Sign & Digital Graphics

2016 WRAPS

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78 • WRAPS • 2 0 1 6 WRAP TECHNIQUES Luckily, this May, I was back in Tokyo to teach and oversee a master certifica- tion test. By good fortune, Koji was one of the installers participating. My job during the certification test was to really study the installer's methodology closely, and I noticed Koji and his partner Itoh doing things I have never seen any other installer do (and I've seen a lot of installers—from beginners to "famous" ones). They were starting at the most difficult points first (the corners essen- tially), stretching the material firmly without heat using the triangle technique then, with the film about not quite to the edges, they applied heat, which triggered the memory effect. With the film relaxed, they set up the edges then cut the excess film away, which created perfect, tension- free edges. I finally understood what Koji meant when he said, "I start on corner." By starting with the corner there is no ten- sion at the most critical point. By pulling the material away from this point with the material "cold" (Room temperature) the tension shifts to the flatter areas. The film does stretch during this process but only minimally (2 to 4 percent) which is why heat is added just before it's applied to the edges so it "relaxes" (goes back to 0 percent). This is the pre-stretch logic invented by the Germans, but by working the material "cold," it doesn't distort the film. This means the cold pre-stretch technique can be used for all types of film, which makes it perfect for any situation. An interesting side note, I asked Koji if I could show his technique on The Wrap Institute, which he happily agreed to. After making the videos, I asked him what he called his super cool technique. Koji said he never thought about it so I suggested calling it the cold pre-stretch technique. He said "perfect." Nothing lost in translation this time. APPLYING THE COLD PRE-STRETCH TECHNIQUE TO A STANDARD DOOR HANDLE Remove the door handle and wrap the main body. 2 Standard door handle found on most vehicles. 1 Re-Install the door handle so its anchored firmly on the body. 3 Make a precise pre-cut piece in the shape of a rectangle. 4 Don't start on the flat but instead begin at the hardest part—the corner. 5

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