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PVC BANNERs - Controlling Plasticiser Migration

Summer has arrived, and as the days get warmer, the technical phone calls increase with questions concerning the performance of UV inks and vinyl on PVC banner and static cling substrates.

It is not uncommon to hear that the inks "have changed" and the same ink that used to be glossy and dry now appears matt and tacky or wet. The problem is not that the ink or vinyl has changed, it's that the warmer weather conditions are causing changes to the substrates.

Most plastic materials contain plasticisers to make them flexible. While these plasticisers make the material softer and more flexible, they also can cause screen, digital printers and vinyl applicators many difficulties.

Plasticisers migrate to the surface of the material and change the surface to which the ink or vinyl must adhere to. When the material is exposed to higher temperatures, the migration process occurs more quickly. Since static cling and PVC banner materials contain high levels of plasticisers, storing them in a hot warehouse, transporting in a hot truck, or curing through a hot unit will quickly cause plasticisers to migrate to the substrate surface, potentially causing ink adhesion and/or blocking problems.

Some PVC banner manufacturers now offer top-coated vinyl banner materials which prevent any plasticiser from contaminating the surface of the material. This top-coating eliminates the plasticiser migration problems.

Printers and Vinyl Applicators should weigh the higher material costs against the potential production down time in making their substrate decision.

As a rule of thumb, PVC banners should only be used for short-term outdoor applications such as once off promotions. With longer term signage use Flexface (used on light boxes) which has a top coating to prevent plasticiser migration.  

 

 

For More Information Contact:

Sign Equipment Services
PO Box 4619, Kempton Park, 1620, Gauteng, South Africa
Tel: JHB 011 826 1068 or 011 826 1521
FAX: 086 538 9016
Internet: sales@signequipmentservices.co.za

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: August 23, 2015