Understanding Vinyl Wraps – Before Installation
Majority of the products we use consist of poly vinyl chloride (PVC), this is a material which is made up of plasticizes, polymers, solvents, UV inhibitors and stabilizers. The ingredients ultimately make up what we know as vinyl wraps and paint protection films.
These films typically carry a thickness between 70 to 180 microns, which is a thin layer over the top of the substrate they are applied to.
While they both provide protection functionality and cosmetic enhancements they are also prone to suffering from environmental degradation. Improper care will increase the rate of environmental degradation.
Further more, these films will constantly move through-out the life of the application with shrinkage, expansion and contraction, which we will explain in the next section.
There are 3 main layers to vinyl;
- Adhesive layer
- Face film (coloured layer)
- Laminate layer
These layers all play an important part tot he functionality of the film, they also move independent to each other.
The adhesive has it’s own technology with air release channels, that allow for a smoother and quicker application. However, they do have a curing period, to soften and create full contact. This typically takes 1-2 weeks.
The face film, provides the appearance you are looking for and is continually moving on top of the adhesive.
The laminate provides protection to the appearance and is the layer which needs to be cleaned regularly to minimize environment impact. This is the layer which absorbs all of the impacts.
The movement of these layers cannot be observed by eye.
Expansion & Contraction
The expansion and contraction occurs due to movement, this is simply the pores of the vinyl opening and closing as the material moves throughout it’s life. The more these pores get dirt and and grime, the quicker your PVC material will break down.
This is why it is so important to clean your vehicle once a week.
If you are unable to do so, we can provide liquid ceramic coating, which is explained in the video below.
The life span of your vinyl wrap will typically be between 2 to 5 years, depending on the environment it is exposed to and if you take proper care of it. Life span on horizontal surfaces may be much less than this timeframe as they are more exposed to the UV rays from the sun as well as dirt and grime sitting on the surface