my invisible text
Categories
  • TIMELINE

The balance between quality vinyl and price?

<<

Mark Andrews

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 26

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Thu May 08, 2014 11:09 am

The balance between quality vinyl and price?

Hello everyone,
Please bear with me as this is my first post (apart from a hello, and thanks to all who responded) and this may have already been answered before -
What is generally regarded to be a good quality vinyl which doesn't break the bank?
The typical situation that I find myself in is cut vinyl lettering for the local trades going onto the common or garden white van - transit / vivaro etc.
Not looking for mega-bucks 10 year grades, but something that will advertise the plumber's business for the remainder of the life that his old van has left!
Is there such a thing as a cheap "quality" film?
And if you have found one, how about your recommendations for suppliers too? (if that's allowed, other suppliers are available...)
Thanks for your time,
Mark
<<

John Dorling

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 842

Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:07 am





Post Thu May 08, 2014 11:35 am

Vinyl is the cheapest part of the job. The cost difference to you between good and bad vinyl on print and cut job is probably only about £20 so don't skimp, use good vinyl and charge enough to cover it. Much better lose a job on price than win it and it lifts after 3 months and you have to do it again!

We use 3M 50 series which is a decent film for flat panels, and avery or Oracal cast films over recesses. Decent 610mm calendered should cost between £1.80 and £2.50 a metre and something like Oracal 751 cast I think is about £3.30/m.

John
<<

Jon Marshall

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1135

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:57 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 1:46 pm

Hexis SupTac is a good all round vinyl
<<

Gary Birch

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 2591

Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:21 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 2:06 pm

Most Polymeric vinyl will do. Metamark M7, Oracal 551 are our weapons of choice. Some weed better than others and are worth paying more for.
<<

James Sahota

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 884

Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:23 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 2:12 pm

There are some terrible unbranded films around cost you a lot more in hassle and trouble I would advice you use something decent.

As a couple of the lads on the boards have already pointed out you cant go wrong with Meta-mark MD5 or 7
<<

John McCormick

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 72

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:15 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 2:29 pm

Hi Mark
Good question, personally I use Ritrama premium range (but i'm also still fairly new to this) Is it all personal preference or are Metamark and Oracle significantly better? (feel free to be rude to me if that is a daft question)
<<

Gary Birch

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 2591

Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:21 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 2:32 pm

John McCormick wrote:Hi Mark
Good question, personally I use Ritrama premium range (but i'm also still fairly new to this) Is it all personal preference or are Metamark and Oracle significantly better? (feel free to be rude to me if that is a daft question)


I haven't used Ritrama for a long time but I found it suffered unacceptable shrinkage and wasn't anywhere near as glossy as other brands. The main different was the ease of weeding though.

I would ask for samples and try it.
<<

Mark Andrews

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 26

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Thu May 08, 2014 2:55 pm

Thanks for your input - has anyone had any experience with Uber-Film?
Rightly or wrongly, I'm not sure if I want to be using a vast multitude of manufacturer types and / or suppliers as it might get a bit out of hand to start with. Sounds like there are a few good choices there to get me going!!
<<
User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 3558

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:55 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Thu May 08, 2014 3:02 pm

Oracal 551 and Metamark 7 series for me too. I have tried other brands over the years, but have settled with these two, neither shrink, the colours stay true for many years, even longer than advertised, and are easy to use.

Lorraine
<<

John McCormick

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 72

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:15 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 3:09 pm

Gary Birch wrote:
John McCormick wrote:Hi Mark
Good question, personally I use Ritrama premium range (but i'm also still fairly new to this) Is it all personal preference or are Metamark and Oracle significantly better? (feel free to be rude to me if that is a daft question)


I haven't used Ritrama for a long time but I found it suffered unacceptable shrinkage and wasn't anywhere near as glossy as other brands. The main different was the ease of weeding though.

I would ask for samples and try it.


Samples ordered: I will see how they go thanks :D
<<

Shane Binding

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 66

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:17 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 3:33 pm

Graficast from Grafityp but i also have metemarks "the brick" which has alot more choice and 3m do some very nice ones too.
<<

Jean Oakley

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 528

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:22 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Thu May 08, 2014 4:20 pm

I use Mactac 8300 cheaper and 9800 better life. I also get Avery range some times. Probably best to call around and get samples from all the suppliers. We all have our own preferences at the end of the day, you just need to find yours.
<<

David Hammond

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 3449

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:17 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Thu May 08, 2014 4:22 pm

+1 Metamark... good material and an excellent company to deal with, which you can't put a price on when you need help.

Also used 551, and even MacTac on occasions from a local supplier.
<<

Paul Seeley

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:38 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 5:05 pm

I tend to use either Grafityp or Metamark - both weed easily and haven't given any problems. Service from both companies has been great.

