Sign & Digital Graphics

2016 WRAPS

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2 0 1 6 • WRAPS • 107 protection as the paint on cars and trucks. Art directors, printers and installers go to great lengths and expense to cre- ate graphic images designed to promote a brand, convey a strategic message, or in the case of emergency vehicle signage, even to protect people. The right graphic printing and overlaminate films can help deliver and protect those images in the clearest way over long periods of time. It was thus a logical extension to repurpose paint protection film into sim- ilarly formulated TPU film products for the specialty printing graphics industry. First, using the same polymer back- bone with some added engineering tech- nology, Argotec developed and in 2012 introduced a premium overlaminate for promotional vehicle wraps and other outdoor graphics applications. It is optically clear, conformable and durable, UV resistant, and retains these properties at both high and low temperatures. These uncoated, graphic overlaminate films are typically pro- duced in thicknesses from 1-2 mils (25-50 microns), roll widths up to 62 inches (1.57 meters) and lengths up to 1,000 non-spliced lineal yards (914.4 m), depending on thickness. Printable White TPU Films Polyurethane film has been produced in colors for decades. It didn't take long for engineers to realize that with some additional engineering to the base resin, they could create a white TPU printable media to partner with their overlami- nate film. Thus, in 2013, the company introduced white, printable 2-mil (50 microns) TPU film, also in widths up to 62 inches (1.57 meters). This white, inkjet-printable T P U film is compatible with a wide variety of commercial printing ink systems, includ- ing UV screen print inks, solvent screen inks, digital eco-solvent, digital solvent, as well as digital latex and UV-cure inkjet systems. Currently, printer profiles and corresponding inks are provided on the company's website for 28 wide-format printer models from Epson, HP, Mimaki, Mutoh and Roland. Argotec's TPU film, was originally repurposed as an overlaminate. (Image courtesy of Sign Techniques) Soon the com- pany developed a white, printable TPU film for use as a wrap film. (Image courtesy of Sign Techniques) Because it is extrusion coated onto a high gloss PET carrier, the TPU film can be wound and unwound without the need for processing aids that could cause ink deposition problems. Installation Sign Techniques, Inc., of Chicopee, Massachusetts, was one of the first sign/ vehicle graphics companies to use the new TPU graphic films system. It is a full-service sign and vehicle lettering/ graphics company that designs, manu- factures, installs and services interior and exterior signage as well as fleet graphics and custom vehicle lettering. Its print and installation technician, Scott Weglinski, used the film to wrap an old white service van in an entirely new graphic. "Our Roland XC-540 printer per- formed beautifully," Weglinski says. "The eco-solvent inks went down and dried true, with no bleed or banding. The clear TPU overlaminate bonded smoothly to the printed substrate using our Royal Sovereign RSC-1400C laminator with- out any bubbles or voids. The gloss finish was like glass." Weglinksi explained that the installa- tion was smooth and fast. "We were able to use just white glove

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