Sign & Digital Graphics


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2 0 1 9 • WRAPS • 57 without compromising their reflectivity. "But if you were to stretch a pris- matic film, the stiff structure – typically a brittle acrylic film – would break and instantly lose its reflectivity," she says. "Both are the underdogs of graphic films because not only do you get visibility of your graphic during the day, they also provide great advertising at night, espe- cially when headlights are shined upon them." Glass bead films are subject to what is called 'bruising' – over-stretching the material can redistribute or damage the glass beads and impact nighttime reflec- tivity. "One tip is to check your install pe- riodically with a light source, as this can help you detect defects and make cor- rections to your installation tactics long before the entire application is com- plete," says Place. As a result, installers may need some coaching or to consult a manufacturer's training materials to be- come experts at wrapping complex curves and corners, and still retain the highest reflectivity. "Most reflective media will also include per- manent adhesives that are aggressive and make re- positioning and removal challenging," Place adds. "Stacking and overlapping multiple layers can leave thick edges and bridge areas that fall victim to abrasion and the rigors of mother nature." Several glass bead products, including Arlon's IllumiNITE Wrap and 3M's Scotchlite 780mc- 10R Print Wrap Film, do address those challenges with a little more flexibility, while Avery Denni- son's OmniCube prismatic film boasts an incred- ibly high level of reflectivity, requiring just a bit more attention during the installation process. You still have the ability to custom print on re- flective materials, though you'll need to balance image density with maintaining the substrate's re- flective qualities. Bui suggests printing with latex, eco-solvent or regular solvent to get the maximum results. "It is also UV-printable, but UV inks tend to be very thick and opaque and can essentially hide the reflectivity of the product," she adds. "However, this can also give customers a creative edge in de- signing their graphic in a way that would really make the reflec- tive contrast 'pop' from the UV print." That flexibility has led to some interesting applications, above and beyond emergency vehicles, Place says. "Many talented de- signers have found creative ways to incorporate reflective film into basic applications and full-blown 360-degree wraps to create that nighttime 'wow' factor. The product also offers a great way to increase visibility and safety in exterior wall applications, rang- ing from retail signage to wayfinding." Clearly, when working with clients in the police, fire and EMS fields – it's critical to make sure that your product choice (and us- age) meets government standards. "As a graphics manufacturer or installer, it is always a good choice to check state and local ordinances to see if there are mini- mum reflective performance requirements needed for municipal vehicles," says Place. "Brightness and color are typically two areas that would be regulated. Specific ASTM performance standards may need to be met for certain uses of reflective film." Barnard says one regulation he is aware of is DOT C2, which states that trucks over 10,000 pounds and wider than 80 inches must use DOT C2-approved reflective tape to mark their trailers. "For North America, reflective films are typically classified under ASTM-D 4956, which identifies the type of reflective film, adhesive backing and typical applications on where to use," adds Bui. "Our IllumiNITE Wrap is certified as Type 1, Class 3 engi- neer-grade film." COLORADO'S HUSKY SIGNS COMPLETES A REFLECTIVE-MATERIAL WRAP FOR A LOCAL BREWERY: HTTP://SDGMAG.LY/REFLECT.

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