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I need help!

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Big Blue, May 24, 2010.

  1. Big Blue

    Big Blue Member

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    Today my Boss came into the digital area and talked to me about problems we have been having with our printed graphics. We have been having a lot of issues with media curling and peeling off of the wall. He is getting upset, and says it makes us look ignorant. ( I agree).... I am fairly new to the printing world, and have basically learned all I know through trial and error or asking questions on this site. We are running two printers, Mimakijv3-160sp, and a vutek 200/600 UV. NO LAMINATOR!
    We use Oracal 3165rapid air, or 3651 for a lot of our "permanent" type signage
    Mactak Wall Noodle for our removable "barricade" signage
    Oracal 3850 for our translucent "backlit" signage.

    What combination SHOULD I be using for Latex painted Drywall, or Oilbased Painted drywall.
    What combination SHOULD I be using for my removable graphics.
    What combination Should I be using for my backlit signage.
    How should I instruct our installers to prep the walls for application.

    I don't have much time during my days to look into this stuff, like many of you I am responsible for much more than Digital Graphics..... So from one Digital Person to another Help me answer these questions.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
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  2. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    You have 2 printers and no laminator?

    Personally I believe if you do not laminate your prints, you are considered a "hack shop". For the amount invested in printers... never considered maybe just dropping another couple grand on a laminator?

    Could explain a LOT of your peeling problems, but as far as wall noodle... not sure.

    A lot of it really comes down to installation too. How you are putting the decals on, wet or dry, squeegees used... etc.
     
  3. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    any time you get delamination at the corner (predominantly) that is caused by shrinking. describe the type of peeling in more detail.
     
  4. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    I'm surprised your boss does not know the proper method(s). lamination is a must.

    I turn down a job working with a printer because they did not want to laminate a steady job and I know very little.
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Since this is in an Open Forum.... I would like to ask you a few preliminary questions first.

    • How long has your boss been in this business ??
    • How long has your boss been advertising digital capabilities ??
    • Although you are new and are learning by trial and error..... why can't your boss answer these questions ??
    This all sounds like an entirely new experience for your whole shop, if no one has any answers.

    I'm afraid your [boss's] lack of a laminator is probalby your biggest single contributor for vinyl failing, but it usually becomes application failure....

    To have so many failures, I would think a more in depth investigation into your shops procedures will give you a better idea of what you're all doing wrong.

    The amount... and kinds of questions you have tells me.... your shop is not ready for this sort of sign making. To get an internet crash course on how to print, what kind of materials to use and how do I apply it.... points to your whole shop taking some courses at a local sign shop and learn the ropes. There is entirely too much learn to figure it all out in one thread.

    Do yourself a favor and use the 'Search' features here and start learning. :thumb:
     
  6. Big Blue

    Big Blue Member

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    The Sign Shop is ver Successful. been in busisness for a very long time. Our signs are top notch and we supply signs for some very big names. Our Print shop is not new, but have had a hard time finding someone with the proper experience, and drive to learn or run the machines. My Boss as I called him is actually the owner of the company, so he is not concerned with all the printing knowledge, that's why he has me and the other guy I work with.... to learn and give him solutions to problems.... Sounds like One major factor we are missing is a laminator.... And as far as "the ammount and kind of questions" I have." I am just asking what other people are using, what other people have had success with. I listed what we are using, and short of a laminator, are we that far off on our materials?....I appreciate all the responses, might help me find a soplution to our problems. Oh and we don't really advertise our digital capabilities for this exact reason, we want to get it right, before we go boasting what we CAN do.
     
  7. daveb

    daveb General Know-it-all

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    How long are you letting your vinyl out-gas after printing? The longer you let it out-gas the more stable your vinyl is going to be, I know a lot of guys on here don't think out-gassing is necessary but it has definitely caused us problems over the years even with lamination. I would start with the vinyl manufacturers and see what their recommendations are, Oracal has been very helpful in the past.:cool:
     
  8. Big Blue

    Big Blue Member

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    Thanks Dave.... Yeah we have crossed that path already, we shoot for 48hr, but no less than 24.
     
  9. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

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    Alot of guys on here talk about Phototex for wall graphics you might give that a try.
     
  10. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    +1 for photo-tex, it's the only product i've found that doesn't peel off the wall.
    as far as the other products you are using, they are all fine materials, but lamination is a must!
     
  11. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    What vinyl are you using for the wall graphics that are failing? How was the wall prepared? What kind of paint and what finish? How much texture is there to the paint finish on the wall? For wall graphics, lamination is helpful and critical for long term jobs, but for short term temporary jobs it's not critical, I doubt it has anything to do with the failure in question here. More than likely it's the wrong combination of vinyl/adhesive and wall.

    PhotoTex sticks really well to walls, but we've found it hard to print on a solvent printer and get really good rich color and it's far from opaque so it needs to go on a white wall. We've been using a lot of Orajet 3621 matte lately and it's really sticking to walls great so far. The longest application we've had up with is is about 14-16 months and it's not peeling at all yet. Again, lamination isn't necessary for temporary graphics but it's still a good idea and is required for anything somewhat long term. It'll also make the installation a lot easier.

    And yeah, get a laminator. If you're running a Vutek, even an older one like a PV200, you should be able to spring for a laminator, there's really no excuse for not having one if you're selling any volume in printing at all. Not every job will require lamination but most will and you shoudl have that tool at your disposal.
     
