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Cast Vinyl / PVC Films

 

Cast Vinyl produces a thin continuous film which offers high levels of durability and dimensional stability critical in many exterior and technically demanding applications. The films are typically used as an alternative to paint spraying in transport and advertising sectors and in long life exterior and interior signage panels, screens and glass shopfronts.

To produce a Cast Vinyl film, a specialised liquid dispersion of PVC resin is coated onto a highly polished substrate i.e. casting paper, to produce an extremely thin covering of vinyl. This liquid dispersion is then oven dried to create a thin film which may be removed from the substrate and applied to create a finished article. The film is termed as the ‘Cast Vinyl’.

Cast Vinyl is typically produced between 50 to 150microns in thickness. The ability to produce at this fine level of thickness offers the ability to produce film sheets which are generally very soft and easy to apply to complex or contoured surfaces. For example; curved, corrugated or riveted panels found in the automotive, fleet transport and marine sectors.

   

 

Due to the lack of mechanical force being used in the production process, cast films do not retain 'memory' as found with calendared vinyl films, consequently shrinkage is minimal (typically 50% less than calendared films). This aids application of the film to an article and also durability in use for example resistance to shrinkage, peeling or distorting the finished article.The thinness also permits translucent films for advertising or glass frontage. Consider for example advertising on public transport or in shopfronts where the glass is covered yet levels of light may still passes through the glass or the pattern effect produced in the film.

 

Users of vinyl films consider Cast Vinyl films to be superior to Calendared films. Higher expectations are found within the market and this level of expectation transfers down the supply chain to any additives or pigments which are used within the formulation.

 

Graphic Film

Durability is one key aspect as final application may be expected to last in excess of seven years and longevity of colour fastness is guaranteed by the film manufacturers. From the applications listed above, it may also be considered that the pigments used must offer high levels of colour fastness in a range of demanding environments for example –

  • The film may be used externally in a range of climates including high UV areas of the Globe.

  • The films are found in transport sectors and must be resistant to potential fuel, oil or other chemical spillage.

  • The films must be resistant to common cleaning fluids to ensure brightness of image over long periods of time.

  • The films may be used in a marine environment of high UV combined with high salt content in sea going boats, ships, yachts.

  • The films are used in many advertising applications and represent a corporate image where colour is fundamental to a business identity.

  • The pigments must allow the above objectives to be met yet also offer high colour strength for minimal addition as ease of dispersion and uniformity of colour are critical. As the process is free from mechanical shear, agglomerates of colour or requirement to load high concentrations increases the risk of colour spotting, visual streaks of loss of translucency.

  • The films may be subsequently printed upon to allow detailed photographic quality.