Sign & Digital Graphics

2016 WRAPS

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108 • WRAPS • 2 0 1 6 TOOLS & EQUIPMENT hand pressure and squeegees to apply the film," he says. "We didn't have to use the heat gun at all." He added that the colors remained true, even when stretched around edges and severe contours. "The TPU product went on very fast, much quicker than many products we have used in the past." Because they remain flexible over the life of the application, TPU-based graphic films are also easily removed when it comes time to change the graphic or advertising message. Durability Today's typical race car is a lot like a rolling billboard—covered with team names, supplier brands, sponsor logos and more. And underneath those meticulously crafted branding messages may be even more graphics, images wrapped around the entire vehicle that are designed to convey a carefully calcu- lated impression—or to simply make the car look like it's going fast when it's just sitting there. Cars used in professional races—such as those driven by the WE Racing team— take a beating from the dust, dirt, stones, chunks of rubber, fumes and chemicals that they drive through as they hurtle around a track for hundreds of miles per race. In 2014 WE Racing's #55 Corvette, driven by Paul Plemenos, received a com- plete new graphic wrap sporting a full- body U.S. flag graphic printed on white TPU graphics film. It is protected by a clear TPU overlaminate. Smaller graphic elements, including sponsors' logos, are positioned on top of the wrap graphic. When asked at an April 2015 meet- and-greet event how the TPU product endured the rigors of the pro racing cir- cuit, Plemenos stated, "See for yourself," pointing at his car. "It's still on the car and looks great after a full season of racing." He then added, "In one race when the guys in front of me would get two wheels off in the dirt, my rooftop camera and windshield were being pelted with rocks and dirt, so you know the car was, too. Yet besides a cracked windshield, there's not one area where there's damage." TPU's Lesser-Known Properties Another characteristic common to both TPU paint protection films and T P U graphic films is their ability to "heal" after incurring minor damage. The product's self-healing properties cause most scratches and scrapes to dis- appear, often in a matter of seconds. This unique property makes the product ide- ally suited for the harsh outdoor environ- ments in which automotive wraps and advertising graphics exist. While clear polyurethane overlami- nate film was originally designed to protect graphics printed on a white TPU substrate, it can often be used to protect graphics printed on other commonly used inkjet media. Be sure to test. Installers Scott Weglinski and Justin Veillette of Sign Techniques working with Argotec's TPU wrap film. (Images courtesy of Sign Techniques) Sign Techniques wrapped this van in Argotec's TPU film. The shop reports good results. (Image courtesy of Sign Techniques)

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