What Is Vinyl Wrap?

Colour Change Wraps:

A colour change wrap consists of using Arjievinyls film to cover an entire vehicle so that the original colour cannot be seen. This film is then removable at a later date, if so required.

Paint Protection Films:

Paint Protection Films or PPF are clear and OEM paint colour match vinyl films designed to protect paint. Arjievinyls Clear PPF allows the OEM paint colour to show through the protective vinyl and colour matching vinyl films replicate the OEM colour with a protective vinyl it does not go yellow over time, or affect the original finish. 

Wrap Advertising:

Wrap Advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially covering (wrapping a vehicle in an advertisement or livery.

The result of this process is essentially a mobile billboard. Wrap advertising can be achieved by painting a vehicle's outer surface, but an increasingly ubiquitous practice in the 21st century involves the use of large vinyl sheets as "decals". The vinyl sheets can later be removed with relative ease, drastically reducing the costs associated with changing advertisements. While vehicles with large, flat surfaces (such as buses and light-rail carriages) are often used, automobiles can also serve as hosts for wrap advertising, despite consisting of more curved surfaces. Wrap advertising is also used in the magazine and publishing industries widely.

What Does Vinyl Wrap Consist Of?


Most vinyl films are made from the same basic raw materials. We begin with polyvinylchloride (PVC) polymer and is, by nature, relatively rigid. Other ingredients are then added to the PVC. These ingredients include: plasticiser to make the film flexible, pigment to make the desired colour, and additives to help achieve specific properties such as UV absorbers to improve resistance to UV radiation, heat stabilisers, fillers and processing aids. These raw materials can be chosen from a wide range of quality levels. Of course, for a film with limited durability, often the least expensive raw materials are chosen.

Apart from the type of raw materials that are used at manufacturing, the manufacturing process and the type of plasticiser used create the main differences of vinyl films. Vinyl films can either be made by calendering or by casting. Each of these processes renders different qualities of films. Casting generally results in higher quality films. The grade of plasticiser that is used to make the film flexible also greatly affects the properties of the film. Generally for pressure-sensitive adhesive films a choice is made between polymeric and monomeric plasticisers. We won't go into detail on the plasticisers in this article, but for simplicity's sake consider polymeric to be the higher grade and monomeric to be the economy grade plasticiser. The combination of these factors greatly determines the durability of vinyl films. 

Cast Films:


At Arjievinyls all of our Premium Vinyl Wrap films are cast films, the term "cast" refers to the manufacturing process of this type of vinyl. The vinyl begins with a formulation. These materials are added to a or mixing churn in a predetermined order while mixing at specific speed and for a set amount of time to ensure a complete and consistent mixture.

 

This liquid mixture, known as organosol, is then precisely metered or cast onto a moving web known as the casting sheet and is then processed through a series of ovens which allows for the evaporation of solvents. When the solvents are evaporated, a solid "film" is left behind. The film is then wound up in large-diameter rolls for subsequent adhesive coating.

 

All of Arjievinyls Premium Cast Range of vinyl, use only pressure activated glue, for easy tack and re-position. The casting sheet determines the texture of the film. Because the vinyl is cast on the casting sheet in a relaxed state, this material offers very good dimensional stability. This process also allows the film to be very thin, which helps with the conformability of the product. Material manufacturers recommend the use of cast films on substrates such as fleets, vehicles, recreational vehicles or boats where the customer wants a "paint-like" finish that will last a long time.

Advantages of Cast Films:

  • Shrinkage is the lowest of all vinyl films because the "casting sheet," not the film itself, is pulled through the machine. Since the film has not had any stress applied during the manufacturing process it does not try to resume or shrink back to its original form.

  • Durability of cast films is generally higher than that of other vinyl films due to the manufacturing method and the raw materials used.

  • Cast films can be made very thin which produces a conformable product that allows application over substrates with rivets, corrugations, and complex curves. Also, once applied, this low caliper makes the graphic less vulnerable to abrasive forces.

  • Cast films also maintain their colour and other properties better than other vinyl films. This results in better performance of pigments and UV absorbers.

  • The manufacturing process of cast films makes it easy to run small productions of special colours to match. It is relatively easy to change colour during production making colour matching in small batches possible.

Calendered Films:

Like cast, calendered film also gets its name from the manufacturing process. Using large, heated, steel rollers form the vinyl into a thin sheet. This process is called 'calendering'.

 

The first step is 'paste mixing' and 'extrusion': here all raw materials (e.g. PVC powder, liquid softener, colours) are mixed together based on the formulation. Improved formulations and the use of new pigments lead to increased colour options for calendered film. In the extrusion process the prepared fine powder mix ('dry blend') will fuse together into a homogenous mass, called the melt. The next step - the mill - consists of two counter rotating rolls, which can be heated up to 350 °F. The melt is continuously pulled into the gap and flattens out due to the pressure and temperature that is applied by the mill rolls.

 

When the strip reaches the calender rolls, it passes between multiple gaps which increase the temperature and uniformity. After each gap the film becomes thinner and wider according to the specifications. The film is still heated when it reaches the embossing station where different pattern and gloss levels are applied to the film.

Each surface structure requires a different embossing roll - for example to produce a high gloss film a different embossing roll is required but also a special setting of the whole calender line. Now that the film has received its final dimensions and surface it needs to be cooled down and transported to the last process stage of winding.

Advantages of Calendered Films:
  • Today's calendered films are thinner, glossier, have better conformability and less shrinkage than calendered films made years ago.

  • Greater production yields less cost

  • Stiffer/thicker film equals easier handling

  • Excellent performance on flat, simple and moderate curves

  • Today's calendered films have a greater variety of colours as well as a wide range of gloss levels.

  • Shrinkage of polymeric or high grade calendered films can be as low as 2-3%

  • Formulation of film increases resistance to abrasion

When using products from us at Arjievinyls you can be confident in a quality product first time every time. This begins with choosing the right vinyl for the job.

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