Cleaning Vinyl Graphics

17-Oct-2012

Sign makers should assume that many of their customers will do some pretty stupid things when cleaning graphics. For this reason they must provide the end user with instruction covering proper cleaning and care of any graphics. When I sold fleet graphics, many years ago, I would give my customers an instruction sheet which included the do's and don'ts listed below: Read more

E-Waste Plastic Sign Substrate

17-Oct-2012

Adversity brings out the best and the worst in people. In some parts of the country, the theft of aluminum signs has risen dramatically during this protracted recession. Is it any surprise? With rising raw material costs, aluminum is valuable as scrap. To thwart criminals, traffic sign manufacturers are replacing aluminum signs with sign blanks made from e-waste plastic. The crooks have discovered that there is no money in waste plastic. Read more

Fire Extinguishers

17-Oct-2012

When does one size or type of product ever fit every application? In the case of fire extinguishers, the answer is never. Different types of extinguishers are required for different types of fires. Companies are required to provide an adequate number of the right type of fire extinguishers and to ensure that this equipment is inspected regularly. Read more

Gilder's Tool Box

17-Oct-2012

either glass gilding or surface, you don’t need very many specialized tools. Some necessary supplies you can probably find around your shop. This article describes the essential equipment that you just cannot do without, along with a few other special goodies that would be nice additions to your tool box. Read more

How Calendered Vinyl Films are Made

17-Oct-2012

I usually compare the calendering process to rolling out pie dough. In reality, the manufacturing process is a little more complex than that. In the calendering process, PVC material is squeezed between gigantic, heated, polished-steel rollers that form the vinyl into a very thin sheet of film.


A modern calendering line is also more expensive than grandma’s rolling pin, with capital equipment investments ranging typically from $10 million to $15 million. In addition, the calendering rolls alone cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Read more

How to Minimize Ghosting on Dry Erase Boards

17-Oct-2012

Ghosting on dry erase boards is usually the rule, not the exception. If you want your dry erase board to look good years from now with minimal ghosting, you have to condition the surface, before you use it and you have to use the right markers Read more

Hygroscopic Plastics

17-Oct-2012

Some plastics can absorb moisture from the air. These materials fall into the category called “hygroscopic plastics”. The best known product in this group is polycarbonate. It’s not, however, the only hygroscopic plastic. Nylon and polyester can also absorb water vapor.
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Mottling and what to do about it

17-Oct-2012

Have you ever occasionally noticed a dull, hazy or blotchy appearance on the surface of some vinyl films or overlaminates? This is a condition called mottling. There’s no reason to get too excited. While this hazy appearance certainly detracts from the aesthetic appeal of your graphics, mottling can easily be remedied, which I will explain all in due time. Read more

New RTape Brite Overall

17-Oct-2012

RTape recently introduced an improved version of its Brite Overall Iridescent Silver film to the VinylEfx® metalized vinyl product line. Advances in tooling technology have rendered what normally is an unappealing shim line invisible. Read more

Painting Polycarbonate Sheet

17-Oct-2012

The extraordinary clarity of polycarbonate makes it an excellent substrate for backlit signs. Generally, but not always, the sheet is sprayed on its second surface. Because the paint faces the inside of the sign cabinet, it is protected from the elements. Any painting done on the first surface of the sign face must be clear coated. Read more

Screen Printing on Polycarbonate

17-Oct-2012

Painting is not the only solution for decorating plastic signfaces. For high-volume jobs, screen printing is an economical solution. In selecting an ink system, ask your screen print supply distributor for a recommendation. The technical bulletin will give you printing recommendations. The type of mesh, squeegee, stencil and thinners are a few of the variables that will determine the amount of ink deposited on the sheet, which affect the appearance of the sign, when it is illuminated. Read more

Screen Printing VinylEfx® Films

17-Oct-2012

You can screen print on VinylEfx® films with either a solvent-based or UV-curable vinyl ink. VinylEfx® films make an ideal base film for manufacturing OEM emblems, decals, nameplates and fleet graphics. And, when printed VinylEfx® films are domed, their illusionary effects are magnified, which makes the graphics especially dazzling.
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Using Paint Mask with Etching Creams

17-Oct-2012

Chemically etching glass with etching creams is a quick, easy and safe way to produce a matte finish texture on glass similar to that of sandblasted glass. Note that I said “similar to” and not “the same as”. Chemical etching creams will not produce the same uniform, bright white finish that you achieve when sandblasting. Read more

Vinyl Application to Polycarbonate Sheet

17-Oct-2012

Even if polycarbonate sheet was covered with a surface protection film, you should always consider the surface contaminated. That means that you must clean the sign face before applying the graphics. Before you prep the substrate with a solvent or detergent, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. For most plastic-sheet applications, the most reliable cleaning method is a non-abrasive detergent and water. Solvents subject any type of plastic sheets to chemical stress, which can cause cracking. Read more

What Causes Ink Adhesion Problems?

17-Oct-2012


The $64 question is: what causes ink adhesion problems when screen printing polycarbonate film? While some have suggested moisture absorption as the culprit, the most likely candidate is exposure to UV light and oxygen. As the polycarbonate absorbs UV light, it excites the photons of the atoms, which in turn creates free radicals. Free radicals are atoms with a few extra electrons. These extra electrons make free radicals highly reactive, or what I like to think of as being chemically promiscuous. These free radicals chemically react with any impurities in the polycarbonate film, such as sodium. The result of this reaction is degradation of the polycarbonate. This is why the film can yellow and become brittle. Read more





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