Sign & Digital Graphics

January '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • January 2019 • 53 exposure to foot traffic and outside condi- tions, such as rain, snow and sun, as well to meet any slip resistance standards to protect against potential hazards, he says. "For example, a sidewalk graphic may be exposed to the elements, where mois- ture from precipitation could create a slip hazard," says Jonathan Gerlach, market- ing manager of Intermediate Films for 3 M Commercial Solutions, recommend- ing an anti-slip overlaminate, such as 3M Scotchcal Matte Overlaminate 3647, as a good option for safety and durability. The Use of Laminates The use of laminates, also called overlaminates, can increase the life of a graphic up to one year, but for side- walks, the lifespan is up to three months, Gerlach says, adding that he recom- mends laminates that are UL-approved by Underwriters Laboratories for prod- uct safety testing and certification. "An UL-approved floor overlaminate that is ideal for the environment will maximize the success of the graphic by minimizing slips, trips and falls," Gerlach says. Graphics used in interior smooth floor applications work best with lami- nates, such as 3 M Scotchcal Luster Overlaminate 8509, to improve the appearance and longevity of the graphic, Gerlach says. Before installing the lami- nate, he recommends first testing out the floor waxes that will be used to clean and maintain the floor to ensure protection of the graphics. Roba also recommends following the manufacturer's instructions to outgas the graphic film, removing any extra gases after printing the design, before begin- ning the lamination process. "Following a manufacturer's pro- cessing, installation and maintenance instructions will result in optimally safe and effective floor graphics," Roba says. Printing, laminating and installing floor graphics typically follow a similar process to any other graphic vinyl film. Once the film is printed and laminated, it can be installed, preferably on a smooth- surface floor away from sharp corners to avoid lifting of the edges after applica- tion. "When applying the graphic to floors with uneven surfaces, such as tile floors with deep grout lines, remember that bridged film may crack or rip, shorten- ing the life of the graphic. Also, do not 3M's Controltac film being used on a floor in a coffee shop. (Image courtesy of 3M Commercial Graphics.) A yoga studio floor using 3M's Envision film. (Image courtesy of 3M Commercial Graphics.) (Image courtesy of 3M Commercial Graphics.)

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