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  • Perfect apply/easy apply types of vinyl

    Posted by Martyn Heath on March 3, 2022 at 8:26 am

    Hi folks. Are you all using EA/PA vinyls these days? Everyone around me seems to be using them, obviously they are easier to fit. Im keeping it old school and fit large pieces on my own with a dusting of water to take the edge off the tack.

    Is it the way to go? the cost pm has come down a lot so thats not a worry.

    I remember pass convos regarding longevity of these easy vinyls, perhaps water penetration could be an issue over time but them wraps dont have the issue so why would these.

    Anyway, this has been rattling around in my head for a while. Am i behind the times.

    Mark Johnston replied 1 week, 6 days ago 7 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Mark Johnston

    Member
    March 3, 2022 at 11:04 am

    i dont think you need water mate

  • David Hammond

    Member
    March 3, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    We exclusively use air release digital vinyl. As you say the cost difference is minimal, and it makes some jobs much quicker and easier.

    We’ve had no issues with it on the vans we’ve done. A friend suspects it may have contributed to an early deterioration of a sign, but I’m not convinced myself.

  • Peter Cassidy

    Member
    March 3, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    martyn, do you mean you are using water with air escape adhesive?
    even on large panels you shouldn’t need water.

    • Martyn Heath

      Member
      March 4, 2022 at 6:38 am

      No i dont use air release at the moment. i use standard vinyl

    • Colin Crabb

      Member
      March 4, 2022 at 11:59 am

      Never use water with air release! this will cause early fails.

  • Simon Worrall

    Member
    March 5, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Air release is my first choice for everything, digital and coloured vinyl. I only dont use it if the colour is not available.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Simon Worrall.
  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    March 7, 2022 at 1:06 am

    we have a couple of customers we now send printed vinyl out to fit themselves, so the air-release vinyl is very helpful, for them.

    Air-release helps speed up the application and does help the overall finish with wraps.

    That said, I do not like our guys using it too often because it gets them/you lazy when it comes to applying vinyl properly and the skill level goes backwards. So although we stock it for some digital only, I would never switch over to it exclusively.

    Applying it with water, “100% no!” never use anything coupled with any air-release adhesive systems, no matter what size the panels are.

    One thing to be clear on, air release adhesive systems prohibit the adhesive from doing what adhesive was originally created to do. There are multiple types of adhesive systems out there to help fit the vinyl easier and with a better finish. but there are none that are better performing than a full clean, smooth 100% consistent coverage of adhesive.

    Doing this from memory, but sticks with me. (pardon the pun)
    If I go back about 22+ years, in the U.S.A. 3M launched the first air release adhesive system and shortly after pulled it from the market. They then relaunched with their controltac adhesive system.
    Sometime after, Avery launched its own air-release adhesive system. However, all across the states and i “think” Canada, there were massive failures recorded during the winter period. This was costly for Avery, as you can imagine.
    Soon after that, 3M sued Avery for infringing on their air-release adhesive Patent, and won the case!
    My point here is,
    “why did 3M pull their new adhesive system from the market and opt for another?”
    “what made the Avery air-release adhesive fail all over the states?”

    My understanding of the fail is the following, exactly which one, if not all, caused the fails.
    * Because of habit, some used a mist of water when installing the new air release adhesive.
    * Snow/Rain allowed water to creep down the air channels from the top of the cut vinyl text.
    * Due to cold weather, the vehicle metal was very cold when the vinyl was being installed.

    Due to extreme overnight low temperatures in some regions of the states. The moisture trapped between the adhesive’s “air channels” behind the vinyl froze and expanded. this reduced the “already limited” contact the adhesive had against the “cold metal” of the vehicle.
    Because the weather remained very cold for days after. the lettering began to fall off or was whipped off when going through a car wash.

    As far as I know, 3M are still paid a licence by other vinyl manufacturers for the use of their air-release adhesive system. with variations and improvements made to it these days. whilst others have created their own unique adhesive systems.

    • Martyn Heath

      Member
      March 7, 2022 at 5:37 am

      Thanks rob,

      “One thing to be clear on, air release adhesive systems prohibit the
      adhesive from doing what adhesive was originally created to do. There
      are multiple types of adhesive systems out there to help fit the vinyl
      easier and with a better finish. but there are none that are better
      performing than a full clean, smooth 100% consistent coverage of
      adhesive. One thing to be clear on, air release adhesive systems prohibit the adhesive from doing what adhesive was originally created to do. There are multiple types of adhesive systems out there to help fit the vinyl easier and with a better finish. but there are none that are better performing than a full clean, smooth 100% consistent coverage of adhesive.”

      This is why ive been reluctant to switch. Obviously using water with air release is a no no, my reference to water was how i fit now using standard poly on large sections.

      I keep seeing failures around me, with work that shouldnt fail in a million years. Flat dibond panels etc etc. In my head i feel maybe air release “coud” be the problem. However wraps hold up just fine so maybe that theory is dead in the water, or maybe wrap adhesive is far superior.

      Interesting you pointed out the reasons for your lads not using it, it does frustrate me that our industry is making our job idiot proof and skills go out the window. Its making the job we do less appreciated from all directions.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    March 8, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    Air release is easier to apply, we use it exclusively on digital print as I don’t want to stock multiple rolls.

    That said, I’m still more than capable of fitting large areas of vinyl without air release, like these we did earlier this week.

    No air release in stock the colours we needed, it still went down a dream, I don’t think air release would have sped it up much, but the dull surface probably helped.

  • Mark Johnston

    Member
    March 10, 2022 at 8:57 am

    Looks good David. where do you buy your air release vinyl from mate?

    I do find the bubble free vinyl makes fitting so much easier.

    • David Hammond

      Member
      March 10, 2022 at 9:25 am

      Metamark is our go to vinyl, in the 11 years using their material we’ve never had any real issues.

      Here’s a massive 6000x2440mm sign we made up yesterday, printed using LG digital vinyl, with gloss laminate. We had the entire sign laid in under an hour using air release, and a normal squeegee.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    May 6, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Nice big sign, David. is that Paul, Sleeping on the job again? 🤔🤣

    Hope all is good with him, how time flies since I was in your place!

    • David Hammond

      Member
      May 9, 2022 at 11:44 am

      No sleeping on the job, although it was a bit of hectic day and he did deserve a lie down.

      Here’s the job installed

  • Mark Johnston

    Member
    May 9, 2022 at 11:37 am

    David, doing that big sign in an hour is impressive, mate! 👍

    • David Hammond

      Member
      May 9, 2022 at 11:46 am

      I was surprised how quickly it went down, if you look at the photo closely, we put the overlaps in the middle of the boards then trimmed between the two panels, much quicker and no issues with alignment when fitting.

      • Mark Johnston

        Member
        May 9, 2022 at 11:59 am

        do you mean it is fitted horizontally along the length of the boards. so two big long panels?

        • David Hammond

          Member
          May 9, 2022 at 12:05 pm

          No they’re vertical drops.

          Rather than covering each panel with 1 drop of vinyl, we staggered them so that the overlaps fall in the centre of one board, and spans the join of the two.

          Just makes life easier when aligning the panels, another sign maker gave me the idea.

          • Mark Johnston

            Member
            May 9, 2022 at 12:42 pm

            ahh, i get you now. cool 😎