Many shops, which have printed wall murals in which the ink bleeds to the edge of the panel, have experienced edge curl issues with a variety of vinyl films. For permanent wall graphics applications, I would consider using Arlon’s DPF 8000 film. DPF 8000 is a 3.5 mil (90 micron) satin white calendered vinyl, designed for long term indoor and outdoor applications. It features an aggressive, permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive that sticks to those “hard-to-stick-to” surfaces.
Building a work table is easy enough for anyone to construct. What’s more, it takes very little time to build. And if you build it right, it could last you the rest of your life. Best yet, the cost is minimal, especially when you consider that you will use your work tables more than any other piece of furniture, machinery or tool that you own. If you haven’t built a work table before, here are a couple of suggestions, that I received from several sign makers. Read more
Applying graphics to a flat, smooth, painted wall is easy. Still problems can and do occur. Rarely are these graphics failures the result of application technique. Instead improper surface preparation and poor material choices account for most problems. If you follow the few simple rules in this article, your applications should be trouble-free. Read more
Some printer manufacturers, such as Mutoh, Summa and Mimaki, have systems that utilize a separate plotter to contour cut the printed graphics. To ensure accurate cutting of the printed graphic, the plotters utilize an Optical Positioning System called OPOS. The electric eye or photo sensor of OPOS scans the black register marks printed along the outside edge of the print, so the cutter can plot the knife cut. Read more
Surely you have heard about air-egress vinyl films such as 3M Comply and Avery EZ Apply. RTape Corp. has developed AT75.1, an air-egress application tape. The embossed surface of the AT75.1 facestock impresses a grid pattern of air-egress micro-tunnels in the adhesive for bubble-free lamination of the application tape to vinyl graphics. Read more
The plethora of terms used for the application tapes sold in the sign and screen print markets could confuse anyone. In the sign market, many people just use the terms “application tape” or “application paper”. Frequently this tape is also incorrectly referred to as “transfer tape”.
If you are a purist and want to pick a few nits, the terms application tape and transfer tape refer to completely different products. Transfer tape refers to a transfer adhesive, which is an adhesive coated onto a release liner.
Application tape manufacturers package their products in plastic sleeves, then box them in corrugated containers to protect the tape from light, dirt and humidity. If you’re not going to use the tape immediately, keep it in its box. Tape not stored in boxes is exposed to light, which can cause yellowing. Even shop lighting can yellow application tape. Read more
Something within our human nature compels us to paint. Ever since our primitive ancestors decorated the walls of their caves more than 40,000 years ago, man has formulated different types of paint mixtures. Read more
Years ago professional decal installers were taught to install vinyl graphics in a relaxed state without stretching the film. While vinyl films today are much more robust and can withstand the stresses encountered when wrapping a vehicle, you are much less likely to experience film failure, if you adhere to some of the old rules. Here’s why. Read more
To avoid problems with vinyl or any other pressure-sensitive material, carefully read the vinyl manufacturer’s technical data sheet. Product bulletins will usually contain all of the information you need, including application temperature range. The application temperature range for most vinyl films is usually between 50⁰ and 90⁰F (10⁰ to 32⁰ C). For some films, the minimum application temperature range is higher.
Have you ever wondered why photoluminescent films, such as RTape’s GlowEfx™, emit a bright greenish glow when the lights go out? The pigments in photoluminescent films as well as in fluorescent films work very differently than other types of pigments. Read more
Spraying RTape Matte Silver VinylEfx® film with a clear coat will change its appearance from a matte finish to a satiny finish. The reason for the change is that this VinylEfx® pattern is textured on the first or outside surface of the film. Other VinylEfx® patterns are embossed on the second surface. When you spray the clear coat on the matte silver, it fills in valleys of the texture. The film will not become as glossy as a Smooth Silver or chrome pattern. But it will look different. Read more
Vinyl films with air egress release liners have almost eliminated bubbles and wrinkles from applied graphics. Here’s how the product works. These release liners are comprised of multiple layers of paper, a polyethylene coating and a siliconization layer. The polyethylene coating of the release liner is embossed with a textured pattern. The textured structure of the release liner imparts tiny air channels in the adhesive of the vinyl film. Think of these as escape routes for air. As the installer squeegees the facestock, the air between the film and the substrate is directed through the air channels to the edge of the graphic.
Fire is undiscriminating. It can flare up at any time. And can happen to anyone. After finishing a vinyl graphics application job, a former colleague and mentor had loaded the back seat of his car with rags which had been soaked in solvent for cleaning, before heading down the road. As John drove, he attempted to light one cigarette with another, that he had just finished smoking. After getting a light, he threw the old cigarette out the window. Unbeknownst to John, the cigarette blew back into his car, landing in the pile of rags. Shortly thereafter the rags ignited. As long flames trailed out the back windows of his car, alarmed motorists frantically honked their horns to alert John of his precarious predicament. Read more
Staining and varnishing is a great way to finish an interior sign, if the wood used has a beautiful natural grain, such as mahogany. Stains contain pigments that tint and accentuate the grain of the wood. Read more