Mottling and what to do about it


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

Painting Polycarbonate Sheet


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


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


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


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


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?


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

How to Use Pallet Protek™ Platen Protection Tape


Cleaning up messy spray adhesive from your pallets is time-consuming and costly. It’s also unnecessary. By pre-covering your pallets with RTape 4350 Pallet Protek™ and spraying the paper tape instead of the pallet, press clean up is simply a matter of removing and discarding the tape. The whole process is fast and easy if you follow the instructions below Read more

Difficult to Transfer Vinyl Graphics


Pick Up Tips

Who hasn’t had the occasional problem in transferring vinyl graphics from its release liner? In many cases, the solution may be as simple as selecting a higher tack tape, or making a slight change in your application procedure. Here are a few pick up tips to make transferring vinyl a more uplifting experience. Read more

Priming and Painting for Wall Graphics Applications


Drywall Preparation, Priming and Painting

In my story, Preventing Wall Graphics Failures, I mentioned that new drywall must be primed and painted properly to ensure good adhesion of pressure-sensitive vinyl wall graphics. You wouldn’t think that applying vinyl wall graphics to newly painted drywall should be a problem. Of course, problems can and do happen. Especially when contractors rush to get the job done. Read more

Printing Claritex® Top-Coated Polycarbonate Films


RTape’s Claritex® 10 mil bright white velvet-matte polycarbonate films feature a specially formulated ink-receptive coating for solvent, ecosolvent and latex inkjet printers. The good hold out characteristic of the top coating keeps the colorant of the ink on its surface for brilliant color reproduction. Read more

Painting Flames


And Other Uses for Application Tape.

Protecting and transferring vinyl graphics aren’t the only uses for application tape. Here are some other uses for paper application tapes. Read more

Steps to Improving Ladder & Scaffold Safety


Slips and falls cause a high percentage of workplace accidents. If you are working at heights, be sure to tie off. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men may not be able to put you back together again. Even if you survive a fall, it may change your life. Read more

Thermal Die Cutting Tips


In the thermal die cutting process, a magnesium die is heated and pressed against a pressure-sensitive vinyl, such as RTapeVinylefx® films. Aided by the pressure of the die, the heat melts the film. Read more

Laminating Tips


There’s usually more than one way to do something. Printers and sign makers have devised many different techniques for laminating prints. This story covers procedures that have worked for some industry friends. Hopefully, these tips will help you prevent laminating mishaps, save production time and, most importantly, improve profitability. Read more

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