Know When to Use a Calendered Film?
With the explosion in the popularity of vehicle wraps, we put most of our focus on the cast vinyl films used for these wraps. However, as a vinyl manufacturer we need to remember there are a lot of applications that do not require the high conformability characteristics of a cast vinyl film. Avery Dennison also offers a wide range of calendered films that can be used for a variety of applications.Both calendered and cast vinyl films are made from the same raw materials. Both begin with polyvinylchloride (PVC) polymer and include other ingredients to determine the film’s flexibility, pigment, durability, and other characteristics. Calendered films offer a greater production yield from raw materials, which allows them to be more economically priced. As well, calendered films have a high resistance to abrasion and perform excellently on flat or moderately curved surfaces.
Calendered films are commonly used 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 calendered film is going to tent or lift in complex curved areas where the film is not able to stay down completely. If the wrap needs to keep a paint-like finish, a cast film may be more appropriate. Other popular applications for calendered films include promotional signage, cut vinyl letters on banners, vehicle lettering, and small decals such as bumper stickers.
Regardless of whether you are using solid color films or digitally printed cast films, they 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 calendered films that are as low as 2.5 mil and as high as 6 mil or more. The life of 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, high performance calendered films can last up to 6 or 7 years.
Finally, I find that calendered films are best for floor graphic applications. Given that calendered films are by nature thicker than cast, they will hold up better to the wear and tear of foot traffic.
We would love the opportunity to help you choose the best Avery Dennison product for your particular job. For more information on our Graphics Solutions, visit: http://graphics.averydennison.com/