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The Art of Attraction

(July 2009) posted on Mon Jul 20, 2009

One of the oldest technologies for making one thing cling to another is exhibiting some attractive properties.

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By Ashley Ferguson

In fact, the only trouble Kauls and crew had in the whole execution of the job was using the correct adhesive on the magnetic backing. Future image changes can be handled by store employees who simply line up the edge of the magnetic-receptive image to the backing and unroll it.

Since Graphic Systems’ work with Wilson’s, the shop has had a swarm of retailers clamoring for the magnetic-receptive system.  “For the retailer that’s using large-format murals at its store locations on a regular basis, this is the material for them,” Kauls says. Xcel Products’ Visual Magnetics line comprises a group of substrates up to 60-inches wide from satin polyester to polypropylene in five- and eight-mil thicknesses, which can be used in almost any aqueous, UV, or solvent machine.

Other manufacturers also are offering print providers the opportunity to use magnetic technology without actually requiring direct printing on magnet. Available alternatives include Drytac’s FerroJet, which similarly has a very thin ferrous, or metal coating on the back of a traditional inkjet paper and allows the product to match-up perfectly to a magnetic backing. FerroJet is available in 9 mil for aqueous and eco-solvent machines and in 5 mil for UV flatbed printing. An installer must first apply a 12- to 24-mil magnetic sheeting on a wall using permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive, with the magnetic side facing out, away from the wall. Graphics can be printed on FerroJet, and when it is held close to the magnetic sheeting, it will literally apply itself.

And as an alternative to magnetic-adhered backing systems, Drytac also produces FerroCoat: a paint that consists of ferrous materials. After three to four applications of FerroCoat on a wall, clients can apply printed flexible magnet to the surface without adhesive. Because ferrous elements are in the paint, the magnet will attach naturally.

Those print providers seeking “green-ness” will be happy to know that the product can be disposed of in a landfill. “Polyester has a very high recyclable content,” notes Marc Oosterhuis, president of Drytac. “Ferrous material is a very thin metal coating and is not hazardous. It will oxidize and disappear.”


A magnetic future

Whether print providers are drawn to flexible printable magnets, magnetic-receptive systems, or something in-between, the magnetic solutions for wide format are constantly improving.


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