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  • Should I laminate printed reflective vinyl for on a vehicle?

  • David Stevenson

    Member
    April 30, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Hi, Have a job in for some vehicle graphics some of which will be printed onto Oracal Printable reflective vinyl. We’ve used very like reflective material over the years and our supplier tells us it doesn’t need laminated. I find this hard to believe as surely the print would be open to damage such as scratches, U.V. etc. What’s people’s thoughts on this? Thanks

  • Robert Lambie

    Member
    April 30, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    They are completely wrong mate…
    you will definitely require a laminate for prints onto any vinyl that is on a vehicle for any real length of time.

    Vehicle prints are subjected to: Abrasion, Chemical and UV damage on a daily basis.

  • Chris Wilson

    Member
    April 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm
    quote David Stevenson:

    Hi, Have a job in for some vehicle graphics some of which will be printed onto Oracal Printable reflective vinyl. We’ve used very like reflective material over the years and our supplier tells us it doesn’t need laminated. I find this hard to believe as surely the print would be open to damage such as scratches, UV, etc. What’s people’s thoughts on this? Thanks

    Can see it doing any harm personally. If there’s doubt then go for it or run a test and then go for it. I would have thought it would be more likely to scratch/scuff going through a car was then normal vinyl would be…

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    April 30, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Surprised that a supplier would tell you that David, the only print that ever leaves my workshop without laminate on is banner

  • Hugh Potter

    Member
    April 30, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve printed Oralite for years!

    I always laminate with a decent poly laminate if it’s going on a vehicle of a signboard. Some I don’t laminate but that’s generally for another specific purpose, not sign related.

    For the record, you can print just as well on the 5400 too!

  • David Stevenson

    Member
    May 1, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Definitely found it strange I’d been told that laminate wasn’t needed. I’ll go with my gut instinct and laminate it like advised by you guys. Like yourself Kevin we laminate almost everything just in case. 🙂

  • Gary Forbes

    Member
    May 2, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    Unless for a very short term, I would laminate for on a vehicle.

  • Kev Mayger

    Member
    May 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Hello

    Wouldn’t laminate destroy some of the reflective properties?

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    May 4, 2020 at 12:54 pm
    quote Kev Mayger:

    Hello

    Wouldn’t laminate destroy some of the reflective properties?

    The reflective wrap isn’t designed to be used as chapter 8 markings but the laminate doesn’t seem to have any adverse effect on the reflective properties, this was taken just using the flash on my phone

  • Stuart Taylor

    Member
    May 4, 2020 at 1:25 pm
    quote Kev Mayger:

    Hello

    Wouldn’t laminate destroy some of the reflective properties?

    Hi Kev

    Actually, if the correct laminate and lamination method is used then it actually will enhance reflectivity.

    You need to use a gloss laminate and it needs to be laminated using decent pressure to avoid air trapped between the layers – if insufficient pressure is used it causes "silvering" or a minute air gap that "scatters" the refection rather than allowing it to reflect back to the light source i.e. you

    If you use a matt laminate or no laminate this means the surface is normally "duller" and again scatters the reflected light in multiple directions rather than back to the light source.

    We print CE Marked Traffic Signs using specialist digital printers and ink and we need to measure reflectivity based on construction with gloss laminate ….. without the laminate the readings are much poorer and don’t meet reflectivity requirements. This is for Road Traffic Signs, but we have been digitally printing reflective materials for 30 years and any reflective without a gloss laminate will lose a % of its reflectivity.

    Hope this helps

  • Robert Lambie

    Member
    May 4, 2020 at 2:16 pm
    quote Stuart Taylor:

    without the laminate the readings are much poorer and don’t meet reflectivity requirements. This is for Road Traffic Signs, but we have been digitally printing reflective materials for 30 years and any reflective without a gloss laminate will lose a % of its reflectivity.

    Very interesting!
    Do you mean it increases in the areas that have Ink coverage only, or both the base material and Ink covered areas are enhanced, Stuart?

    I am guessing you mean both as the laminate will be glossier than the base, but thought ide ask! :smiles:

  • Stuart Taylor

    Member
    May 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm
    quote Robert Lambie:

    quote Stuart Taylor:

    without the laminate the readings are much poorer and don’t meet reflectivity requirements. This is for Road Traffic Signs, but we have been digitally printing reflective materials for 30 years and any reflective without a gloss laminate will lose a % of its reflectivity.

    Very interesting!
    Do you mean it increases in the areas that have Ink coverage only, or both the base material and Ink covered areas are enhanced, Stuart?

    I am guessing you mean both as the laminate will be glossier than the base, but thought ide ask! :smiles:

    Hi Rob

    No there are no negative/positive effects for the non-printed area (as long as laminated correctly) but Digital ink will generally dull or reduce gloss levels of the reflective base under it. When you have a matt finish (or very flat inks such as UV) then the light reflected is "scattered" at wider angles rather than a high percentage of reflection going back to the light source (normally a car headlight and the driver)

  • Robert Lambie

    Member
    May 5, 2020 at 8:34 am
    quote Stuart Taylor:

    Hi Rob
    No there are no negative/positive effects for the non printed area (as long as laminated correctly) but Digital ink will generally dull or reduce gloss levels of the reflective base under it. When you have a matt finish (or very flat inks such as UV) then the light reflected is “scattered” at wider angles rather than a high percentage of reflection going back to the light source (normally a car headlight and the driver)

    Thanks for the info, Stuart. :thumbsup:

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