Digital Printing Manufacturing Vehicle Applications

Caring for Your Vehicle Wrap in Hot Weather

Hot weather wraps need extra care

Summer months are known for having the longest and hottest days of the year. During this time, the amount of UV exposure increases significantly. An extended amount of UV exposure is the greatest enemy to your vehicle wrap. In these hot weather months, your vehicle is going to be susceptible to damage caused by environmental factors. Protect your investment from damage by following the steps below:

What does Arlon do for Weather Testing?

When developing a product, Arlon tests products in extreme climates.  We test new products in hot weather climates like Florida, California, and Arizona. During the testing process, we are constantly checking for browning, shrinking, and cracking. This is done to ensure that when you use our film your application will withstand the high temperatures.

What can you do to Protect Your Vehicle Wrap?

  1. Keep Your vehicle Out of Direct Sunlight
  • After a period of time, the rays of the sun can take their toll on your vehicle. When you’re not driving your car, it’s best to keep it inside and away from harmful UV Rays. With this in mind, always try to park in a shaded area whenever available.
  1. Use A Recommended Protective Overlaminate
  • Protective overlaminates are formulated to provide your vehicle wrap with UV protection. Overlaminates act as an additional barrier from the sun. Read more about the importance of overlaminates HERE.
  1. Brush Off Dirt and Debris in Between Washes
  • In the summer months, dirt and airborne particles can be baked into the film, leaving a stain on the vehicle. This is most common in high volume traffic areas. The stain may appear as black dust or overspray but you will not be able to remove it from your vehicle. Always make sure to take a few minutes each day and brush off any particles that may have fallen on to your vehicle.
  1. Hand Wash Weekly
  • How often you need to wash your vehicle will vary based on your location. You’ll know it’s time to wash your vehicle when you start to see a build up that cannot be wiped off by hand. On hot days, we recommend hand washing with cold-water, preferably in a shaded area. Wash with automotive grade car wash soap and follow the recommended dilution.

When temperatures hit triple digits, your wraps need a little extra care. By following the steps listed above, you can keep your vehicle wrap looking brand new.

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Manufacturing Vehicle Applications

Tips for Handling Reflective Films

Reflective films are leading the wrap world in an exciting direction, and with no surprise, a product like this can sometimes bring about new challenges.

What is Reflective Film?

Reflective film is a type of film that is layered with an array of glass beads or prisms that reflects light back to the observer; the arrangement of these light-reflecting components has a direct effect on the film’s overall reflectivity. Our reflective films today are of the glass bead type and have the following cross section:

Reflective film technology

 

People are considering reflective films not only for additional brand awareness but for cut graphic lettering, decals, fleet markings, and vehicle and fleet wraps.

What is Bruising?

Reflective films have more delicate components in their construction. Keeping this in mind reflective products needs to be handled differently than other cast vinyl film. If a reflective film is mishandled it causes bruising. Bruising occurs when the uniformity of the reflective components is disturbed either by drastically stretching or creasing the film. Once bruising occurs, it can be very difficult to heal the film back to its original state.

IllumiNITE Wrap™ versus Leading Competitor Film

NOTE: The product on the top is Arlon IllumiNITE Wrap™. The product on the bottom is a leading competitive brand. Both products were subject to the same techniques to amplify bruising.

There are ongoing technological innovations that are proprietary to each vinyl manufacturer; Arlon’s latest innovation with FLITE Technology™ gives more power to the installer by providing ease of installation and efficiency.

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Vehicle Applications

Cold Weather Installation

Why does cold weather make cast vinyl difficult to install?

The winter months and colder temperatures create a multitude of problems for vinyl installers. Therefore it is important that we explain some of the physical characteristics of both the film and the substrate that are affected by these colder temperatures.
 
So what are the most common obstacles encountered during a cold weather installation?
  1. The vinyl can feel “stiff”’ and lose its ability to be easily conformed around curves and into recesses
  2. The adhesive can lose a great deal of its tack and won’t bond securely to the substrate’s surface.
  3. The ultimate bond level of the adhesive can take longer to be achieved.
  4. Condensation can form between the vinyl and the substrate, further impairing the bond level of the adhesive.

How can we overcome the effects of cold temperatures?

This is the eternal question that faces all manufacturers of vinyl films. The simple answer is to increase the ambient temperature of the installation environment, substrate, and vinyl. Only then will the film perform as we expect it to. So how is this achieved in cold weather installation?
Cold Weather Installation

A successful cold weather installation is more than achievable by following a few simple tips. This fleet vehicle is wrapped in DPF 6100XLP. (Wrapped by Elite Wraps UK)

The Installation Environment

The recommended ambient temperature of the installation area is between 59F – 95F (15C – 36C). Temperatures below this cause the film to become ‘stiff’ or ‘brittle’. Colder temperatures cause the plasticizers in the film to lose their elasticity. It is crucial that the temperature of the environment rises to the recommended levels. The vinyl will then regain its flexible characteristics. These temperature parameters also apply to the substrate. This may mean receiving the vehicle earlier. This will allow the surface temperature to assimilate with the environment. This will help prevent condensation, which will impair the adhesive bond. Placing IR or gas heaters around the vehicle can raise the ambient temperature of the installation area.

