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Thicker removable Vinyl or best way to "thicken" existing vinyl?

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by tpinc, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    We have a specific product that has historically been magnetic, however we are finding a number of our customers now have alloy or plastic components that magnets don't stick to.

    As an effort to find solutions (we dabbled with suction cup technology among others), the best solution seems to be removable vinyl signs.

    We've had great luck with the Oracal 631 and Orajet 3621 doing exactly what we want, but they deform too easily when they are removed (and sequentially reused). About 2 years ago I started playing with technologies and had great luck sandwiching the removable vinyl with fiberglass netting above it, and then a top layer of vinyl to secure the fiberglass "sandwich". It worked amazingly well short term, so well that I thought i had just invented a new medium that was amazing, however over a not-so-long time period it began to lose its durability and the two materials would separate (even though the same two would not if directly layered over eachother only).

    I've thought about revisiting the same thing but with an extremely adherent top layer vinyl (any recommendations if I go this route?) however, I would love to know if anyone has any other ideas for "thickening" or "strengthening" the vinyl?

    Does it make sense to just layer a bunch on top of eachother? Or does someone make a thicker removable adhesive vinyl? OR are there any other solutions which have been tried and work to get this effect?
     
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  2. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    The thicker aggressive MacTac vinyls seem to stick to just about everything, not sure if this would be what you're looking for, none of the thicker vinyls I've used seem to be removable. Call Benji at Trigon Imaging (east side of Cincinnati) to see if he has any samples to shoot over to you to try.
     
  3. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    So you are trying to apply a decal, remove it and then re-use it?
     
  4. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    Velcro!!!! LOL
     
  5. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    Correct. We've used the removable vinyls for years. Those two oracals work great, you can use it, reuse it, wash the sticky side if it gets dirty, and the adhesive remains durable for years. The company I work for started doing it after I illustrated that's how we used to do numbers and some sponsors for our race cars- removable vinyl- and they'd work great for 1 or 2 seasons until they'd eventually rip and we'd replace them. The signs we use now have been used for 3-4 years without a problem, removing, re-applying, removing, re-applying even hundreds of times outdoors without a problem with the adhesive side.

    The only problem has been the stretch-and-tear issues. While we can be ridiculously careful removing it (especially the first few times) our customers aren't always so, and so we have been trying to figure out a way to solve the stretch-and-tear issues. That's why we thought some sort of layered vinyl may be effective, or trying to find a thicker removable vinyl.
     
  6. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    This may work for a layering type of opportunity (layering the MacTac on top of the Oracals). MacTac has a removable, but its only 3.2-mil, the same thickness as the Oracals (http://mactac.com/index.php?id=19&t...d]=106&cHash=4d7f209b2741a643850ceaf218095047) The 9800 is 4 mil, but its calendared, which means its going to shrink likely causing separation between itself and the oracal. I can test it though (the oracal/orajets are both calendared but in our didn't shrink as much as what we tried layering on it.).

    Is the MacTac pretty much the strongest adhering vinyl out there? If so I'll go ahead and test it both with and without the fiberglass in between. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll also reach out to Benji at Trigon Imaging! Thanks!
     
  7. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    Velcro unfortunately, while making something removable, requires a permanent (or semipermanent) adhesion of the backing which we can't do!

    The removable vinyl works PERFECT for adhesion and durability except for its tendency to tear and stretch, which means its not an adhesion method thats the issue, its the vinyl durability thats slightly problemmatic.

    thanks for your thoughts though! :cool:
     
  8. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    what about phototex?
     
  9. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    would laminating it make a difference?
     
  10. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    @ tpinc Sorry that was a joke
     
  11. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    Wow, never heard of that before but I just researched it. I'm definately going to try it out! Thanks for the thoughts!

    I don't know much about laminating vinyl. Certainly I've laminated other types of signage, but I've done some research in the past and I thought laminating was done on printed graphics to preserve the print. I always just assumed it was a chemical UV coating.

