Tag Archives: car wrap

Vehicle Applications

What is Arlon Graphics FLITE Technology?

What is Arlon Graphics Flite Technology

Arlon Graphics, most recent innovation FLITE Technology represents great improvements to the hands-on workflow of installers and printers alike. With new technologies hitting the vinyl market at a rapid pace, how can you ensure you’re picking the right product for your business? how exactly can FLITE Technology® help your business? In this post, Ritchie Daize Sr. Arlon’s Technical Solutions Manager will answer all of those questions and more!

Twenty-odd years ago, air-egress technology arrived, and the vinyl graphic industry made a giant leap forward. For example, application speed and cost improved significantly. Similarly, less skilled applicators could complete larger jobs while maintaining high levels of quality. In April 2017 Arlon Graphics introduced SLX® Cast Wrap featuring FLITE Technology and everything changed.

  • Arlon Graphics Reflective Vinyl IllumiNITE Wrap on a Porsche
  • Arlon Graphics SLX Cast Wrap Vinyl on a Mini
  • Arlon Graphics vinyl wrap SLX+ on a Porsche
  • Arlon Fusion vinyl wrap wrapped on a van

Why FLITE Technology?

FLITE Technology improves the productivity of applicators beyond the benefits of air-egress. This innovation allows vinyl applicators to complete full wraps in the most challenging application environments single-handedly.

Easy Liner Release

The first feature applicators will notice is how easy the liner is to peel away from the media. Competing products require a minimum of two installers to remove the release liner, making registration between panels difficult. The effortless liner release of FLITE Technology eliminates distortion. For instance, the liner stops uncontrolled pre-stretching during the first step of the install process.

Unmatched Repositionability

The second standout feature of FLITE Technology is the repositionability. In other words these films float over the vehicle’s surface until firm pressure is applied. Entire panels can be single-handedly realigned, even after the liner has been removed. What if the installer makes a mistake? If a wrinkle or crease is created during the application process, the applicator can snap that section up and reapply without over-stretching the graphic.

Arlon graphics trainer Alex installing Arlon SLX Cast Wrap with FLITE Technology vinyl on the hood of a vehicle

Bubble-Free Installs

The low initial contact of FLITE Technology makes a bubble-free application easy. If an installer finds a bubble in their finished work, removing it is as easy as applying gentle pressure. The pressure will quickly move the air pocket out the edge of the graphic.

Eliminating Glue Lines

FLITE Technology is a topography-based adhesive system. Topography-based systems rely on the shape of the adhesive to lower the percentage of contact it makes with the substrate. This technology is an incredible 25%. As a result, the low contact percentage stops ‘glue lines’ from forming.

Redefining Ultimate Bond

The next standout feature of FLITE Technology is how the adhesive wets and bonds with the substrate when post heated. Inhibitor-based adhesive systems require a primer or adhesive promoter to create a high enough bond. In contrast, FLITE Technology reaches 90% of its ultimate bond when properly post heated. This bond provides enough strength to hold the graphic in place in deep channels and recessed areas.

FLITE Technology streamlines the application process creating new levels of productivity in sign and fleet shops of all sizes. Arlon Graphics now has a full line of vehicle wrap products that feature FLITE Technology, SLX® Cast Wrap, SLX®+, IllumiNITE Wrap®, and Fusion Wrap.

Visit us at Arlon.com and follow us on social media @arlongraphics_na for the latest info on all things Arlon!

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Digital Printing Vehicle Applications

Choosing the Right Film for Vehicle Graphics

Choosing the right film for a vehicle wrap that caters to the project you are working on can be difficult.  But taking the time to select the right film can lead to more efficient installations saving you time and money. To make your decision process easy, we’ve outlined the top eight questions to ask when choosing the right film for your vehicle graphic.

1. What Can be Wrapped?

People assume that everything on a vehicle can be wrapped. However, wrap films are primarily designed to adhere and remove well only on factory-painted panels of the car. Aftermarket paint, preexisting damage, and any signs of touch-up are suspect on the guaranteed performance of any wrap film. 

