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Bubbles on Translucent with Lam

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by fresh, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    May 16, 2011
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    We ordered large (9x2' and 9x4') translucent prints with laminate, and BUBBLES. BUBBLES EVERYWHERE.

    My partner has been laying vinyl for 14 years, and he's never seen anything like it. We tried it dry, we tried it wet, we held one side up and taunt while squeegeeing. Nothing worked. Massive amounts of bubbles to be popped. After a long bubble popping session, it looks pretty good, and thankfully it is 25 feet up in the air.

    I am guessing that my supplier used the wrong laminate on the vinyl. We don't print in house, so I don't know all the ins and outs of printed vinyl. However, I do know if they put a calendered lam on a cast product it will probably cause problems. We ordered translucent w/ lam two weeks ago from the same supplier and didn't have any problems.

    So, do you think it was user error or was there a problem with the product?
     
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  2. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    im assuming this was applied to new polycarb panel?
     
  3. eahicks

    eahicks Very Active Member

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    Apr 17, 2012
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    I run that with a laminator and apply a very fine mist of rapid tac.
     
  4. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    Yes, new polycarbonate panel. We took the protective film off a day ahead of time to let it "breath." What do you think the problem could have been? I do not want a repeat of this in the future
     
  5. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    First, we don't have a laminator. Second, the panel was 66" wide. How wide a substrate can your laminator accept? Third, we used rapid tac, it helped a little, but it didn't solve the problem.
     
  6. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    I was going to say you didnt let the panel breath, but i guess that wasnt it. This is a weird issue.
     
  7. S'N'S

    S'N'S Active Member

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    Jun 5, 2008
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    I take the protective covering off right before I apply vinyl to it and never have trouble with bubbles, so the only thing I can think of is nicks in the squeegee or bad technique. If the bubbles are small, chuck the panels out in the sun and they will disappear.
    Its hard to give an accurate answer as we weren't there to watch the application, so we would only be guessing at best.
     
  8. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    improper technique..
    Flood the surface with rapid tac. Not a mist.. FLOOD IT..then squeegee from middle out..
     
  9. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    We apply translucent dry all the time.

    no issues here.
     
  10. eahicks

    eahicks Very Active Member

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    Sorry....you never said you didn't have a laminator, nor did you specify both prints went on the same panel, i.e. over 5' tall.

    Sorry to have given any thought to your problem.
     
  11. vid

    vid Very Active Member

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    Jun 11, 2003
    California
    I've had issues like that before. It looked like a bad case of acne.

    The material was allowed to out-gas and then cleaned with 99% alcohol prior to vinyl application. It was then gently misted with a garden sprayer until it was as moist as a swimming pool. A full coverage of vinyl was applied, wiped clean, and set out back for installation. As the sign sat it began to "effervesce."

    ...Later, that day, we had a couple dry applied aluminum signs do the same thing.​

    The only thing that we could come up with was some sort of contamination of shop towels that we used to clean the material --- (we had a cleaning service for the towels.)

    Both of the signs, ultimately laid down after some hot/cold cycles in the shop.

    Still not real sure what the deal was, but a big bundle of shop rags went back to the service unused and no problems after that.
     
  12. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    The thing is, we've done this before. Many, many times. The first run was a disaster. It was late, so we decided to leave it for the next day. The next day, we tried all the tricks we know, and it was still a mess.

    Nobody has commented on my theory that the prints may have had a calendared lamination. Have you ever accidentally put calendared laminate on cast vinyl? How did it effect the install?
     
  13. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    Sep 24, 2004
    I cant see it affecting the install, just the longevity
     
  14. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    nj
    Thank you. This problem continues to baffle us!
     
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