As had been said before comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. The other point to mention is some vinyls work better with different application tapes and methods, so best advice is to get hold of a few samples to try out for yourself using your own machine and application techniques :D
<<

Martin Pearson

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8341

Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:00 am





Post Thu May 08, 2014 5:45 pm

As has already been said buy a decent brand & stick to it, if a few pence a metre makes a difference to you on the average van job then you aren't charging enough.
Personally it's 551 for me but best to get some samples from various suppliers & sort out what works best for yourself.
<<

Neil Davey

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 2521

Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 8:58 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 5:59 pm

We use Metamark 7 Series or ImagePerfect 5700 on most day to day stuff.
As has been said don't scrimp on vinyl and don't necessarily go for the cheapest.
I be looking at reliability as far as delivery is concerned, we can pretty much guarantee when our couriers will arrive.
And, building up good relationships with your supplier can be beneficial as you move forward.
<<

Alan Drury

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 2148

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:29 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 7:18 pm

I used to use JAC Serisign 5-8 year polymeric, a very good allround vinyl but Victory have stopped selling it now because Avery (JAC owners) has dicontinued that brand and now supply Avery 700 and guess what - the price has gone up:(
Alan D
<<

Mark Andrews

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 26

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Thu May 08, 2014 7:40 pm

Thanks for all of your valuable input, there is a lot to discover!
Time to get cracking then!
<<

Ade Brown

User avatar

4 Star Contributor

Posts: 465

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:14 pm





Post Thu May 08, 2014 10:53 pm

M7 and 551 for me.

Neil id be interested in your thoughts on the image perfect 5700

Adrian
<<

James Sahota

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 884

Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:23 pm





Post Fri May 09, 2014 6:41 am

Guys a great article I found on the net that sums up the right choice of vinyl. A good 10 min read for anyone new to vinyls and choices available.

[b]Choosing the right vinyl for your application[/b]

Vinyls in general are manufactured in one of two ways; "calendering" or "casting".
While at first glance these vinyl's appear similar their differences become apparent over time, and when applied in demanding environments.
The differences are in the manufacturing process and also in the plasticisers and stabilisers used. "Cast" vinyls are manufactured in a less stressed process than used in the manufacture of "calendered" vinyls. Cast films have the resin poured to form an extremely thin layer onto a very smooth surface before going through curing ovens. Cast vinyl generally have better dimensional stability, colour pigmentation, uv stability, and higher gloss levels.

"Calendered" vinyls are manufactured differently, using an "extruded" or "rolled" process which is more stressful on the PVC resulting in less dimensional stability in the direction it was rolled, it is however a lot cheaper than cast films. Calendered vinyls are either 'monomeric' or 'polymeric' dependent on the plasticiser's molecular structure.

"Monomeric" vinyls use plasticisers with a smaller molecule size so there is more molecular migration than in polymerics and will therefore have more effect on the adhesive and laminates used. These shorter chains of molecules also make the vinyl brittle when used in more demanding environmental conditions over time and resulting in shrinkage or "pulling".

"Polymeric" vinyls have longer molecular chains and larger molecules allowing less migration from the vinyl and so have less effect on the adhesive and will aid better longevity, flexibility and additional film stability with less shrinkage.

It is possible to buy monomeric or polymeric vinyls in either "calendered" or "cast" though it is pretty rare to get a monomeric cast film and most usually a cast film is a polymeric type of vinyl. The type of plasticisers used will have a noticeable effect on digital printing and how conformable the vinyl is. Polymerics are generally a lot better to print on than monomerics due to the surface plasticisers.



CALENDERED VINYLS:

Calendered vinyls are less dimensionally stable and may shrink due to the mechanical manufacturing process whereby the PVC retains 'memory' of it's original form and will attempt to return to this original form.
PVC is naturally a rigid material so 'plasticisers' are added to soften the vinyl for practical use, other additives are 'stabilisers' in the vinyl to protect against the effects of heat, UV light and also to create coloured vinyls.

Two types of calendering are currently available; 'monomeric' and 'polymeric' – differentiated by the two types of plasticisers used in their manufacture. It is worth noting that these two types of calendered vinyls perform slightly differently in one direction than the other (i.e.: in machine direction and cross machine direction).

THE PRO'S AND CON'S OF MONOMERIC VINYLS:

Monomeric vinyls contain plasticisers which use short-chain chemical bonds so don't bind into the film as efficiently so will more easily migrate from the film leaving it brittle over time. Monomeric films are suitable for most internal applications and selective short-term external applications, are generally quite stiff so can be harder on blade wear and are barely conformable over contours so are recommended for flat-sided applications only.

RECOMMENDED USE: Interior work and short term external applications where life span is expected to be 2, 3 and 3-5 years and are usually 75-85 microns thick.

PROS:

Ideal for flat sided applications
Suitable for most customers job requirements
Can be lower in price than polymeric and cast vinyls
Short to medium life span
Stiffer/thicker films make handling easier
The thicker films allow for greater abrasion resistance
Usually 75-85 microns thick
Expected life span is 2, 3 and 3-5 years
CONS:

Not suitable for applications onto uneven or contoured surfaces
Can be susceptible to slight shrinkage over the life span of the vinyl
THE PRO'S AND CON'S OF POLYMERIC VINYLS:

Polymeric vinyls, sometimes known as 'stabilised films' or 'extended life films' contain long-chain plasticisers which allow them to bind into the film more efficiently, thus reducing the migratory effect. These films are generally less prone to shrinkage, typically 50% less than a Monomeric vinyl.

