When creating signs, there are a number of decisions that need to be made. One thing that you must consider is whether to use cast or calendered sign vinyl film. These terms are used to describe the manufacturing process used to create the film. Each process has positive attributes as well as drawbacks.
Cast Sign Vinyl
Cast vinyl films are created using liquid PVC and solvent. The solvent is suspended in the liquid PVC, and the mixture is poured into a sheet. The mixture is heated, and the solvent is dried out. This leaves a sheet of cast vinyl film. This type of vinyl has very little memory, and it is best for use on surfaces with curves or bends. Cast vinyl is commonly used on vehicles, buses, boats, etc. Cast vinyl film is usually thin and does not retain a memory, and these benefits come at a substantial price.
Calendered Sign Vinyl
Calendered vinyl film is created using an older manufacturing process in which dough-like PVC is rolled through calendered rolls until it reaches the desired thickness. This method results in a vinyl film that retains a memory of its original shape, making it more appropriate for flat applications and signs. Calendered vinyl films are generally less expensive than cast films, so they are more common choice for short-term applications.
Which Sign Vinyl is Better?
With any project, the finished product is only as good as the materials put into it. When it comes to jobs using sign vinyl, the ultimate quality of the finished product begins with choosing the right type of vinyl for your intended application. While both cast and calendered vinyl are time-tested, high-quality products, each is more appropriate for certain applications than the other. Because of its thinness, cast vinyl is the best choice for vehicle wraps and other applications in which you want a graphic to conform to a surface much like paint. Calendered vinyl, on the other hand, is more appropriate for applications in which the film does not need to stretch and conform to contours. Calendered vinyl works well for window graphics, wall murals, floor graphics and other flat applications.
If you need additional information on vinyl cutting or how to get the most out of your vinyl cutting software, please contact SAi today by calling 801-478-1900.