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With the explosion in the popularity of vehicle wraps, we tend to put most of our focus on the cast vinyl films used for these wraps. However, as a vinyl manufacturer we need to remember that there are a lot of applications that do not require the high conformability characteristics of a cast vinyl film. Avery Dennison offers a range of calendered films that can be used for a wide variety of applications.
Regardless of whether you are using solid color films or if you are digitally printing with cast or calendered film, the basic differences between solid color and digital films are the same. Cast films are typically thinner (around 2 mil), more durable (10-12 years), and more conformable than calendered films.
With calendered films, the average thickness is around 3.2 mil, however there are some that are as low as 2.5 mil and as high as 6 mil or more. The life of a calendered film varies greatly. There are economy calendered films that have a durability of 1-2 years. Intermediate calendered films typically offer 3-4 years of durability and the high performance calendered films can last up to 6 or 7 years. Calendered films typically cost less so this contributes to their popularity.
As long as an application does not require an extended durability or high conformability, one of our calendered films may be the right fit for your application. Surfaces suited to calendered films need to be flat or only have simple curves. Possible applications include: promotional signage, cut vinyl letters on banners, vehicle lettering, small decals such as bumper stickers, etc.
Calendered films are also common for bus graphics whether they are short term transit ads or even full bus wraps. In the case of bus wraps, since they are often short term applications, it is generally accepted that the calendered film is going to tent or lift in complex curved areas where the film is not able to stay down. If the wrap needs to keep the paint-like finish, a cast film may be more appropriate. Finally, I find that calendered films are best for floor graphic applications. Given that the calendered films are by nature thicker than cast they will hold up a little better to the wear and tear of foot traffic.
If you have any questions about whether an application that you are working on could be completed using calendered film, be sure to consult your local Avery Dennison Technical or Sales representative. You can reach the Technical Team via email@example.com or 800-282-8379.
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