  12. gnemmas

    gnemmas Active Member

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    Lamination will not prevent edge curling, it actually is a contributing factor to edge curling. (print two 8"x10" decals, one laminate, one without, and watch which is curling up in a few days)

    Since you didn't laminate, it narrows to print curing and paint/adhesive compatibility issues. We did a batch of safety decals for a warehouse interior, within a week they started to separate from wall. We reprinted the decals, applied them to .060 styrenes, and mounted with 3M foam tape successfully.

    Suggest testing the wall with vinyl first.
     
  13. Big Blue

    Big Blue Member

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    Insignia,

    Thanks for the response, we are using Mactak "Wall Noodle" for our removable wall graphics. It dosen't always fail, but on the tests we have done here in our shop almost ALL of them have failed. It is going on drywall painted with latex paint ..... I was looking into phototex, and it suggests that with a UV printer you leave a 1/2" border around your print to ensure it won't peel..... Is this a normanl practice people use to keep media from peeling? I know our customers are looking for a clean look something printed to the edges.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  14. Big Blue

    Big Blue Member

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    Bumping this to hear more opinions on media.
     
  15. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    yeah i am surprised to see the comments regarding a laminator being the answer to curling...if anything i see more instances of ppl paring non compatible laminate with vinyl and having more issues, it is important to test all of the material combinations you are going to use..BigBlue if you are the go to guy you need to be doing these tests, you need to be constantly updating your knowledge base with material compatibility, traits, etc. if i was you the first thing i would do is contact BigFish above, he is a hell of a nice guy and very knowledgeable and get a sampling of the materials he offers and then have a phone conversation with him about the capabilities, expectations, etc of the various materials and then TEST them in your own shop, simulate the conditions you expect and need the materials to stand up to so that you are not looking like an ignoramous to your clients.

    i also have a lot of clients who have nothing but good thigns to say about photo tex

    just so i am clear you absolutely need to have a laminator, but i am not certain that is going to be the answer to the problem(s) you are encountering..but every professional shop needs to have the ability to laminate their prints.
     
  16. benjakes

    benjakes Member

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    be careful

    just my 2 cents and 20 years in digital wide format graphics....

    The probable reason you are having delamination issues is that the adhesive on the vinyl is having a hard time adhearing to the paint underneath. This is the issue 99% of the time.

    The gloss levels of the paint reflect the amount of silica in the paint. More silica, harder to stick to. See this sheet from dreamscapes which illustrates how to install vinyl wallpaper and prepare the wall. http://www.dreamscapedirect.com/installation_dreamScape_vinyl.PDF

    As for lamination, never laminate wallpaper with a film laminate. As it ages, it will shrink, and delam, unless it is cast laminate, but who wants to pay 400/roll for laminate. Print on your uv printer, even though the quality will be worse, the ink wont attack the adhesive were it overlaps.
    Solvent inks will degrade the adhesive over time. Liquid laminate is best for long term (2+ years) wallpapers jobs.

    Ben
     
  17. Big Blue

    Big Blue Member

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    Can you suggest a good liquid laminate?
     
  18. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I used to think along the same lines... that for some really cheap signs we could get away without laminating them if they were just gonna be up a year or so.

    Found out two things.


    1. Wherever the vinyl was printed to the very edge... we'd have curl back within a few weeks. If there was no edge print... it was a 50/50 gamble.
    After we started laminating these same signs.... the problem went away.



    2. We also found that the better grade media without laminate curled back much faster than cheaper low end vinyls.​

    So, to this day we are laminating most everything that needs to last.



    We were told that the laminate acts as a re-enforcement, thus keeps the vinyl in place and doesn't allow for any shrinking for a year or two. How true it is.... I don't know, but it worked. Like I said, the only way around it was using cheap grade vinyls. They for some reason.... held their position.
     
  19. benjakes

    benjakes Member

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    Gino is correct about full bleed, that was another reason I said UV over solvent for wallpaper, it illiminates full bleed issues (caused by ink interacting at edge with adhesives).

    Laminates stabilizing vinyl I am very suspect of, otherwise many people would use calendered vinyl and lams for fleet graphics work. It would also trap outgassing.

    As for liquid, I like Drytac's solution, but don't own it. Jerry hill is very upstanding though. Known him many years....
     
  20. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    as stated before, i don't do vynil, etc. but i've got a lot of experience in coating sets and adhesion tests with my own product.

    delamination (curling up at the edges) is always caused by shrinkage. think of the laminated surface like a drum head. it in itself, has a certain stretch. when laminating, mounting, squeegying, etc. you put force onto that substrate. this first of all gives the material a mechanically stretched property. also, as this material ages, as plastics do, they will shrink a bit. if this material is fixed by the square inch across a very large area, and it begins to shrink just a few percent that force is excersized across the entire area. the weakest point where that force can be transferred and loosened is the corners, and then the edges. also, if the substrate is exposed to temperature changes, or beaming sun this can both shrink and expand the wall and also soften the adhesives used to hold it there.

    the way to solve this for my product was to use more flexible/stretchy coatings. so when shrinkage occurs, it can be dispersed at each square inch of the substrate and not act as a monolithic structure. and do a lot of peal tests to get the best possible adhesion. for some things you will need to use a tie coat or precoat to balance the two substrates compatibility with something in between that is a compatible interface.

    in my research for my product, over the years, i've accumulated hundreds of pounds of test squares, mountains of them. you will have to develop a testing protocol that includes controls and accelerants for side by side comparisons so that you , not some advice you've been given, can attest to the properties of what you are using.
     
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