What Is Sign Vinyl?

vinyl signs

Sign Vinyl can be used to create a range of different eye-catching, creative and colourful displays and advertisements. There is a range of different sign vinyl to choose from such as cast vinyl, calendered vinyl, polymeric vinyl, transparent vinyl, matt vinyl, and gloss vinyl. All of these types of vinyls are fantastic for different reasons. For example, polymeric vinyl is perfect to use when creating banners as it uses plasticisers with a large molecule size, this means that polymeric vinyl is resistant to most environments and has long durability. On the other hand, calendered vinyl film is used for short term application as it doesn’t have a strong resistance to harsh environments. This is because calendered vinyl is made by PVC material being squeezed between heated steel rollers to form a thin sheet of film. calendered vinyl is incredibly similar to cast vinyl, cast vinyl films are very flexible and can withstand harsh environments. The reason cast vinyl films have much longer durability than calendered vinyl films is because of the way they are manufactured. Most sign types of vinyl are manufactured differently and this impacts what they can be used for.

If you have limited knowledge about sign vinyl then it can be extremely daunting and challenging choosing a sign vinyl which is suitable for your particular project.

This ultimate guide to sign vinyl is going to explain how to choose the right sign vinyl for your project, how long certain sign types of vinyl last, what self-adhesive vinyl is used for, what is cast vinyl and much more. Discover more about the world of sign vinyl today.


What Is Sign Vinyl?

Sign vinyl is a material which is backed with adhesive that can be applied to different surfaces, it’s much like a very large sticker. You can apply sign vinyl to vehicles, windows, walls and a wide range of different flat or curved surfaces. Sign vinyl can be cut into different shapes and sizes, laminated, wrapped on vehicles and printed on.

Sign vinyl is available in four different categories: calendered, cast, printed and pigmented. All categories of sign vinyl have different manufacturing processes, this determines what the sign vinyl is used for.

Sign vinyl can be an effective and creative way to promote your business. You can cut Sign vinyl to produce colourful and bright display advertising and graphics which stand out in any location. Sign Vinyl has an endless list of different possibilities and has the potential to help promote your business in a range of different locations.


How To Choose The Right Sign Vinyl?

Choosing the right sign vinyl will depend on where you’re applying your vinyl, how long for and what adhesive you’re using. Some types of vinyl are perfect for outdoor use such as calendered vinyl, whereas other types of vinyl are more suitable for indoor use such as an intermediate vinyl like the Oracal 631. Solvent-based adhesives are best to use as they don’t whiten when applied wet and cold and they have excellent temperature resistance. Deciding on the right vinyl for your project will depend on what the project is. If you’re planning on wrapping a vehicle then the best vinyl to use will be a cast vinyl film, whereas if you want to create an indoor or outdoor graphic then self-adhesive vinyl will be the better option.

Researching the sign vinyl you want to use before purchasing is vital. The Vinyl Corporation has been providing sign vinyl to sign makers and the sign-making industry for over thirty years. We have a team of experts that have a wealth of knowledge about the products we stock. Our team will be able to provide you with advice on the best product to use for a particular project. Get in touch with us today by using our contact form, by emailing us at: dmtvc.march@btconnect.com or by calling us on: 0115 930 1133.


How Long Does Sign Vinyl Last?

The durability of sign vinyl depends on the material, adhesive and where it’s being applied to. The main reason most sign vinyl doesn’t have long outdoor durability is down to UV radiation being emitted by the sun. The UV radiation affects the colour of most vinyl signs and after a number of years, the sign will begin to fade.

Below are examples of how long some sign vinyl’s last:

  • calendered PVC films are economy and intermediate vinyl which is perfect to use for short to medium term graphics and vinyl signs. Most calendered PVC films will have an outdoor life span of between three to six years depending on the colour and quality of the vinyl.
  • Cast PVC vinyl is a better-quality vinyl compared to calendered PVC vinyl. Most cast films will have an outdoor life span of between five to twelve years depending on the brand and quality of the vinyl.
  • Translucent vinyl allows light to travel through and can be used for backlight graphics and advertisements such as lightboxes. Translucent vinyl is available in cast or calendared vinyl and can last between five and seven years.

Most sign types of vinyl will have different durability’s, this is because they are all manufactured differently and have different properties.


What Is The Best Sign Vinyl For Outdoor Use?

Calendered PVC films are of the best vinyl’s to use for outdoors. Calendered PVC films are economy and intermediate types of vinyl which are used for short to medium outdoor vinyl signs and graphics. Most Calendered films will have outdoor durability ranging from three to six years, depending on the colour. Colours such as gold, silver, bronze and red will fade quicker than standard colours such as black, grey and white. The outdoor durability will also depend on the application, a vinyl sign will last a lot longer in an environment free of chemicals and pollutants. Calendered PVC films are the best to use for outdoor application and one of the best products to use is Oracal 651.

The Oracal 651 has a solvent-based permanent adhesive which means it’s able to withstand harsh weather conditions. The Oracal 651 has an indoor life span of between ten and twelve years and an outdoor life span of six to eight years. The intermediate vinyl is perfect for car decals, exterior and interior signs and advertisements. The reason the Oracal 651 is perfect for outdoor use is that it’s an intermediate vinyl with a solvent polyacrylic adhesive, making it stable and easy to use.


What Is Self-Adhesive Vinyl Used For?

Self-adhesive vinyl is commonly used for creating outdoor and indoor graphics and advertisements, It is a versatile and flexible material that can be used to decorate rooms and walls within your home or office. Self-adhesive vinyl has a variety of different uses and can be used to create stickers, decals, banners and letters. Self-adhesive vinyl is strong enough to withstand high temperatures and water and can be cut into any shape or size. You can stick self-adhesive vinyl to most flat and curved surfaces such as plastic, metal and aluminium.


What Is Cast Vinyl? 

Cast vinyl is a premium grade vinyl that is mainly used for wrapping vehicles, this is because cast vinyl has a long durability and self-adhesive ability. Cast vinyl is produced by turning ingredients such as plasticizer, PVC resin and colourant into paint by the use of a solvent. Cast vinyl has an outdoor life span of between 8-10 years depending on colour and brand. Although cast vinyl provides many benefits it also has it’s downsides. Cast vinyl is much more expensive than other vinyls and application can be a lot more difficult.

Here at The Vinyl Corporation, we stock a range of cast vinyl films such as the Oracal 751, 951, 7510 and the Avery 700, 777 and 900. Discover our range of cast vinyl film’s today.


What Is Calendered Vinyl Used For? 

Calendered vinyl is an economy and intermediate vinyl which is used to create graphics and vinyl signs. You can easily apply Calendered vinyl on any surface as it provides excellent performance on flat, simple and moderate curves. You can purchase the economy and intermediate vinyl in a range of different vibrant colours as well as a variety of gloss levels. Calendered vinyl is perfect for applications that do not require the vinyl to stretch or conform. You should not use Calendered vinyl for vehicle wrapping at any circumstances.

If you would like to find out more information about sign vinyl then get in touch with The Vinyl Corporation today. The Vinyl Corporation has been providing sign vinyl to sign makers and the sign-making industry for over thirty years. You can get in touch by using our contact form, by emailing us at dmtvc.march@btconnect.com or by calling us on 0115 930 1133, and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.