Sign & Digital Graphics

WRAPS '17

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2 0 1 7 • WRAPS • 83 for fleet graphics. This meant products were designed for long-term applica- tion on flat surfaces, providing little in the way of flexibility, customization and relief, leaving installers without much ability to alter the vinyl once applied to a vehicle's surface. From this point forward, adhesive technology was all about one thing: mak- ing installation easier. What began as an industry geared specifically for large- scale production and fleet owners now exists as a multifaceted marketplace that serves personal vehicle wraps, graphics for walls, floors and buildings, complex installation surfaces and locations, and much, much more. Thus, the demand for superior, easy to use products has skyrocketed, prompting manufacturers like 3 M to double down on innovation. The Right Stuff As graphic installations and wraps have shifted from something consum- ers view from afar to up-close viewing, the technological focus of adhesives has followed suit. Over the last few decades, film technology has seen major break- throughs—improving the films them- selves, and creating new desirable adhe- sive features. Every installation project has its own sets of challenges, but there's also a baseline for what's needed from a film's adhesive. In today's wrap films, adhesives and liners are often synonymous. What are most often thought of as adhesives, like Controltac and Comply technolo- gies, are technically film liners that con- tain the product's adhesive properties. Although they may vary from product to product, the following is a list of features in today's film adhesives and liners that are essential for optimal installation and performance. Slideability—Early vinyl films had very little in the case of slideability compared to their modern counter- parts. Instead of the adhesive qualities that allow today's products to move eas- ily across an application surface and be repositioned, earlier films needed far more accuracy upon first connection. What worked for large fleet installations at the time would not stand up to the intricacies and precision needed for cur- rent wrapping installations on personal vehicles. High-quality adhesives allow installers to reposition a wrap film, if the first position of the product isn't perfectly placed.

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