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  • Grey back air release vinyl – do you rate it?

    Posted by Martyn Heath on June 19, 2023 at 6:11 am

    Hi guys, hope you are all well and busy.

    I fitted graphics to a truck on Friday, the graphics were supplied to me by the client and printed using Orajet rapid air – no other details on the backing paper but I would assume it’s just polymeric.

    This is not a brand I use and I don’t use a grey back or air release. Anyway, i understand that with these you must apply dry, the graphics were very large which i fitted myself apart from the bottom stripe (one piece) which the wife gave me some hands for.

    My query is that it stuck like you know what to the vehicle, if the vinyl touched the truck before applying it would not come up. Now i was under the impression that there should be a little play with the vinyl. the air release worked well when laying.

    I use standard clear back media and on large graphics, I give them a dusting of water to take the tack off the media.

    It was warm 20c and the sun was barely on the vehicle, I started at 6 am to get the sunny side finished before 28c hit.

    I know many of you use this type of vinyl so would be happy to hear your experiences.

    Martyn Heath replied 9 months, 2 weeks ago 7 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • Simon Worrall

    June 19, 2023 at 8:13 am

    Hi Martin

    I use grey glue vinyl for everything I print. It hides the colour of the substrate, and gives some consistency to the print colours.

    Some coloured vinyls even come with a grey or a white glue.

    On a flat surface theres no reason for the vinyl to touch the surface until your ready for it, if you tape up each panel to the top and work down in sequence.

  • Gordon Smithard

    June 19, 2023 at 9:40 am

    I’ve had grabbing issues with certain truck sides but I usually fit dry anyway while making sure the sticky side doesn’t touch the vehicle till I’m ready with the spreader.

    Some truck (and box van) sides seem to be extra shiney, almost like glass, these can cause problems if you need to re position, however I have fitted air release vinyl with a spray of water before, despite warnings that it won’t hold it lasted several years.

  • Joe Killeen

    June 19, 2023 at 11:05 am

    If the print was not out gassed for long enough it can cause the adhesive to be more grabby than it should be, don’t ask how I know๐Ÿ˜‚ nice job fair play to yourself and her indoors.

  • Martyn Heath

    June 19, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the response guys. The truck side was not metal, some sort of composite or fibreglass im guessing which meant magnets could not be used.

    Reasoning for some “touching” before appying was that i was maxed out on my ladders on my own, when flipping over to lay the second half the middle saged and touched. Was especially difficult with the guy print as it had to be worked vertically due to the folding door extrusions and graphic was few metres high.

    Anyway it got done to a very high standard but as you can imagine when your on your own, tippy toes on a ladder, holding a large print and it touches the body work, normally i would expect a little pull and your back in action.

  • Robert Lambie

    June 19, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    Trucks generally have GRP bodies, [Glass Reinforced Plastic]
    their very smooth shiny surface makes the adhesion of graphics very good.
    GRP also tend to hold the heat, even on cold days, adhesion is good.

    However, two additional things could be the cause of the super sticky initial tack, you experienced.

    Print Outgassing (as Joe suggested).

    If the prints have been done using a solvent printer and it hasn’t been given long enough to outgas or hasn’t been outgassed properly, which is more common. The solvent can make the initial tack to the surface of the truck very sticky and cause various types of adhesion issues.

    Obviously, direct sunlight is everyone’s nightmare fitting condition, but the silent assassin is “humidity”.
    I have noted over a great number of years that regardless of the brand of vinyl you are installing on a vehicle. A humid muggy type of day can be just as bad if not worse when it comes to the initial tack. Including you, Martyn, I think I have replied to about 4 people in the past 4-5 weeks who have initial tack problems with their vinyl.

    Take the possibility of both the above scenarios combined, and install it onto a glossy warm GRP surface and you are only missing Freddy Krueger from your living Nightmare. ๐Ÿคจ

    • Martyn Heath

      June 19, 2023 at 7:39 pm

      Great analogy Rob. ๐Ÿ˜‚
      I totally agree with your points and the outgassing was the first thing that came to mind but now you mentioned the substrate I think it was the icing on the cake.

      I have the same graphics to fit onto a van in the coming weeks so will be interesting to see if the same problems occur.

  • David Stevenson

    June 22, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Martin, we’ve been using Oracla materials for many years now. They all worked perfectly for years until we upgraded our printers to Rolands that ran TR2 ink, and that’s where the problems began. No matter what we did regarding out gassing they were always extremely tacky and made certain jobs a nightmare. We built a drying cabinet with huge fans to dry the materials, and left them for weeks in some cases before laminating and fitting. We tried every profile under the sun, all had the same result, super tacky. The problem was so frustrating (you’ll find previous posts from me about this problem) that we ended up trading in one of our printers for an Epson and as if by magic the problem disappeared!!! We’ve been doing some fleet work and it’s only today I went to fit some graphics that were printed about 6 weeks ago on the old printer that the problem reared it’s head again, super tacky material.

    You’ll possibly find that the ink used for the print was the issue and not the Oracal material at all. We use Oracal 3551GRA a lot which is a mid wrap material with grey back. Printed on the Epson it’s a dream compared to the Roland with the TR2 ink. I believe the TR2 inks are damaging the glue causing this issue, you may find this is the case with the graphics you were supplied with.

    • Martyn Heath

      June 23, 2023 at 11:55 am

      Hi David, thanks for your comments. Yes i have seen your posts regarding your roland troubles and i think you have hit the nail on the head. The materials may have the all the specs but if its not printed correctly or ink/profile issues then you end up with a whole new beast which isnt as described on the tin.

  • Martyn Heath

    June 23, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Just to finish off this post. I completed the van yesterday and the material was “better” than previously used on the lorry (same material) but still more grab than i would expect.

    Its was a bit of a challenge as the bottom stripe was supplied in one piece, it had to be laid horizontally because of the crease in the bodywork and wifey was not around but it got done as usual.

    Overall very happy with them and an eye catching design.

  • Martyn Heath

    June 23, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    Oracal 3551GRA mid range wrap film. This could be the film that i was supplied, but i believe its polymeric so what does “mid range wrap” really stand for? With all these new films its getting hard know how far to push them

    • Pane Talev

      June 23, 2023 at 1:37 pm

      I will not call that wrapping film. For me that is MD5 air release.

  • Robert Lambie

    June 26, 2023 at 12:54 am

    Thanks for completing the post thread and showing pictures, Martyn. much appreciated mate. ๐Ÿ‘

    [ Mid-range Wrap ] – [ 2D Wrap ] etc. etc.
    It is my opinion that these are terms used by some manufacturers that cannot manufacture Cast!
    Cast is the only true grade of vinyl that should be termed as a wrapping film, and even cast has its limits on where and how it can be stretched.
    Do not get me wrong, some quality polymeric vinyl can and do conform to recesses, the one shown on the side of your van is a perfectly acceptable example of a recess for this vinyl.
    However, I think it is just “Wrong” for manufacturers to try and name or class a vinyl for wrapping knowing fine well it has far more limitations and a higher failure rate than that of a cast.
    My opinion is that it is done in this way purely to sell more vinyl, or to appear like they can manufacture the full spectrum of vinyl films. The downside is that most within the industry will buy based on price, see the description of the films as a wrap, and buy it over a premium cast.
    In a nutshell, polymeric vinyl should not be named or classed as a wrapping vinyl, it is misleading.

    • Martyn Heath

      June 28, 2023 at 7:11 pm

      100% agree rob, i think thats why we see so many failures out there

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