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Helmet Wraps & Decals

Discussion in 'Labels and Decals' started by VTG, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    I've read a bunch of different post on this subject, however, I'm still not certain that I've come across the information that I'm looking for.

    We're always looking into new markets and opportunities. We've recently decided to diversify our business by jumping into the world of Helmet Wraps for Football, Lacrosse & Ice Hockey.

    We're going to start testing a few different vinyls and laminates for best adhesion, conform-ability, and durability. The basic work flow will include your typical Print/Lam/Cut process using a Roland VS-540 and a RS 54" laminator. We'll probably end up using a 2-4 mil cast vinyl with a 12 mil clear overlam. But we may end up with something as thick as 18-20 mil (vinyl + lam).

    We'd like to keep the price affordable. We also don't want the decal/wraps to be permanent (teams may want to remove them at end of one or two seasons).

    The first proto-type was done this past weekend using Arlon DPF 4560GTX (3 mil calendered) and Arlon 3590 OverLam (12 mil). Not sure how well it will "wet-out" though, seems like it peels off the helmets a little too easily.

    We're going to take a look at Convex GearWrap and MotoWrap later this week. I think the Convex HighBond would be an overkill.

    Does anyone have any specific suggestions or recommendations for the type of Vinyl to use ... based on your actual experience with helmet wraps and/or decals (good or bad).

    Again, we're just looking for a vinyl that has a decent degree of conform-ability and adhesion. I'll gladly share our results after we test a few.

    Thanks for any & all input.
     
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  2. Bill43mx

    Bill43mx Member

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    I think you will find that you are looking at two different types of vinyls even though you are lumping them together when you say "Helmet wraps and decals". If you are doing logo type decals convex or substance are the "go to" vinyls. They both have thinner vinyls that would probably be fine for this application. If you are doing actual wraps (full coverage) you need a high end car wrap vinyl and laminate. I don't think you will be able to do a true wrap with the thick laminate.
     
  3. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    I haven't had to do any, but I plan on experimenting with what this guy did. I got the barrel, just need to cut it. If you can ever use this process it's gotta be the easiest.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFEvctCEYq8
     
  4. CP Signs

    CP Signs Member

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    Use my barrel all the time. The biker helmets are real easy. Ski-doo, motorcross..... Not so much.
     
  5. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Bill, you are correct in pointing out that a basic helmet decal would not necessarily require the same type of vinyl as a full blown helmet wrap. I should have been a little more clear in my original post.

    With respect to the helmet wrap templates & designs that we are considering, they're actually going to be "partial" wraps that will cover the entire helmet by using two or three sections of vinyl/lam. So yes, not a true "wrap" per normal definition. In other words, we won't be wrapping the helmet with just a single piece of vinyl. There are a whole handful of contours and curves to cover with each panel however, which is why we're looking for good conform-ability and good adhesion.

    We'll definitely need the lam to be thicker for durability and abrasion since all three helmets are for contact/impact sports. The good news is, the thicker lam does work with the smaller "panels". You're right though, I'm pretty certain the thicker lam would not work on a full blown helmet wrap.

    Again, just seeking feedback on the pros/cons of the different types of vinyls that folks have used on helmets.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Browner

    Browner Member

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    I've been supplying customers with graphics made from Convex GearWrap for a few years now. Football/Hockey/Baseball/Lacrosse and the odd ATV. Not a single complaint from any of them, and plenty of return customers.
     
  7. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Thanks Chris, I'm sure the Convex GearWrap is going to be in the running. We just ordered some earlier today so we can test it out.

    What laminate (brand & thickness) do you prefer to use with the Convex vinyl? Again, we're leaning towards a 12 mil Lam right now.

    Thanks.
     
  8. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Here's a picture of one of the proto-types. The print color & pattern was selected randomly. I believe this one was done with a 2 mil vinyl and a 2 mil laminate just for initial testing. We'll be upgrading to a thicker laminate when we actually go into production.

    IMG_1855- A.jpg
     
  9. Coban

    Coban New Member

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    We do a bunch of helmet wraps and use Substance 6mil gloss vinyl combined with there 10 mil ultra curve laminate. They turn out great and hold up really well. However we do them as model specific kits.
     
  10. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Thanks for the info Coban ... we'll take a look at the Substance products.

    We're headed in the same direction with model specific layouts.
     
  11. TCE

    TCE New Member

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    Hell
    I just got to watching this video...... how sick is that !... You know almost everyone that sees that is going to try it!! I love ingenious stuff like this.
     
  12. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    wrapping Helmets are a waste of time, and not enough money. I turn them away daily
     
  13. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Agreed, wrapping one helmet isn't worth the time or money.

    Selling a set of 60 wrap kits that we don't have to apply is a different story.
     
  14. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Waste of time for one off racer guy.
     
  15. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Again, I agree. We're not interested in one-offs. We're also not interested in motorcycle or racing helmets. We're going to do the design work and the print/lam/cut process for multiple sets of decal kits (psuedo-wraps) for sports teams, like hockey, lacrosse and football. We're also not going to be applying them, so very little labor involved. This is not a new market, there are others who already do this and make a nice profit.
     
  16. pogiboy9

    pogiboy9 Member

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    VTG I'm impressed, did you guys take apart portions of the helmet ? And was this a prototype you guys designed a template for, or planning to do wrap on a case by case ?

    Thanks,
    Neil -

    --will pm you for more details if you don't mind
     
  17. Robert M

    Robert M Very Active Member

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    Arlon 3590

    VTG

    how did the arlon 3590 work out for you, i have customer working on those type of helmets
     
  18. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    No need to take the helmet apart. This was just one of a handful of templates that we created. Each brand/model of helmet requires a unique template based on the shape of the actual helmet (shell). We don't do any one-offs, just team orders.
     
  19. VTG

    VTG Member

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    Mar 11, 2013
    The Arlon 3590 Lam is fine for individual helmet decals, not so great for the helmet wraps.
     
  20. Davesign21

    Davesign21 New Member

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    Feb 5, 2013
    Bass boat carpet decal substrate?

    What can i use to adhere to exterior low pile carpet. I see a few companies that produce the items, Iguana Graphixs, but cant seem to get something that can get wet. and stand up to speeds of 50 mph, these will be laminated w non slip laminate.
     
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