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P/S VINYLS – Which to use?
When it comes to pressure sensitive vinyl one thing is for sure; there’s a lot of information out there. Going through the task of figuring out which one is the best for your application can be very confusing, but that’s what we’re here for. P/S has two different manufacturing processes that give each a different advantage when it comes to application; Cast and Calendared. Another aspect that comes into determining your material is the adhesive; ranging from ultra-low tack up all the way up to permanent to ensure that the material has the correct sticking power needed. Lastly, if you’re in need of the finished product really standing up to some abuse, an over laminate will help extend its life. Below we’ll go over these aspects of P/S vinyls and help you understand which is best for you.
Manufacturing - Cast vs. Calendared
P/S cast vinyl is produced on a casting sheet while in a relaxed state. This allows the material to be made very thin and makes it very conformable, durable and leads to almost no shrinking of the vinyl. Cast vinyls are recommended for vehicles and wraps due to its flexibility, durability and less shrinkage over time.
P/S calendared vinyl is produced by going through heated steel rollers to form the vinyl into a thin sheet. This process leads to minor shrinking of the material, but the stiffer and slightly thicker film makes it ideal for flat and simple to moderate curved applications. Typically, calendared vinyl is categorized in 1-2 year, 3-4 year and 5+ years.
The adhesive that you choose will be dependent on the application. For jobs that require a lot of sticking power and are intended to be up for a while you’ll want a permanent adhesive. This doesn’t mean it’s never coming down; just a stronger adhesive for when your application surface may require it. For jobs that are for short-term use, like part of a campaign or specific sale, a removable adhesive allows the material to stick, but when it’s time to take it down it does so with ease.
Questions to ask
Both styles of P/S vinyl have their strengths. To determine which to use, ask yourself these questions:
- What surface is the vinyl being applied to? Is it completely smooth or heavily textured?
- Will it be indoor or outdoor? You may want to add an over-laminate if outdoor.
- How long will it be on display? Is this for a one-time promotion or long term?
- Who will apply it? Experienced installer or first time?
As with anything else, the finished product is only as good as what you put into it. This begins with making the right material decisions and that’s what we’re here for. If you have any questions on which material to choose just contact your MAS sales rep.