Through hail, snow, wind, rain and sunshine the postman may come, but if you are applying vinyl you will need to consider the specifications before trying to deliver your services!
Winter is on its way (some may disagree and say its already here) , we all know that we South Africans are mostly summer people. Thank goodness we only deal with “real” winter for 4 months (June, July, August).
This season is critical for printers and applicators. As the temperature changes outside, the temperature drastically changes indoors. It is so important to check out your data and spec sheets before printing and applying. Temperature of the adhesion, the vinyl and the substrate make a huge difference. Since these things are affected by external temperatures, you need to be wise about how you store vinyl and when you apply it.
There are environmental conditions even in your warehouse that could hinder the success of your service. Just as adhesive vinyl is temperature sensitive during application it is also sensitive while in storage.
Vinyl is delivered in rolls, and should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. The storage temperature should not exceed what is mentioned in spec or data sheets from you suppliers. The length of storage is also a consideration, therefore get your old stock out first.
“Before processing, the self-adhesive films should be accommodated to the humidity and temperature prevailing in the processing area. Extreme variations between storage and processing conditions could cause the protective paper to shrink or expand, leading to insufficient flatness of the self-adhesive material and dimensional changes in the cuts”, says product specialist from Oracal.
Most vinyl have an application range, it is important to double check this range against the data / spec sheet.
“If the temperature is too cold, then the adhesive will not stick. By contrast, if it is too hot, then the adhesive becomes overly aggressive. The same holds true for the vinyl itself. If it is too cold, then the vinyl becomes stiff and less flexible. If it is too hot, then the vinyl softens up and becomes difficult to handle.”
Putting vinyl on substrates that are too hot or too cold will result in the adhesive getting either gummy or brittle. Any which way you cut it, applying outside the recommended temperature ranges reduces the vinyl’s ability to perform.
Things to consider:
Experienced installers will also tell you to avoid the morning dew. As the temperature warms up in the morning, the heat of the air in the ground creates condensation. If you have condensation on your adhesive, then it’s not going to stick very well. In fleet applications, the condensation
will stay under the rivets much longer than in flat areas. So if you lay vinyl down in the morning, dew yo
u will trap moisture under the graphics.
The environmental considerations do not end after the vinyl is
applied. There are also precautions in the immediate period post-application and when you remove vinyl.
Avoid any significant drop in temperature during the first 24 hours after application. Should this occur anyway, we recommend treating the film with hot air from a heat gun or other heat source.
While these are general rules, be sure to check out the technical bulletins that accompany each film. Different manufacturers and even different films from the same manufacturer could have slightly different specifications.
Our spec sheets are all on our website, under products. Click here to be directed
If you need a specific spec sheet, contact a sales rep or contact us!