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Need Help 3M 680 Reflective Bubbling

Discussion in 'Vehicle Graphics' started by Chuck B, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    Jan 14, 2018
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    I successfully applied 2 colors of 3M 680 reflective to a 2017 Dodge Charger. It all went down smooth without a hitch....now I notice some bubbling occurring. I pop them,...but others appear at different spots. I've come to the conclusion that the car's paint is still outgassing. Can anyone share similar experiences?...could there be other issues besides paint outgassing? The vinyl used was from different lots,...and 2 different colors as well,...so I've kind of ruled out a failure of the vinyl. Will the vinyl eventually flatten out?,....or am I screwed?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. Not sure if your screwed yet or not.
    Was it 680Mc with air egress? If not air egress, was it installed wet or dry? Do the bubble only appear when out in the sun and it gets warmed up? Was the car recently painted?

    Give us a little more info if you can.
     
  3. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    Offgassing would look like a bunch of tiny pimples, not a couple large bubbles usually.

    Have you re-heated everything with a heat gun?
     
  4. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    No it was not air egress...it was installed dry. It was a new Dodge Charger (produced in October 2017). Bubbles do seem to enlarge when warm,...and lays down flat when cold. I did a test---applied the vinyl to a piece of Dibond to make sure it wasn't a vinyl failure. I'm convinced that the car's paint is still outgassing (as odd as that sounds). I read that outgassing of paint stops at temps below 55 degrees? If the car was produced in October (depending on where the production plant is), it's quite possible the car never was in an environment above the 55 degree mark since it's production. One would think that Dodge would heat cure the paint at the factory, but paint outgassing is the only explanation I can come up with. Vinyl goes on perfectly, and within minutes, bubbles started to appear. I did a second car (that had more time to sit) and it did a lot better---but still bubbled a bit.

    I've since went back to look at the first car (being used by the client). It was cold and raining---graphics were perfectly flat.
     
  5. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    Yep,...pimples. And no to heat gun---made things worse.
     
  6. henryz

    henryz Member

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    For some reason, reflective vinyl will trap gas more than regular vinyl. We have experience this on painted panels that haven't cure 100% but a cars paint job? sounds weird. You might want to apply a small sample vinyl next time before
     
  7. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    If it looks like pimples, it's likely offgassing paint.

    General rule from 3M is if a car was painted, and the manufactures paint says it takes 4 days to offgass... you double it.

    Theres a test you can do - Put a 12" x 12" patch on the car, squeegee it down.. then use the heat gun on high. If it starts to pimple / bubble, that's the paint offgassing due to the heat.

    Literally just learned these tricks/standards last week at a 3M Wrap course! Didn't think it'd ever apply to me.. but at least I Can pass the info on.
     
  8. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    We apply reflective all the time on fresh 7 day old paint for a security customer, never had this problem...we use cheap Oracal.
    Have never seen this problem in 9 years.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    Thanks for the info...yes, that's why heating with the heat gun made it worse. Thing is, waiting until the car could be exposed for 8 days in 55+ degree heat was not an option. Actually (go figure) when the client picked up the first car, they remarked how "great" it looked...haha...and when I told them the situation (and pointed it out), they weren't really concerned----but I sure am...lost sleep over this.
     
  10. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    I've never had a problem either...putting graphics on fresh paint has never been an issue until these 2017 Chargers.
     
  11. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    I was also told it's more of an issue on 680 due to how it's made - You'll notice when you peel it off, it completely seperates from the glue and leaves not just glue, but some sort of "Foil" behind. It traps air in more than regular vinyl...so it causes the issue more.

    We were told if you must get them out right away without waiting, you can use a heat gun at 1,000 degrees and go over every spot you'll be vinyling just like your post heating - Then do the sample with heat and see if it bubbles. What the heat does is cause the paint to offgass faster, which is why you get bubbles when using the heat gun / after it's out in the sun... So slowly going over works.

    You can also put a space heater blowing against the car, but itd take longer since it's not as hot.

    Different paints offgass at different times... Maybe the charger is using a different formula.
     
  12. rob402

    rob402 New Member

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    i have had this issue with the 680 as well. red and blue are usually the worst. using a roller block squeegee it's usually worse. using a regular golden squeegee pushing hard as hell gives me the best results. pushing harder than hell leaves lines in the material though, so it's a gentle balance. i was just having "fun" with this stuff over the weekend. i prefer using the good avery just to avoid this, unless i'm matching something and i can't. it's not the paint. 3m should have addressed this years ago.
     
  13. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    Tell them they waive all Warranty, and when the customer comes back with bubbles in 7 days they will be the ones who will be repaying to have the work re-done, and it'll be even more expensive because you're going to tack on removal fees. Odds are they'll wait.

    Or tell them you'll re-decal, they can put painters tape over the decal, then paint around. If they say thats impossible, tell them you can't sign off on the work unless you're decaling on an offgassed surface, which can be done before, or after they paint, their choice.
     
  14. It could be out gassing of the paint but I highly doubt it. A little background on us, we started in business 27 years ago doing restorations and custom paint. Paint used at the factory is different than paint used in body shops. The only way the clear used at the factory dries is with heat curing at 140 - 170 degrees, plus the body is painted 10 to 30 days before it leaves the assembly line. Then is wrapped in protective coverings for shipping. If the paint isn't cured the car would look like hell when the protective wrap is peeled off at the dealer.

    IMO more likely is there is small amount of air trapped under the film that when it is heated expands and forms the bubbles. I have had this happen with $3000 factory BOSS Mustang stripe kit that is made from 3m 680. It looked great inside the shop, rolled it out and an hour later it looked like hell. The problem I see with reflective is once it stretches it doesn't want to shrink back up even after you pop the bubble and reheat it. We have gone to only using air release reflective when possible. If we have to install regular reflective, we wet apply with an alcohol slip solution and the car is left inside over night to cure out before its pulled out in the sun. If its cold we cure it in our air makeup paint booth. I know not everyone has access to a $60,000 paintbooth but a warm room over night will accomplish the same thing.

    Good luck, I am sure you will figure out what works good for you.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    Interesting....but for me---I've used this 680 countless times with success. The first issues I've ever had with the material is the last 2 new cars.
     
  16. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    Thanks everyone---I appreciate you guys weighing in....valuable input. I really appreciate it!
     
  17. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    The paint wouldnt still be offgassing. Youd have solvent pop all over the car. As far as I know solvents still evaporate in the cold, its the isos (hardener) that quits around 65
     
  18. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    If it's the paint they should return the car because it's defective.
     
  19. eahicks

    eahicks Very Active Member

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    Was the car waxed before you got hold of it? That can keep areas from sticking if all wax was not removed prior to installation.
     
  20. KMC

    KMC Graphic Artist

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    my installers had had this issue too when they came up the front to get me to ask what to do, i instructed to peal it all off and do another clean and rip test (they hadn't cleaned all the chemical /wax off the car first) i was not happy it had to be re done reflective is not cheep
     
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