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Optically Clear Laminate for Window Perf?

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by VinylSticks, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. VinylSticks

    VinylSticks New Member

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    Which brand of Optically Clear cast laminate is the best to use on perforated window graphics? Sometimes I question if the laminates advertised as optically clear, truly are. For example, I just used Arlon 3200 on a window, and I feel drunk looking through it. Everything is "fuzzy" and I can't read words on buildings or vehicle license plates.
    The same with a window I did at a store the other day, using Briteline Optically Clear 5 yr. laminate.
    Have you found any optically clears that you are completely satisfied with?
     
  2. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

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    I deal a great Optically Clear and 60"x150' rolls are on sale right now for $380 and it is great material. Oracal 290GF is a good one also. And yes they should be very easy to see out of.
     
  3. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    Yes 290F is about the best I've found. Have a roll of Briteline optically clear .... and it's not optically clear, you are correct.
    Used to use 3M, forget the number, and that stuff sucks. Would peel right off the print.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. thezigman

    thezigman Sign maker near Chicago

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    I also use Oracal 290 & 293
     
  5. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    why would you clear perf? even IF it is optically clear its not like your going to work it into every small hold on the print...I just dont see the point (not being snarky)
     
  6. tbullo

    tbullo Superunknown

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    We use the clear mostly on vehicles. Store fronts, not so much. On vehicles, it lets you see out when its raining. If not then the holes fill up and you can't see out at all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Patentagosse

    Patentagosse Active Member

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    I use 290GF and 297 (thicker, less squeegee strokes) for a while but it doesn't last very long. I made 2 delivery cars for a local pharmacy like max 2 years ago (maybe less) and backglass is completely ruined. Many holes (cells) are perforated so dirt is trapped everywhere + the whole film has turned "foggy / fuzzy". 'Will have to replace 'em. 'Haven't had better luck with other brands so I stick with Oracal.

    At the beginning, it's normal for few weeks that the film is not perfectly clear as expected. I figure it's the time it takes for the adhesive to set and gloss from behind in the holes. It may also depends where you live. In Canada, we can have like 60-70 degree in difference, it's quite a range! (winter -30°C / summer +35°C)

    Sure there's a benefit to laminate, the 1st being protecting the print and in second place, keeping dirt & water away from open holes to "See Through" but unlaminated window are just perfect for those who wants to see it in 4K (...)

    Anyone tried to liquid laminate / spray clearcoat on it instead of film? Wouldn't it be the best of both world? Just wondering...
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  8. Patentagosse

    Patentagosse Active Member

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    Here's what I talked 'bout...
     

    Attached Files:

  9. pitorro

    pitorro New Member

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    Apr 18, 2013
    phoenix
    Please dont use Briteline. I used it before and it peels off. The best for the price is Arlon 3200
     
  10. Sign.ed

    Sign.ed Member

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    Houston, Texas
    A shop I worked at in Denver would use Frog Juice and Spray that over our perf jobs. Never really had anything come back w/ premature wear or something of the sort. Our sales people were also pretty good about making it clear that perf even in the best of circumstances is not a long term solution.

    WE did redo a few perf jobs on cars, but it usually went with a graphic update/it had reached our stated lifetime of a year.
     
  11. Patentagosse

    Patentagosse Active Member

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    Rarely see problems / comebacks when installed on pickups' rear glasses. Usually it's on angled cars' backglasses... I always told owners to take off the rear wiper fuse... part of the dommage is directly linked to "sandind" done by the dirt laying on wiper blade... When used in heavy rain, it has no real effect but I figure it's mostly turned on when windows are covered of dust / dirt / bird drops...
     
  12. easystar

    easystar Member

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    Manitoba
    I used liquid laminate once on a truck perf. Don't waste your time doing it. It will completely fuzz out your view because it is not optically
    clear and it will fill the holes as well. The effect is like looking through it on a rainy day.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Patentagosse

    Patentagosse Active Member

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    Spraying it (FrogJuice or thin coat of automotive clearcoat) should "technically" work. The silicone-treated liner would repeel the clear to the edge of the hole. That's why I mentioned thin coat.

    I've done tons of airbrushed car/semi graphics and was able to shoot thin enough to avoid "welding" of cut lines so... that thin should do it but 'haven't tried it
     
  14. Patentagosse

    Patentagosse Active Member

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    Sure we must educate 'em as it's a "promotional / short term" vinyl. May require annual swap.

    I have jobs made like 3 years ago and still holding up very well while some others seems to age prematurely.
     
  15. CSOCSO

    CSOCSO I don't hate paint, I just overlay it.

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    froggyjuice didn't work out for us. the perf always got SUPER dirty if we used froggy juice. You can't even clean it with soapy water.

    Lamination is the way to go. I always use 3m or avery cast lam. (3m 8518 or avery 1360z)
     
  16. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    8518 for vehicle perf?? You can't see out of that at all.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. burgmurk

    burgmurk Member

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    Auckland, New Zealand
    I've always used one way vision "curvalam" or Avery dol4000. They're not 'immediately' crystal clear, but give them a couple of days to settle and they're great.
     
  18. CL Visual

    CL Visual Member

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    Copiague, NY
    Avery 1360z is optically clear. I use it on all perf.
     
  19. Patentagosse

    Patentagosse Active Member

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    3M 8518 has a synthetic liner like Oracal's 290 so basically it could be fine to use it ('never tried)

    290G and 290GF is the same film except the release liner. If it's good for Oracal, chances are 3M figured out the same formula...
     
  20. tbullo

    tbullo Superunknown

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    As someone else pointed out, 8518 is a no go. Curvalam works good.
     
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