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Laminate shrinking and lifting

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by chapmachau, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. chapmachau

    chapmachau New Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Queensland, Australia
    Looking for advice please. Used 7 yr rated MD5 vinyl and MG705 Laminate to acm, installed 2 years ago. Print looks ok, but laminate is shrinking and lifting up. Signs facing east so get the sun most of the day.
    Is it a product failure or something else?

    Attached Files:

    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
  2. Modern Ink Signs

    Modern Ink Signs Premium Subscriber

    Jun 27, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    Looks like laminate failure or improper lamination was used. Is that a calandered or cast lamination?

    For long term/outdoor use we only use cast.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Lindsey

    Lindsey Not A New Member

    Jan 17, 2013
    The MD5 and MG705 are both calendered products. But even with calendered construction, I'd expect more than 2 years.

    This type shrinking and tunneling can be caused from prints that were not given the proper amount of time to outgas / cure. Could this be the case?
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. greysquirrel

    greysquirrel Active Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    West Berlin, NJ
    Gotta go cast for long term...
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Abraxas Aguilera

    Abraxas Aguilera New Member

    Sep 5, 2018
    I would definitely go cast for anything outdoor and/or long term. Another way to give yourself a better chance at success, is to leave a .25" reveal, instead of going full bleed with the print & lam.
  6. a77

    a77 Member

    Jul 8, 2011
    That's how a cheap 6 month promotional laminate would look. Metamark says 7 years for this product code. If you're sure you used the right lam for this job, I would complain to them and if they don't help, switch to something else.
  7. MikePatterson

    MikePatterson Head bathroom cleaner.

    We had the same thing bite us on the butt with Orafol 3651/210 combination. CAST films on anything long term.
    Funny side note the Oracal reps came to my shop and were giving me a hard time about a door sign that looked like crap. Then one guy says to me if I had used 3651 and 210 that wouldnt have happened, the look on his face when I informed him it was 3651/210 was priceless.
  8. chapmachau

    chapmachau New Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Queensland, Australia
    I really appreciate the advice. I let them outgas a full 48 hours before laminating. I dont think that is the cause as the yellow/white hardware sign has a 5" white reveal around the edge so obviously no ink there and that one and its shrinking back just as bad as the other that's printed to the edge. Its a polymeric calendered pvc and yes I used the matching MG705 laminate both rated 7 years.

    I have to sort it for the customer, is it best to go a cast digital print and laminated. Or just use something like avery900 and overlay each colour? I really dont want to be going back to it in another year or two.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  9. That is definitely out gassing, the ink didn’t dry out completely. As for the areas without ink, solvent vapor expands and opens a way at the weakest points of the bond.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  10. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

    Apr 17, 2012
    I've seen that same lifting with dry erase laminate, on an INDOOR application. Possibility someone grabbed the wrong roll?
  11. chapmachau

    chapmachau New Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Queensland, Australia
    Thanks for the advice. I'm a small shop, just me making mostly safety decals and signs for the construction industry. I dont do a lot of commercial signage. So I dont need to run with a lot of different materials, just one vinyl and laminate, then when I run out I grab another fresh bundle. At that time I was only using that one product. Its 100% not the wrong laminate used or something not matched that was kicking around the shop for years.

    Three full days after printing it was left stacked upright loosely on the roll. So I dont think it could be an outgassing problem either. I've done rush jobs before and only left them a few hours and never had a problem. I definitely did not going to take a chance like that on rushing it on 5 full acm sheets.

    I'm stumped as to why it would shrink back like that in only 2 years when its rated for 7. Has anyone else had the same problem with this product?

    Could it be I ended up with old stock, would that even happen to an old laminate? The vinyl still looks pretty good underneath.

    I need to get it replaced, am I thinking along the right lines of using a cast product like avery 900 supercast and just overlaying the colours? Would that last well ?

    Or what print and laminate product will give me 7 years like I quoted the customer?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
  12. MikePatterson

    MikePatterson Head bathroom cleaner.

    Use a good Cast Film / Laminate. I dont care what the specs say on calendared film, it will shrink. I had the same experience as you with 3651/210. We switched to IJ40c / 8508 lam for our everyday yard signs, decal, magnets, etc. For our actual signs that have to last we use Avery 1105 with Arlon 3270 Lam for gloss, Arlon 3220 for luster. Avery Lam sucks for longevity.
    I know some will say not to mix different companies base and lam because no one will warranty it. But as you can see they wont warranty anything anyway, except replace the material. The material is a small part of the pie, my time is much larger part.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Hattiesburg, MS
    Can't be sure if it's the ink or lamination, but I see "orange Peeling" in the black & it looks like the failure started in black and spider webbed out.
    My guess would be too much ink...Just like paint, if you put too much down, the bottom layer never cures correctly & even four days of out-gasing wouldn't be enough.
    On a side note, I would suggest switching to a luster or matte finish for large signs, they are much easier to read because of no reflection.

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