User login

Simplifying the Vinyl-Selection Process

(April 2011) posted on Tue Apr 26, 2011

If you’re having trouble picking from the myriad vinyl films on the market, read on to find out how to get rid of the guesswork.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Dean Strohmenger, Lisa Humrich

Looking at the decision matrix for short-term projects, you now learn that a calendered film is the best choice. Great! You have just potentially saved yourself a lot of money because there isn’t a need for a more expensive cast film. In this example, the next two questions were also answered, further defining that a calendered digital film with water-based adhesive is recommended. In addition to saving money by choosing a calendered film, you have saved even more by choosing a film with water-based adhesive instead of a typically more expensive film with solvent-based adhesive. We’re on a roll!

Indoor or outdoor?
The question of indoor vs. outdoor helps you to better understand the limitations and expectations for the project and determine the proper vinyl for the application.

As you might expect, outdoor applications require greater capabilities from a film. Films used outdoors have a much greater chance of shrinkage, UV damage, color fading, and aging as a result of weathering. A generally accepted rule of thumb for outdoor use for greater than five years is to use a cast or high-performance, calendered film for the best, long-term results and greatest return on investment.
Cast films have inherent properties that make them more weather resistant, durable, conformable, resistant to shrinkage, and maintain color better. Because of the raw materials used during the manufacturing process of cast films, durability and weather resistance are generally higher and shrinkage is less than most calendered films. Another advantage of the cast-film-manufacturing process is they are typically made very thin, which allows for much greater conformability over substrates with rivets, corrugations, and complex curves.

Using a thicker, more rigid, calendered film is ideal when the project calls for one or more of the following: less than five years of durability, indoor application, and no requirement for stretch or conformability. Typical calendered film uses are floor graphics, wall murals, and P-O-P displays.
Unlike outdoor applications, indoor applications generally require less rigorous demands. A large number of indoor applications are flat substrates for temporary or short-term use, where more expensive, durable, flexible cast films are not needed.


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.