Awards & Engraving

November '19

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A&E NOVEMBER 2019 • a-e-mag.com 37 By Colin VanLint, JDS Industries If you want to decorate on a hard substrate, cut vinyl is more suited for the job instead of an HTV because it has far superior adhesive technology. There are a range of different hard surface materials out there like concrete, glass, plastic, metal, and brick, and each surface has a different "surface energy." Surface energy refers to how well something will adhere to it. For instance, plastic has a low surface energy and often requires a special high- tack adhesive. On the opposite side, glass and metal have a high energy surface, so you want to use a cut vinyl that has "micro comply" and/or "air egress" technology. Micro comply technology has micro beads on the adhesive that act as a barrier between the surface and the adhesive, allowing you to slide it around and reposi- tion until you achieve the optimal position. Then once you add pressure, the adhesive binds to the surface. Air egress technology is a series of air channels that are imprinted into the vinyl, creating a path for air to escape as you start to smooth the vinyl down to the surface, mitigating creases and giving you a clean finish. There are many methods to applying vinyl and it depends on size and what surface you are trying to apply to. I often find the "hinge method" works the best in most flat surface installations. The hinge method allows you to line your vinyl up onto a surface with the paper backing still attached. Once you have the vinyl in place, you create a hinge using blue painter's tape in the center of your vinyl. Once the hinge is in place, you peel back and cut away the paper liner from the back of the vinyl, exposing your adhesive. Next, using a squeegee, you can begin to smooth and press down your vinyl, working from the center of the vinyl out- ward. The tape not only creates a hinge so you can tackle half of the installation at a time, but also holds it in place so you know that your alignment should be optimal. After the first side is installed, you can remove your tape and work from the center outward to finish the other side. Applying Vinyl to Hard Substrates USE YOUR LASER AE1119 Expand your decoration offerings by using your laser system with STAHLS' ® CAD-CUT ® heat transfer materials. Go beyond traditional engraving and offer your customers more than an award. Decorate T-shirts, bags, hats, and more using detailed designs not possible with other methods. stahls.com | 800.478.2457 ijklmn TO CUT MORE DO MORE WITH YOUR LASER bit.ly/stahls-laser-htv a-e-mag.com/advertise For Advertising Inquiries, Call: 800-669-0424

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