film) can affect that.

    You can "under hydrate" it, by not giving it enough soak time.. but it's really really hard to over hydrate it. It really hurts nothing to let it sit for a bit longer (within reason).

    if you watch Jim's video's, he's not activating right when that timer goes off.. he's chatting away to the camera.. having a beer, explaining things..
  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,312Member ✭✭✭✭
    That makes sense @smedlin...

    Went down and looked at it again and there are areas where you can really see the film trying to stretch. Guess maybe that explains why a lot of guys run the pin striping, multiple dips. This fender does has some pretty high sides on it.
  • smedlinsmedlin Posts: 1,630Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭
    Try it again, but with more activator.

    Rule of thumb, is 60 sec soak time, activate, 20 sec dwell time.

    The 20 sec is highly variable, depending on how heavy you activate.

    But by dipping it right after you activated, you did not give the film time to..well... activate. Gotta give the activator time to do it's job.

    Also, how did you dip it?

    I've done several fenders with one hit, no seams. I've learned to "roll" the fender.





  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,312Member ✭✭✭✭
    smedlin said:

    Try it again, but with more activator.

    Rule of thumb, is 60 sec soak time, activate, 20 sec dwell time.

    The 20 sec is highly variable, depending on how heavy you activate.

    But by dipping it right after you activated, you did not give the film time to..well... activate. Gotta give the activator time to do it's job.

    Also, how did you dip it?

    I've done several fenders with one hit, no seams. I've learned to "roll" the fender.





    2 times before this time I gave it more activator, then let it sit for 10 seconds before dipping and the entire fender turned out the way the sides did in the pic above. That's why I thought it was too much activator.

    As for how I dipped it, I started with the "front" end of the fender and rolled it in, just like in this video:
  • loochlooch Posts: 1,643Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks like your gonna have to put a seam in it. Look at the pictures the film is breaking off the sides of the fender asking to much from the film. Ive done a few fenders maybe just do the dip down the middle of fender like a two tone paint job
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 2,896Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting but common problem. I don't see a low activator issue per se, although it looks like it has evaporated off by the time you finished your dip.

    What I see is the film is over hydrated. If you are dipping in a high humidity environment the film is essentially "pre-hydrated" from the moisture in the air. When this happens, you need to activate earlier than the 60-second mark, maybe at the 40-second mark.

    Humidity infiltration is identified by the film being flimsy and soft feeling before you lay it on the water. When the film is too hydrated, it will microscopically break apart into "icebergs" because the film has passed the correct stretching stage of hydration and the dried out ink is hold it together in patches. If you add more activator, the "iceberging" effect will be lessened, but it will still stretch way too much for a quality graphic application.
  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,312Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 9

    Interesting but common problem. I don't see a low activator issue per se, although it looks like it has evaporated off by the time you finished your dip.

    What I see is the film is over hydrated. If you are dipping in a high humidity environment the film is essentially "pre-hydrated" from the moisture in the air. When this happens, you need to activate earlier than the 60-second mark, maybe at the 40-second mark.

    Humidity infiltration is identified by the film being flimsy and soft feeling before you lay it on the water. When the film is too hydrated, it will microscopically break apart into "icebergs" because the film has passed the correct stretching stage of hydration and the dried out ink is hold it together in patches. If you add more activator, the "iceberging" effect will be lessened, but it will still stretch way too much for a quality graphic application.

    Well, I didn't think humidity was a problem. Very cold and dry here right now and I always keep the room around 55%, either by use of humidifiers or dehumidifiers. Right now the humidifier is set to keep room around the 55% mark

    Regarding the activator evaporating off, wouldn't that affect the whole dip and not just the sides? The whole center of the fender looks good, but each side is how you see them
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 2,896Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    The partially re-dried ink causes areas of the overhydrated film to stretch differently. In chunks of dried ink. The "good" area wasn't stretched so radically and still had enough activator to make the ink adhere, but not enough keep the ink stretching with the overhydrated film. This really is a problem with film overhydration as opposed to activator levels... Softer film stretches more.
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