The Vinyl Corporation has been providing Sign Making Vinyl and Sign Makers Supplies for over 30 years and would like to share some product knowledge about Sign Vinyl that has been learned in the experience of supplying Vinyl Sign making materials:
WHAT IS POLYMERIC VINYL?
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC) Polymer is a hard, unworkable piece of material so various ingredients are added to make this the roll of sign making vinyl that you wish to cut or print and cut, the PVC is heated and brought to a molten state and then Plasticisers, colour pigments, UV and heat stabilisers, fillers and processing aids are added prior to the mixture being passed through the large Calendering pressure rollers, that stretch and roll out the film to the desired size and shape required.
The Plasticisers used in this process are probably the “Key” ingredient, as the name “POLYMERIC” VINYL refers to the Plasticiser in the vinyl, as the grade of plasticiser used in this process is a Long Chain Plasticiser and as such is less prone to Migration than Monomeric Vinyl. POLY – meaning many and MERIC meaning body or unit suggests that the Polymeric Vinyl can expand and contract in many directions, unlike Monomeric Vinyl that due to the manufacturing techniques employed only expand or contract in ONE DIRECTION.
LET’S GET SCIENTIFIC
PHTHALATE ESTERS are Esters of PHTHALIC ACID these are mainly used as the all important plasticisers in Polymeric vinyl, they are added to the plastic to increase the Flexibility, Transparency, Durability and Longevity. Phthalates are made by reacting Phthalic Anhydride with Alcohols ( Word used to regain the readers interest!) Various different alcohols can be used from the Methanol or Ethanol right up to Tridecyl Alcohol. The choice of alcohol introduced into the mixture will determine the flexibility and durability of the Polymeric Vinyl that is eventually rolled out and later dispatched from The Vinyl Corporation warehouse facility in Nottingham.
FLEXIBILITY AND DURABILITY of the Vinyl Film
Polymeric plotter vinyl, which is usually 60 -80 Microns thick, is dimensionally more stable than the Monomeric Vinyl which is usually thicker and less flexible. The Polymeric Vinyl marketed by The Vinyl Corporation under Brand Names such as AVERY 700, LGChem 7000 series, Simply Vinyl, Image Perfect 5700 and MACTAC 9800 series, has a 5-7 year life span and is recommended for internal or external medium term Vinyl Graphics, Fleet Graphics and Marine Graphics (LG Chem with the marine adhesive) . This generic form of Vinyl is often referred to as “Extended Life or Stabilised” film because of the long chain construction of the plasticisers that permit better binding to the film and therefore are more efficient, reducing Migration and Shrinking.
WHICH ADHESIVE SHOULD WE USE?
Generally a Polymeric vinyl will carry a Permanent Solvent based Acrylic adhesive system, primarily because this will form a better bond with the film and so reducing the likelihood of De-Lamination, Curling, Shrinking or Tunnelling, the solvent based acrylic adhesive will generally produce better results, than an emulsion based adhesive, in the Industry standard Shear Strength and Peel Adhesion testing, this information is generally available if you request a specification sheet from The Vinyl Corporation.
SOLVENT PRINTING VINYL and LAMINATES
When Solvent, Eco Solvent, UV or Latex printing vinyl is used in sign production, Polymeric Vinyl will usually be recommended – if the budgetary constraints will not run to using CAST VINYL.
Not only will the Polymeric Vinyl be easier to apply and remain in place for longer but because they are produced with an enhance plasticiser the printing surface is actually smoother than a Monomeric printing surface.The Vinyl Corporation will always recommend that when the Polymeric Vinyl has been printed, than a corresponding Laminate is applied- this should also carry a Solvent Acrylic adhesive as it will apply better to the surface, especially on a UV printed surface.The Orajet 3551RA or the Avery 2800 series Polymeric Printing vinyl with the corresponding laminate will give excellent results, should you require any advice regarding the type or brand of Solvent Printing Vinyl and laminate that would be best suited to your latest project please call and our team of helpful friendly adviser will be only to happy to steer you in the right direction