Rubber glazing around windows and silicone caulking, whether painted or unpainted, are also no-go zones. The adhesive will stick during installation, but it is guaranteed to fall off sooner or later. Caulking and rubber are unstable; they expand and contract with very little temperature change. The supple and porous surface does not provide a uniform platform for the adhesive to settle. It is common to see rubber trims oxidize, giving off a soot-like substance that will weaken the adhesive over time.

Hard-to-stick surfaces such as unpainted textured plastic found on bumpers, side trim, door handles, and mirrors require specialty films like DPF 8000™ or DPF 8200. While clients might insist on over these surfaces wrapping over them, keep in mind that these areas take quite a beating and that any wrap over them will be damaged.

2. What is your Budget?

Several factors drive the cost of applying graphics on your vehicle:

  • Type of wrap film
  • Design work
  • Production time, ink, and overlaminate
  • Square footage of vinyl
  • Complexity
  • Labor

3. What types of vehicle wrap films are available?

Most wrap films are made of PVC. Non-PVC or PVC-free films are available, but vinyl is the majority of the market. Then under vinyl films, you can choose between cast or calendered.  If you are interested in learning more about Cast vs. Calendered, read more here

4. How much coverage do you need: cut decal, partial, or full wrap?

The first option is to cut decal. This type of vehicle graphic typically uses cut vinyl such as Series 2100 or Series 5000. Cut vinyl is not printed but come in rolls of solid colors and can be combined to create a multi-color graphic. Compared to printed vehicle graphics that uses ink on white vinyl, the pigments are embedded in cut vinyl that they will retain their vibrancy for up to 10 years!

The next option is print-cut graphics or a partial wrap. This graphic leaves the vehicle’s original paint partially visible. A print-cut graphic is like a cut decal, except you need a roll of white printable vinyl and an overlaminate to protect the print. This setup will allow for gradients and custom colors without the need to register multiple single-color vinyl layers. A partial wrap, on the other hand, involves less cutting, masking, and transferring graphics. A large sheet of vinyl is printed, laminated, and applied to the vehicle.

Box truck and Pruis Wrapped In Arlon Fusion Wrap Vehicle Wrap Vinyl Film

Then comes the full wrap. Some would only call it a full wrap if everything painted on the exterior has vinyl while some will leave the roof, bumper, door handles, and other small parts uncovered and still call it a full wrap. Regardless of the matter, a full wrap covers at least 90% of the “wrappable” area in a vehicle.

5. Do you Need an Overlaminate?

For printed graphics, yes. In this Tech on the Road video, we briefly touch on why you should consider using an overlaminate for your graphics.

6. Do you need it to be permanent or temporary?

In the graphics industry, there are three terms used when describing the longevity of graphics:

  • A promotional or short term which is up to 3 years
  • Medium-term which is 3-5 years; and
  • Long-term or permanent which is 7-10 years

Each vehicle graphic has a specified period in which it can be removed with little to no adhesive residue and without damaging the original paint. Always verify the removal warranty of your wrap with both the shop and manufacturer. Also, it’s important to know that any use of a primer or adhesion promoter will void the removal warranty of a wrap. 

7. What does Arlon recommend for partial or full wraps?

A budget-friendly option is DPF 4600GLX, with Series 3420 overlaminate. This film is rated for five years but only on mild curves and relatively flat surfaces. However, if it has to cover an area with some complexity, a more flexible laminate may be necessary like Series 3170, and that also raises it to 7 years. You can also upgrade the base film to Fusion Wrap speed up the installation.

If a vehicle has some deep grooves and sweeping curves, SLX® Cast Wrap will conform the best and without the need for relief cuts or seams. It will be paired with cast overlaminates such as Series 3210 or Series 3220. But for roofs or hoods, anything horizontal, where the vinyl will weather the fastest, use an overlaminate with an extended horizontal warranty like Series 3310.

8. Are you looking for 24/7 Advertising?

Consider using a reflective wrap film like IllumiNITE Wrap® or DPF 2400XLP paired with Series 3210 for a head-turning wrap that won’t miss an impression to a potential client.

Vehcile Wrapped In Arlon IllumiNITE Wrap Vinyl Film

Taking the time to learn the right product for your next job is always a good idea, and asking these nine questions when choosing the right vehicle wrap film will be sure to set you up for success. Learn more about Arlon by following our social media channels @arlongraphics.

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