Soak time and water temp

WyvernWyvern Posts: 158Member ✭✭✭
OK...been all over the forum and web and got some conflicting info: The "standard" seems to be 90 degrees 60 seconds. There is a video I saw online (may be here for all I know) of someone laying in film in cold water and just letting it soak for a good long time till its "saturated" and all works fine. I saw a post on a "what went wrong?" thread that said soaking too long can break up the pattern. Seems to me that (as stated in that cold water video) you cant "oversaturate" the film as it will only suck up so much water and stop and at that point it will just kinda sit there. The higher the temp the quicker it saturates. Now..the reason I am asking is ive got this new film that lays down like I put a piece of plastic on the water and after 60seconds at 90 degrees it only just starts to "wrinkle up" like most other films I have used but it still is "plasticy" and if you activate it it looks grainy. Add more to glass it out and it melts right off the part and Im not getting good results with it. So...the school of though seems to be either crank the heat and/or soak it longer. My thinking is that if this is the case then I should be able to lay any film into the water at any given temp and simply wait till it finally soaks up enough water to work. I know Jim did a video on reading film and soak time and such but if film only soaks up "X" amount of water and will sit there waiting for activator then I should not worry about any max soak time. If I can do that "let it sit" method I am thinking I am going to try laying this film on the water and get a beer and see what happens. That being said you would think that film manufacturers would put on the shipping tubes recommended temps and soak times for their products rather than having to waste time and film finding the "sweet spot".


  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,647Administrator El Jefe
    The film "manufactures" all speak Chinese...might be tough...
  • WyvernWyvern Posts: 158Member ✭✭✭
    Well...I just tried this film again at 90 degrees and let it set for almost 3 minutes. it looked the same at 3 minutes as it did at 60 seconds so I tried activating it again and had the first somewhat success with this film ive had (its weird, heavy ink in places and almost non-existent in others so it seems to come out under activated in the heavy areas and over in others (waiting for some k2 brew to get here I think the superbrew might be too much for it) but for once it layed down a good enough hit that I would clear it and ship it. I think Im onto something and depending on the film I may try cutting a small piece and start marking the storage tubes with what temp and soak time it likes....
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,647Administrator El Jefe
    There is a whole worksheet at the end of the training manual for you guys to do this...
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,192Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Wyvern That is NOT the case! The PVA film will completely dissolve in water! Cold water just takes longer. Remember, we rinse the film off the part after it has been dipped. It completely dissolves away in the rinse. The water action just facilitates the speed of the dissolution.

    If the film is too hydrated, it is too soft/ non-cohesive to drag the ink/film to the part being dipped. It will rip and tear before it gets to the part. Also, if the film is too soft, the water can get to the ink side and keep the ink from adhering to the object. Ink won't adhere to a wet object, including not dry paint.... Hence complaints about the ink washing off...

    Also, when the film is too hydrated, the colors appear washed out because the film is on the edge of being non-cohesive and won't keep the ink "tight". That's one of the reasons we use tape dams, to keep the ink aligned and tight as much as possible, because when the activator dissolves the fixative applied over the ink there is nothing to keep the hydrated film from drifting away.

    @Tsunami instinctively knows this, that is why he invented the Constrictor, to push the ink to the part rather than letting the soft film drag itself to the part.

    We don't need to reinvent the wheel, The time and temp parameters are a proven quality outcome system. Cold water and variable hydration time is for the part time bathtub dipper.

    I've seen the crossbow stock pictures you've posted on this forum and you have got the really difficult jobs dialed-in, please don't experiment, the system works great for you.
  • WyvernWyvern Posts: 158Member ✭✭✭
    @studebaker Thanks and Im not trying to re-invent the wheel but this particular film has me frustrated. Its "thick" feeling and even after the 3 minute soak I could push it down in the middle and stretch it and work out bubbles (cant do that on other films with only a few seconds soak time, Ill push my finger right thru most) Im assuming on this film I have something going on that is not allowing it to soak enough in a 60 second time frame. It does not stretch out or expand and in this particular dip though not perfect (again Im blaming the activator not being right for it) its the best Ive done with it so far. Obviously Im not looking to do that long a soak time but Im thinking that im going to try to up the temp instead of lengthen the time and see what I get at that point...this is the speed shape I just did...the pattern is supposed to have a grey base but I ran out of ones I had sprayed so I just grabbed a white one...may use this for snow camo, it does not look too bad over white.

