Sign & Digital Graphics

May '19

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WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS P aint protection film is similar to wrap film in a few ways, but wrap shops wanting to get into the business need to be prepared with the right tools and proper techniques for achieving the perfect install of the material. Paint protection film, or PPF, unlike films designed for vehi- cle wraps, is not meant to be printed on but protects a vehicle's paint from scratches from contact with gravel, rocks and road salts and helps maintain the trade-in value. PPF, which is nor- mally clear in appearance, offers protection against elements like magnesium chloride in Colorado, lovebugs in the southeast and sand in the southwest, plus road construction all over the U.S. "The film is designed to protect the paint and keep it looking new," says Eric Keller, national account manager for Xpel Inc. in San Antonio, Texas. The Uses of PPF PPF, around for about 20 years, initially was installed on the forward-traveling and highly exposed parts of a vehicle, such as the front end, the edges of doors and the outside of mirrors, says Steve Wood, business development manager for Madico, a manufacturer of window film and tint products in Pinellas Park, Florida. In the last couple of years, customers started wanting to cover more areas of their vehicles or pay for an entire instal- lation, he says. "You put that over the paint, so it takes the abuse and you can remove and replace it, so it doesn't damage the paint," Wood says. PPF and wrap film have different qualities in order to carry out different performances. PPF can be installed on top of wraps to provide an extra layer of protection for the material and graphics, while wraps are intended to add color and design that can't be achieved with direct painting. P A I N T P R O T E C T I O N F I L M MORE THAN JUST Protection Paint protection films offers protection for vehicles, opportunities for wraps shops B Y S H E L L E Y W I D H A L M Shelley Widhalm is a freelance writer and editor and founder of Shell's Ink Services, a writing and editing service based in Loveland, Colorado. She has more than 15 years of expe- rience in communications and holds a mas- ter's degree in English from Colorado State University. She can be reached at shellsinkser- or 44 • May 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S An installer at Madico, a manufacturer of window film and tint products in Pinellas Park, Florida, demonstrates the steps of installing paint protection film around the contours of a vehicle.

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