Alamo Offers Water Transfer Alternative To Plating

 - November 7, 2011, 5:05 AM
According to Alamo’s Tymonee Arnold-Piel, customers may obtain exclusive rights to custom designs in the water transfer print process. (Photo: Kirby J. Harrison)

Alamo Plating and Metal Finishing of Converse, Texas, a specialist in decorative plating, has introduced a new finishing process called water-transfer printing. The process in its basic form begins with a pre-printed, high-definition pattern on a water-soluble transfer film. The film is then “floated” in the surface in a processing tank of water.

The object to be “printed” is treated with a primer, which serves as a bonding agent between it and the transferred ink, and the item is then slowly dipped through the ink floating on the surface of the water.  As it is immersed, the displacement of water carries the inks around the three-dimensional shape of the item being printed and the ink adheres to the object. The final step is a sealing top coat and application of a finish.

According to Alamo, the products the process can be performed on are “endless.” In fact, “any three-dimensional shape that cannot be finished with veneer can now easily be water transfer printed to match many of the luxurious veneer finishes.”

Founded in the early 1980s, Alamo Plating and Metal Finishing provides plating for aircraft, boats, automobiles, motorcycles, offices and homes. Its customers include Reese Design, Studio RD, L3 Communications, Associated Air Center and Gore Design Completions.

Alamo claims to have more than 600 standard designs from which to choose. Custom designs are also possible and, according to Alamo’s Tymonee Arnold-Piel, the customer can obtain exclusive rights to that design.

The company exhibited at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas, Nev.