Polymerics feel softer and in general have a longer outdoor life expectancy compared to monomerics.

These films are primarily available in a gloss finish, although translucent and matt finishes are also obtainable.
They are suitable for most external applications, but conformability over complex contours is somewhat limited.

RECOMMENDED USE: Interior work and intermediate external applications where cast films are not an option. Polymeric vinyls are ideal for flat or slightly curved surfaces, with a 5-7 years and 8+ years life span and are most usually 70-75 microns thick.

PROS:

Longer life span than monomerics
No shrinkage Ideal for flat and slightly curved applications
Stiffer/thicker films make handling easier
The thicker films allow for greater abrasion resistance
Usually 70-75 microns thick
Expected life span is 5-7 years and 8+ years life span

CONS:

More expensive than monomeric calendered vinyls


CAST VINYLS – THE PRO'S AND… WELL, THE PRO'S!

Cast vinyls are the choice where dimensionally stable applications are required.
The liquified resin is coated onto a highly polished substrate i.e. casting paper, to produce an extremely thin film of vinyl. Due to the lack of mechanical force being used cast films do not retain 'memory' as with calendered vinyls, consequently shrinkage is minimal (typically 50% less than polymeric films).

Cast films are generally very soft to handle and are easier to cut, weed and apply than calendered alternatives.

Cast films are primarily available in a high gloss finish and are the ultimate in terms of conformability over complex contours i.e. rivets, corrugations etc. and are the preferred option for the most extreme exterior applications and vehicle wraps.
All the ingredients used in the production of cast vinyl are of the best quality so performance is superior in terms of temperature ranges, colorfastness etc. is generally better than that of calendered films.
Cast films also perform equally well in both directions, i.e. in machine and cross machine direction.

RECOMMENDED USE: Due to a cast films long life, stability and quality it is suitable for most types of work where there is any doubt as to which type of vinyl is best to use, and is a premium vinyl for interior and external applications. Normally cast films are 8-10 year films and are 50-60 microns thick, soft, thin and flexible so are ideal for all types of vehicle wraps.

PROS:

The longest life span for vinyls
The quality raw materials used give cast vinyls the highest levels of durability
No shrinkage

Soft, flexible and thin so is conformable over complex contours (i.e. rivets, corrugations etc) as well as for use on flat sided surfaces
A greater level of vinyl colour choices are available
Bespoke colours can be more easily manufactured than with calendered vinyls
Colour macthing between batches is more accurate

Cast vinyls maintain vinyl colour and other properties better than other vinyl films, resulting in better pigments and UV absorber performance
Usually 50-60 microns thick
Expected life span is 8-10 years

CONS:

None! If a high level of conformability and/or durability is needed then Cast vinyls are your choice


(Source of article - APS)
<<

Martin Oxenham

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 1006

Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:21 pm





Post Fri May 09, 2014 9:00 am

We have been using Oracle 651 for about 14 years and have never had any shrinkage or fading on vans or signs. The only problem ever encountered was Yellow fading so we use 551 for Yellow. Its one of the cheapest decent brands.
If your really worried go for the 551. I can't see the point of using anything better when you are trying to compete with other sign business.
We get offered cheaper material all the time but if "it aint broke don't fix it".
<<

Neil Davey

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 2521

Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 8:58 pm





Post Fri May 09, 2014 9:07 am

Ade Brown wrote:M7 and 551 for me.

Neil id be interested in your thoughts on the image perfect 5700

Adrian


IP5700 is much the same as M7, made in the same factory in Lancaster I believe.
It has less static than M7 though. That's if you've noticed the static in M7 :-)
Like I said we use it on trucks vans signs etc. everyday and it performs very well for many years.
Spandex supply it.
<<

Mark Andrews

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 26

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:18 am

Thanks for your input everyone - have been using the IP5700 with great results so at the moment it's working for me.
Getting to grips with the varieties of products out there, and I'm sure it takes ages to find the ones that perform in a way that is cost efficient and a good quality.
..so much to learn, but that's what makes it interesting!
Cheers All.

Return to Vinyl



Who is online

Registered users:
Neil Danley

 

About
Contact
Board Rules
Membership
Terms & Conditions

 

Signapp - iPhone & iPad
Signapp - Android
Vehicle Wrap Training
Vinyl Application Training
Vehicle Wrap Accreditation
UK Sign Group
Site Membership
Advertising
Videos
British Signs & Graphics Assoc.

 

 Facebook
 Twitter
 Youtube
 Linkedin

 

Who is Online

In total there are 63 users online ::
3 registered, 0 hidden and 60 guests
[based on past 5 minutes]

Most users ever online was
370 on Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:02 pm

Registered users:
Neil Danley

Copyright © 2000 - 2019 Robert Lambie