Selecting the right vinyl stock for you job isn’t always simple and sometimes it’s a balancing act between choosing the product with the best qualities and one that presents the best value for money. In this article we look behind vinyls, how they are made, what are their key properties and what are the real differences between each type. Learn which type is best suited to what job so you can specify with greater confidence.
Coloured vinyls are generally available in 2 main types: Cast (where a specially formulated coloured liquid is spread onto the base material creating a thin, pliable, high quality coloured film), and Calendered (where the colour is rolled onto the surface of the material as a coating, creating a film which is not as stable or pliable as Cast Vinyl). As these vinyls have quite different characteristics it is essential to select the vinyl best suited to your application and desired term of installation. You might also consider lamination of printable vinyls to protect the print surface and increase UV protection and print life.
Calendered Vinyls are manufactured with most everyday, short/medium-term applications in mind. The structure of Calendered Vinyls means that the material is not as pliable as it’s Cast cousin, so these vinyls are not used for contouring over complex forms such as vehicle wraps. Calendered Vinyls are further divided into two subcategories: Monomeric and Polymeric.
Monomeric Vinyls are the most simple form and cheapest type of vinyl and are mainly available as a printable white gloss SAV with a 2-3year life under controlled conditions. They’re ideally suited to short-term or temporary external use or, most regularly, for internal application where fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions aren’t an issue. We stock Ritrama’s 2 year SAV and the full range of 2-3 year Jetmax printable self adhesive gloss vinyls along with matching gloss or matt laminates.
Polymeric Vinyls are available as either a printable SAV or in a colour range based on the manufactures specific colour matching system. They have additional polymers added to their coating to help stablise them, this aids with strength and helps to reduce shrinkage, effectively giving Polymeric greater longevity under harsh conditions. This means Polymerics remain stable from 5-7 years and are more suited to external use compared to Monomeric.
We stock the 5 year Ritrama – 52 colour range (ideal for medium/long-term indoor or outdoor signage such as shop fronts and display graphics), Translucent – 21 colour range, Glass Etch – 8 colour range and a specialty range of Fluorescent, Photoluminscent, Blackboard and Mirror finish films. We also stock the full 5-7 year Jetmax range of printable self adhesive vinyls in gloss or matt along with matching laminates.
Cast Vinyls are coloured using the manufactures specific matching system and are not suitable to be printed. They are considered premium grade due to their ability to remain stable for up-to 10 years. They can be used for internal applications but are ideally suited to external use and because the material has no structural memory it can easily conform to shaped contours and cover surface inconsistencies. This makes them perfect for vehicle wraps and other extreme applications.
We stock the 10 year Ritrama Cast Vinyl – 52 colour range (ideal for recreational vehicles, marine and automotive graphics and striping, architectural signage, decals, service station markings and computerised sign making). We also provide the 5 year Gemstone Metallic Cast Vinyl – 15 colour range.
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In addition to the 2 main groups of vinyls Jetmark provides a range of specialty printable materials such as: One-way Vision, Static Cling Film, Lightbox Material, Poster Paper, Billboard and Banner Material, Textured Wallpaper, Artists Canvas and even Magnetic Rubber. If you have any queries about these products or would like to discuss which media is best for your next job, talk to our helpful Service Team on 1800 538 627.