    I just now dug a little further into it.. it does look like its a real "laminate" material and not just some sort of chemical bath... I watched a few videos and it looks like they apply the laminate to both the front and rear, but surely I'm mistaken by the fact that often vinyl is cut or printed inversely... Is it just like a clear "vinyl" (aware that vinyl is a specific material and the laminate likely is not vinyl) that goes on top and sticks to it, or is it a heated type process? It looks based on the videos that it works just like any other cold laminate and it is simply a clear "vinyl" that goes on top and with pressure, sticks to it.

    With that being said, then maybe something like http://www.oracal.com/products/product.asp?seriesID=349 (Oraguard 280) is a 8-mil film designed primarily for protecting car parts, but it is transparant gloss (I think most the 3M products are a matte). Is this what you mean or do you mean something different?

    Maybe someone can give me a better example of how it works. I've only used cut-vinyl and always used to think it was just for printed vinyl so I never looked into it, but I'm having trouble figuring it out for sure! thanks!

    I figured it was, but as one of the new guys in town the last thing I need to do is make an enemy! :) :pops_blinking::toasting:
     
  12. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    I currently use removable and reusable vinyl and while the adhesion is great, it deforms and tears on repeated application/removals if you aren't careful with it. I'm looking for either alternatives, OR ways to improve the durability of the oracal we currently use. I was interpreting this as a thick cold-laminate top-coat on top of the oracal we are happy with would let us retain the adhesion properties of the oracal while getting durability from a thick laminate.

    Have you been happy with instachange? I looked it up and it seems like it has trouble on painted surfaces, stainless steel, and has only a 2 year life otherwise, but we could deal with that if its durable. If you've been happy with it I'll pick up a sample and check it out! Thanks!
     
  13. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    FYI, just ordered a sample. Looking forward to trying it out!
     
  14. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    Or you can try a really thick polycarb lam
     
  15. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

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    Polycarbonate laminate is a good option. You could also try to apply a lo tac adhesive to a non-deformable substrate. I would use styrene or pet15 with either GBC arctic low tac or Drytac's Window Tac.
     
  16. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    Wow- I didn't know anything like this existed. This could be perfect too. I'm wondering if we could throw this on the back of magnetic signs and do an "either/or" type of thing. Leave the backing on for a mag sign, peel it off for a removable vinyl.

    I need to find someone who supplies some of this stuff in low trial quantities (seriously, a 17 x 20 sheet would be plenty for testing... hate to have to buy 25 x 164'.... )

    Anyone know where you can get stuff like this in small quantities for testing or does it not exist.

    I'll be ordering some laminate to give it a shot. Thanks for the recommendations!
     
  17. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    Just wanted to say this is fantastic- I've been working on some of this stuff for YEARS and in one day you all gave me 3 great solutions I've never considered before, and some other recommendations for some other products to use.

    I am quite frankly amazed, and I am extremely thankful for sharing your insight with me. This will be very very helpful!
     
  18. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    Along those lines; not sure if you have an edge or not, but LexEdge II combined with a 2-sided adhesive (permanent/removeable) would be a possible solution for durable material that could be removed.

    Good luck with your project!
     
  19. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    I'm a little confused with what this is. I did some searching and it looks like a semiridgid material, but I can't seem to figure out WHAT it is. Is it just an arbitrary substrate? or is it some sort of vinyl? or what?

    And semi-rigid, what does that mean precisely. Is it like plastic?

    I'll see if I can track some down.
     
  20. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    Its basically an edge printable poly lam
     
  21. tpinc

    tpinc New Member

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    alright, makes sense. I've reached out to a supplier, hoping to get pick up a few of these as samples and see what works best.

    Thanks again for all the help and direction. Just sad I didn't bug you all about it sooner! :U Rock::U Rock:

    We don't have any large format printers at the moment, but will probably be in the market. We've been doing screen printing overlayed with cut vinyl. Mainly just because thats what I've done for the past 20 years... We've been working on some full color printed products that we picked some up from an outside shop (heck, we have another shop for mail-aways that sell us finished product under our costs for the same job), but I think the cost has come down, and durability has gone up to the point that it makes sense to look into going the printed route. I'll save that for another time though!
     
  22. jdoug5170

    jdoug5170 Member

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    We use phototex for race cars that need a different number just a few times a year (different club races) and for the rally groups that are driving their street cars and don't want the number on the car for street driving. Works great.
     
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