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Why is Clear application tape so hated?

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by Geminis076, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Geminis076

    Geminis076 New Member

    May 30, 2008
    Hello, I'm wondering why clear application tape seems to be hated by so many decal makers? I've only worked with RTape Clear Choice AT60 application tape with Oracal 651 and up until recently I had never had any issues with it, and it's always worked very well. However, I very recently noticed an issue where my roll of tape was not sticking to about 90% of the decal, the vinyl would just stay on the paper liner. After searching and asking it turns out that RTape recently changed the adhesive formula for AT60 and lots of users have had the same issue with their tape.

    I can no longer use AT60 if this will continue to happen so I need to find a new substitute and fast because I have pending orders waiting for me. Just about ever thread that I've found about which clear tape to use has members expressing how much they hate clear tape and prefer paper tape but there's very little reasons listed as to why. Why is paper tape preferred over clear tape?

    I'm not against trying out paper tape but I'm not sure if it's right for my set up. I have a Graphtec CE 5000-60 and I make decals from home, I offer pre-made designs to customers online (eBay, etc.). The customer does the application and based on the many friendly conversations I've had with my customers I believe the majority are applied to car windows or car bodies, and many are not experienced decal users. Personal I think clear vinyl looks nicer and makes for a better visual presentation, it's visually pleasing to the customer and helps with alignment when applying. I do have some designs that use two layers and more than one color but most are single color and single layer.

    So my biggest concern for switching to or trying out paper application tape is that visibility will be an issue for my customers when it comes to applying, and that it just doesn't look as nice as clear tape.

    If this isn't too much trouble, would it be possible for someone to post a photo of a decal with paper application tape? Does any of it show through?

    Thanks for any information about why paper is better, or if anyone thinks paper may not be ideal for my situation. Ultimately I will need something that works well with Oracal 651, smallish decals - 6 to 13 inches in either length or height some with lots of cuts and pieces, large range of vinyl colors, medium tack, easy for all levels of application experience.

  2. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Maybe because it doesn't absorb moisture? I agree it looks better. I use clear more often than not, but hey I'm Cheap.
  3. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    I cant stand the stuff. Seemed like it was always stretching too.

    I do like how the decal looks when you have them up for display, but the aggravation it caused for me has pretty much made me not want to use it again. I understand that it has gotten better (its been about 5 years or so since I have used it.) but still not a fan of it. I use r tape 4075RLA for damn near everything.
  4. splizaat

    splizaat Very Active Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Pac NW
    You can't apply anything wet. It's staticy as hell when trying to apply it to a sheet of weeded stickers, and if you get climate shifts either hot OR cold, the clear plastic shrinks so bad, it pulls the stickers right off the liner...leave a sticker in your car for a day and see how it does. If it looks like that in one day, I'm afraid to find out what it looks like sitting on a shelf in a store.
  5. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    It stretches and is harder to get off, if you have never pulled tape before. You need to pull/push it on itself for clean removal, not as forgiving as paper tape is.
  6. Browner

    Browner Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    I uses to use it, 'cause the customers could see the "true" colors of their decals through it. Then I started getting calls about how their decals were looking "cloudy" when applied, and in some cases they would complain that the whole decal didn't stick very well.

    Turns out, they weren't removing the application tape after installation. No fault of my own, mind you, as I'd always give the customer a quick rundown on installation. They just wouldn't pass that information onto their customers (or other members of their car/community club/whathaveyou).
  7. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    I lettered this semi trailer back ten years ago or so.. one side I put "NUDE DANCING" blah blah it was for a strip club that could not get a sign permit....anyway months later they needed the trailer lettered on the othe side so it would look like it was a trailer and not just being used as a sign. BUT it was Jan and too cold...so I put the lettering on "Cobb Hauling" and a phone number with clear tape and left the tape on...it is there to this day. Too cold to remove the tape without pulling off the vinyl.

    Funny part, when I did the "Nude Dancing" part I put up the letters "NUDE DAN" and went to lunch for a couple hours, I was laughing thinking of all the people seeing the sign/trailer that said "NUDE DAN"....Like 48" letters...Classic.

    That Strip club had the "A" team only on Sat nights, the rest of the time it was local "C" team" girls....lots of cottage chees...need I say more.
  8. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    It also applies easier.
  9. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I hated it when I tried to use it (I didn't know you shouldn't) for wet app.
    I only tried it once back in like 1998.
    I use the regular old Rtape conform stuff exclusively.
    The decal doesn't look too bad with the paper app tape applied.
    I mean, it is what it is, a decal.
    I remember once hearing about a client who bought RTA vynull off of a sign shop, who later complained that it didn't show up well on their vehicle...the dumbass didn't realise that you had to remove the app tape.
  10. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

    Dec 27, 2005
    Guam USA
    I'm disappointed Mosh,
    I figured your story would end with the clear app tape applied to the strippers as part of the show somehow.

    The clear app tape we tried had a strong (bad) smell to it when rolled out.
    Stinky Stickers sounded good but didn't go over too well.

    wayne k
    guam usa

    wayne k
    guam usa
  11. binki

    binki Very Active Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    The PRC
    With clear on RTA our customers don't realize they need to remove the tape. I like it when we are layering dry but otherwise the paper tape is easier to use with wet applications.
  12. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    We use TransferRite 1310 Clear almost exclusively here, without issue.

    Like was mentioned about end user installs though, we usually use paper there because even after being told, more then one customer has left the clear tape on.
  13. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2006
    Vaughan, Ontario
    I found the adhesive on the clear tape was far to aggressive and had trouble removing it without damaging the graphic. I also found that some smell like crap when you unrolled them.

    I still use it inhouse for close registrated stuff, but very seldom
  14. Banners Signs Etc.

    Banners Signs Etc. Active Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    We roll on a strip of clear 4in to reinforce the leading edge of the vinyl before sticking it on the board and running through the laminator.

    But other than that everyone gets paper tape for their decals...unless it is a simple hour change on a front door or something.

    We did a graphic for a guy's windshield once with clear tape...he said it blew off when he went down the highway...to this day I'm not sure how exactly he got it on there to the point he believed it was on... then somehow it blew off... left the backing paper on?!
  15. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm with everyone else here. Too agressive, static, stretches, on and on...just bad to use for most stuff. I'll use it once a year or so if I have to stack a layered graphic for some reason, but I have help when I'm doing it, and we still normally have issues.

    I should just throw the stuff away so I'm not tempted to use it. I can only assume it gets worse as time goes on too.
  16. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

    Mar 6, 2009
    Because is SMELLS NASTY!!!
  17. rjssigns

    rjssigns Premium Subscriber

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Mosh it is not "cottage cheese". In these parts we kindly refer to that as hail damage.

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