When trying to evaluate the best media type for your next project, there are a lot of factors to consider. From how the product will handle heat to how it will cut, each property and each film will perform differently. Understanding what your application needs are, your machinery capabilities, and the properties of the materials will ensure you have optimal results. To help you begin your research, below are the film types we offer in our line of coated products, what their features and limitations may be by plastic type, and what applications they are typically recommended for.
Film Benefits and Limitations:
Benefits: Multiple finishes available. Available in thick gauges (up to 30 mils), easily formed, embossed and diecut.
Limitation: Not chemical resistant.
Benefits: Heat tolerance of 350ᵒF, high tensile strength, available in optically clear options. Available in heat stabilized option, good chemical resistance.
Limitations: Not recommended for die-cut applications. Not available above 10 mils thick in clear versions, available up to 14 mil thick in white.
Rigid Vinyl (RPVC):
Benefits: Affordable option. Printable across all print methods. Available in multiple colors and finishes. High opacity.
Limitations: Low threshold for heat.
Benefits: Easily die-cut. Affordable option for temporary applications.
Limitations: Brittle material.
Benefits: Cost-effective material, high flexural strength, high impact strength, naturally moisture and chemical resistant.
Limitations: Low temperature resistance. Degrades quickly in UV light and is highly flammable.
If your application requires chemical, scratch or abrasion resistance, we can supply many of the films above with a hard coating that will offer the protection your product may need. Our coatings can also provide weather resistance, dry-erase-ability, and many other features. Likewise, if you will be printing on film with a digital print method, we offer films specially primed and optimized for a wide array of digital print platforms. Taking these factors into consideration, we’ve created a chart that may help you narrow down the best choices for your specific application.
You’ll notice the chart is broken out into application categories. For more specific applications, the items listed below are examples of typical applications included within each of these categories.
Indoor Signage: Point-of-purchase (POP) graphics, blockout signs, indoor menu boards, shelf danglers, pop-up banners, tradeshow graphics, retail store graphics
Backlit Signage: Backlit signs, scrolling signs, airport graphics, transportation graphics
General Graphics: Fine art, nameplates, overlays, maps, tags, faceplates
Promotional: Table top tents, promotional items, calendars
Cards: Gift cards, membership cards
Industrial: Membrane switch panels, membrane switch overlays, service books/ instructions, bumper sticker facestock, durable label facestock, industrial label facestock, product label facestock, durable graphics, prototypes, industrial displays, electronic labels.
Outdoor: Outdoor signage applications, gas pumps, labels.
For more detailed information about each of these, watch for our ‘Application Spotlight’ series of articles: ‘Applications by Media Type’ for Digitally Printed and Hardcoated Films over the next few months.