Home' New Zealand Printer Magazine : drupa II 2016 Contents 32
drupa II 2016 – WIDE FORMAT +Plus
Stop the bus. You need to know more than just the manufacturers’ durability rating
Continued from page 30
SO long as conditions remain inconsistent, you will
always find a variance in the actual durability of a film.
In order to make the best product choice and have
confidence in the durability of your print campaign,
you might find the following tips useful:
Be clear on exactly what the manufacturer is
offering, five-year durability and up to five-year
durability suggest quite different performance
criteria. The first suggests a minimum of five years
and the latter a maximum of five years.
Check the durability offering for the whole
construction (film, ink and laminate).
What warranty is the manufacturer offering
for ageing and under what conditions, type of
applications? Warranty and published durability
can be quite different.
Will the graphic be exposed to any environmental
aspects that could be considered as abnormal and
will negatively impact on durability?
Both Australia and New Zealand generally have a
higher UV index then the country in which the film
is made. Check the durability rating for your area
and also for the orientation of your print (vertical
For film considerations: analyse this
UV radiation, temperature, and pollution can all affect the durability of a film
tests and field experience in different
environments to determine the
durability rating of a film.
They perform the tests in a
controlled laboratory environment
using a predetermined, consistent set
of conditions, which the manufacturer
or testing authority deems as being
representative of the climate the film
will be used in.
No one has a crystal ball and,
being able to replicate the exact
weather conditions over one, five,
or 10 years is basically impossible.
What is also impossible to test with
accuracy, is how some env ironmental
factors will impact on the graphic
such as pollution.
As vinyl can only be tested to
a par ticular predetermined set of
conditions, the published durability
ratings should never be taken as an
What is also critical is that the
vinyl purchaser considers not only the
published durability of the product
but any specific or non- standard
conditions the vinyl may be exposed
The biggest influences on vinyl
UV radiation- the amount of UV
exposure and the intensity of the
UV rays cause the film to break
down over time.
Temperature- vey high
temperatures or very cold
temperatures or extreme
fluctuations in temperature all
speed up the aging process
Pollution and other env ironmental
factors (abrasion, chemical
The more a decal is exposed
to these elements the faster the
Even when you test a film’s
durability to local conditions
(country by country) it remains quite
difficult to give an exact rating. In
Australia and New Zealand nor th
and south have very different
climatic conditions. Even within a
city, two signs on the same building
can experience different conditions
simply based on positioning.
What’s the angle?
THE angle of the graphic also features
as an important determinant of film
When a manufacturer quotes a
film as having a particular durability,
usually the manufacturer bases that
quote on a vertical application. If you
apply the material to a non-vertical
surface, then the durability rating will
reduce in relation to the gradient. The
greater the angle then the faster the
deterioration. When you apply vinyl
to a horizontal surface, it exposes
the vinyl to damaging UV rays all the
time unlike, say the side of a vehicle,
where exposure time will change
depending on the position of the
For horizontal applications, some
manufacturers will not offer any
warranty or durability expectations
or they simply do not recommend
their product for this application.
You can see how the importance
of hav ing a strong awareness of this
if you need to complete a full vehicle
wrap; the roof, the bonnet, and some
of the side areas will have horizontal,
or close to horizontal, applications.
Assuming that your five-year film
w ill last for five years on the bonnet
could lead to false assurances to the
customer and a potential claim a few
years later when the job fails to meet
the customer’s expectations.
Another important point to
understand when looking at the
durability ratings on various films
concerns the fact that these generally
apply to unprinted film.
If your job requires you to
complete a digital print, then the
unprinted durability is irrelevant. You
need to know what the durability of
this film will be with ink and, if using
a laminate, then the durability of the
whole construction. You might be
surprised to discover that the 10 year
film you purchased has a durability
of nowhere near 10 years once it is
printed and applied.Ever y application
Taking these factors into account
can help to better assess the potential
durability of a product for your
intended application and ensure
that your customer is advised of
reasonable performance parameters
for their signage.
WIDE FORMAT: APPLICATIONS
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