Warming the Substrate

Increasing the substrate temperature will also improve the bond between vinyl and surface. When the adhesive is cold, it remains hard and loses an amount of its initial tack. Then, the whetting out process is unable to occur. “Whetting out” refers to the effect of squeegee pressure and temperature, relative to the adhesive. Pressure softens the adhesive allowing it to flow and starts the process of bonding to a high level, and cold temperatures have a huge effect on this process. The low temperatures prevent the adhesive from activating effectively. Adding more squeegee pressure can also improve the adhesive bond during colder weather.

Vinyl and Adhesive

Increasing the temperature of the substrate, environment, and vinyl lessens the time the film needs to firmly adhere to the vehicle. There is no shortcut to this process. By increasing the temperature as explained above, the vinyl will be soft enough to manipulate around curves and recesses. The adhesive will be able to ‘wet out’ effectively. Post heating the entire vehicle will undoubtedly add time to the installation. But it will also ensure that the vinyl is adhering correctly.

Have you tried cold weather installation?

You have the power to conquer any installation, especially when you have control over your installation environment. What is your experience with cold weather installation? Tell us about your cold weather installation challenges in the comments!

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Event

A Roadshow Done Right

One country, four cities, and over 200 attendees in total. Arlon’s Latin America sales and technical experts hit the road this Spring to co-host an Arlon Training Roadshow with Tubelite De Mexico. Each events objective was to showcase the latest from Arlon’s product portfolio and to offer hands-on training. These roadshows were the talk of the town! Unveiling Arlon’s new game-changing cast wrap product, SLX™ Cast Wrap with FLITE Technology™, was definitely the highlight. Each attendee experienced the benefits of SLX Cast Wrap; seeing how this product could help in reducing labor time with one installer and having superior repositionability.

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Manufacturing

The Differences Between Monomeric and Polymeric Calendered Film

Are you unsure of what type of calendered film to use for different types of projects? Have you ever asked yourself, “which film should I use, monomeric or polymeric?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, keep reading. By the end of this article you will have a clear understanding of calendered film. Additionally, you will also know when to use each type.

The Calendering Process

We make calendered films through a “melt” process. First, we melt PVC (Poly-Vinyl-Chloride) resin, plasticizer and colorant together. As they cool, we roll the molten PVC through calendering rollers. This creates the final width, thickness, and surface finish of the film. Finally, we wind up the calendered film for further processing.

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Digital Printing

The Importance of Printer Maintenance

All machines should receive proper care and maintenance to prevent issues or mechanical failures. Similar practices apply to large format printers to ensure the longevity of the machine. Regular printer maintenance can also increase productivity and allow for consistent, high-quality prints.
Printer maintenance is very important!

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Digital Printing

Installing Exterior Wall Graphics

Things To Consider

Printed graphics on walls are a great way to transform a plain blockade to an exciting, money-making and eye-catching display. Additionally, installing exterior wall graphics are still the best way to express creativity and generate another means of promotion.

Compared to interior walls, exterior walls present more challenges when it comes to the product selection and application techniques. For example, exterior walls can be made out of concrete, bricks or cinder blocks with finishes ranging from smooth to extremely textured. With this in mind, take note if the surface is primed, painted, sealed or has no coating at all.

Relatively smooth exterior walls can share the same installation procedure as interior walls, but what about textured walls? We’ll explore how to apply printed graphics on exterior cinder block walls.

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Digital Printing

5 Key Factors When Selecting a Banner Substrate

5 Key Factors When Selecting Banner Substrate

Banner is considered the bread and butter of a sign shop. There is a wide selection of banner in the market that can make your choice overwhelming depending on what the job requires. Let’s take a look at five key factors of banner substrate that should be considered and what types of questions you should ask yourself when making a decision about which banner substrate to select.

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Digital Printing

Removing Adhesive Build-Up From Your Printer – Arlon DPF 8000

 

Removing Adhesive Build-Up From Your Printer - Arlon DPF 8000

For additional inquiries, please contact Arlon Technical Services at 1-877-275-6698.

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Digital Printing

Proper Ways to Store Your Vinyl

how to store vinyl films

When it comes to storing vinyl there are a few things to keep in mind that will prove to be the difference between being able to use that roll of film you have been saving for a job “just this size” or throwing it away in frustration.

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