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More about laminating vehicle wrap vinyl.

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Stuart Green

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Post Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:26 pm

More about laminating vehicle wrap vinyl.

Everybody always say's you laminate vehicle wrap vinyl to protect the print as with any other printwork. Personally I feel I kind of do and dont agree with this.

When I first tried to wrap a while back, i would practice on wrap vinyl without lamination and what I found was that the vinyl was not forgiving at all. Once it had been squeegeed down that was it. if there are bubbles in the vinyl or if it had not been laid properly on the vehicle then its just a matter of lifting it and waiting for it to rip. I have 2 parts to this question :

the first is, at the recent show, Hexis told me that all there coloured vinyls were pre laminated so its ready to apply. Does this mean only digital white vinyl isn't laminated so you can apply the laminate after printing and all coloured laminates come readily laminated? so in other words are the coloured vinyls thicker then the digital??

the second question is more out of curiosity. I feel that wrapping requires a level of thickness on the vinyl which is created by laminating the vinyl and this makes it easier to apply, remove, apply again and so on which I have found not possible with printable vinyl, laminated with liquid laminate or no lamination. nothing to do with the print but applying just the digital vinyl without lamination is too thin to apply and the vinyl is just waiting to rip. So I would like to know that if laminating with film laminate will it increase its durability and if so to what extent?? i tried liquid lam once and found it a waist of time. I would also like to know what peoples views are with regards to "why else laminate apart from protecting the print"
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John Childs

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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 11:19 pm





Post Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:40 pm

Stuart,

Lamination is only to protect print. No other reason. Or at least I've not found one in the last twenty years.

A coloured vinyl doesn't need it because the colour goes all the way through and, if damage goes that far, then you're into body repairs anyway.

On prints however, the colour is only as thick as the layer of ink, and a wipe with almost anything will reveal the white vinyl below. Therefore it needs the protection of a laminate.

That's the end of the story.

I understand that you might find wrapping thicker stuff easier but, with practice and experience there is no reason why you should have any trouble wrapping an unlaminated 50 micron cast film.

The pic is what happens to unlaminated print after just being washed with warm soapy water. It's not one of my jobs I hasten to add, just a photo I took to educate my customers.
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NonLaminatedPrint.jpg
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Stuart Green

2 Star Contributor

Posts: 191

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:28 am





Post Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:18 pm

Thanks for the reply John

Say for example you applied about 50cm x 50cm wrap vinyl unlaminated but you felt the need to take it off to re apply cos you may have a crease. the chances of ripping on unlaminated are definate as opposed to a laminated vinyl which you can reapply time and time again until you are satisfied with the install. Is this correct?? I noticed at the show that people trying the wrap film on the grafitype stand (some of which never touched a piece of vinyl before) had the ability to reapply the film 10 times over with out any problems of the vinyl ripping. When i tried it a while back in temperature's above 17 degrees I tried to lift the vinyl to take the crease out but the whole panel seemed very vunrable and ripped the very first time i tried to lift it. It just didn't give me any chances. :(
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John Childs

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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 11:19 pm





Post Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:27 pm

It depends what you mean by "applied". If the vinyl is just laid on the van then, in most cases, it will come off. However, once it's squeegeed down properly, I wouldn't want it to move and would expect to have to replace it. Unless it's static cling of course.

You need to speak with someone more knowledgeable than myself on the actual application, but I would say that a lot of it is technique. My boys are pulling and pushing Avery 900 all day, but rarely do they tear any.

Also playing a large part in this could be the vinyl itself, or rather the adhesive. Some adhesives are very aggressive and have a high initial tack. Others are more forgiving and tolerant of the inexperienced.

Grafiwrap is a case in point. Normally it has a high initial tack but, if you laminate it at around 100 degrees C, then that affects the adhesive and it becomes a lot easier to work.

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