    So is there a "pain in the butt newbie badge"?? Im working towards earning it :)
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,647Administrator El Jefe
    90 degrees, 60 second soak time, 2 passes of activator and then wait another 45 seconds after activation and see if it gets better...there are some of "those films" out there...
  • WyvernWyvern Posts: 158Member ✭✭✭
    Thank you!!
  • Archer0545Archer0545 Posts: 806Member ✭✭✭
    This sounds like the exact same issue I have with the Mothwing winter mimicry. I desperately want to use this film to do deer skulls with as it still gives a bit of a traditional Euro look but the film is very thick and always seems underactivated even when I hit it hard.
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,192Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can see your dilemma @Wyvern . It is possible that the "thickness" and "strongness" may be on the fixative side rather than the PVA film carrier side. A stronger activator like SuperBrew or even more regular activator with a longer dwell time before dipping might be one experiment to try out with this particular film. Fixative formulas vary greatly between manufacturers because the formula isn't something that is shared, and each company has to formulate their own. Some manufacturer's stop at good enough... Even if it requires more activator. :)

    Production lines with automated line equipment like the thicker fixative because there is less drift of the pattern while it is hydrating, (loose or no dams) and the airflow (fan) that pushes the film along the top of the water won't tear the film as easily. Also, the longer dwell time after activation is helpful with slow dipping mechanisms.

    Another problem with thick fixatives is that when humidity infiltrates the PVA film, the edges will curl more than usual because of the different expansion rates of the two different layers.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,647Administrator El Jefe
    Actually just straight HydroVator is a little stronger than the SuperBrew...just FYI...we slowed the SuperBrew down so it will hold or retain the colors of the films better than the HydroVator because Hydrovator was just too aggressive...
  • WyvernWyvern Posts: 158Member ✭✭✭
    @studebaker I have to assume its on the fixative side or you would think I would see some degradation after sitting on the water for that long. Im using Superbrew...cant seem to get the hit right with it, I have over activation and underactivation symptoms on the same speed shape. I would blame my technique or settings if I did not have it working on other films. My thought is I am hoping the K2 brew is going to be abit milder so I can leave it sit some and equalize out after I spray it...I tried doing a heavier hit and it slid off the part so bad I could have almost washed it off and re-dipped it...most of it went down my arm when I pulled it from the water. I appreciate the expert help on this stuff...thanks!!!
  • WyvernWyvern Posts: 158Member ✭✭✭
    @K2Concepts so is K2brew stronger or weaker than Superbrew??? If I read the description correctly the K2 brew being for lower quality film should be less aggressive???
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,647Administrator El Jefe
    The Superbrew is more of a Hybrid between the Hydrovator and the K2 Brew...The key is THIN PVA...if you have a THICK PVA film then it's more of a hit or miss...

    Just shoot a video of what you are doing and we can narrow it down...all this "What if" is only confusing your issue...and me as
  • WyvernWyvern Posts: 158Member ✭✭✭
    Im going to experiment some more with it...Im feeling better with the speed shape I just did so I think I may be close to getting this figured out....some of my questions are general in nature more than this particular issue I am having but the answers Ive gotten have really helped quite a bit....if it still does not work Ill do a video and show you what I am running into.
    Thanks and sorry to be so confusing....unfortunately I am known for that :)
  • sosatonysosatony Posts: 42Member
    I am going through this right now with a simpsons film I bought on eBay
  • DeviousDipsDeviousDips Posts: 1,821Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    @sosatony give it a longer soak  their is no certain time that has to be used. This is where the phrase learn to read the film comes in. Some ppl don't even use timers but just watches the film. That 60 sec in 90 degree water is just a starting point to work from
  • sosatonysosatony Posts: 42Member
    The film that I get from Kansas hydrographics is awesome I have no problem with it don’t even use the timer bad thing about it is that they don’t cary a cartoon theme film I wish they did because there film is nice and easy to use
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