The vehicle wrap industry were wowed when 3M™ posted an April 2013 press release revealing a study...
What Are Vehicle Wraps Made Of?
It’s hard not to notice vehicle graphics especially if an entire vehicle is wrapped but more and more, many of our customers ask us what are vehicle wraps made of so we thought we’d provide some information on vehicle wraps, what materials they are made from and offer a stunning vehicle wrap transformation video!
The Mysterious Wrap
Simply put, vehicle wraps are made of vinyl with an adhesive backing—and a strong adhesive is best such as the wraps manufactured by 3M and Avery as they work best for vehicle wraps. But there is more to a wrap material than just saying they are made out of vinyl.
To create the heavy-duty adhesive vinyl we use at Sunrise Signs, the wraps begin using PVC or poly vinyl chloride. Specific additives are used to create the film such as plasticizers which give the wrap film flexibility and pigment for the desired color for the wrap film.
Durable wraps also mean UV absorbers and heat stabilizers are needed so once installed, the wrap fits the vehicle’s contour and shape and can stand up to the weather including the sun. There are also vinyls called cast vinyls. The process for making these is more of an all-in-one manufacturing process where once all the additives are mixed together, the material is placed in a casting sheet and baked. Casting vinyls are extremely flexible and thin and also shrink resistant. Even still, there are some wrap films where all the ingredients are mixed but instead of baking, the material is rolled and stretched to achieve the final result—this is the least desirable type of vinyl wrap because it ends up on the thick side and may shrink. At Sunrise Signs we only use high-quality vehicle wrap material.
Finally, vehicle wraps can last up to five years depending on the type of wrap material used and the more advanced the wrap film, the easier it is to remove.
For our vehicle wraps, we have a favorite from 3M—ControlTac Graphic Film. This product from 3M is slideable and can be repositioned and comes with a pressure activated adhesive. We consider ControlTac films to be the best for long-term uses and they are very durable and easy to remove. Great features of ControlTac films include their exceptional hiding power and this makes them very popular for fleet and franchise wraps. ControlTac films are also great for challenging wrap areas like curves and are less susceptible to bubbles. Finally, these 3M vehicle wraps can be stretched up to 130 percent without using primer which offers great lift resistance.
Beyond this popular wrap film, 3M recently release a new line up of wrap films—their Envision™ wrap films. What is making these wrap films so exciting is that they are void of PVCs and are more environmentally-friendly giving vehicle wrap customers a choice.
Many of our wholesale customers—freelance designers and marketing and advertising agencies are often stymied about what vehicle wraps are made of and turn to us to help them choose the best wrap for the design at hand.
Wrap Transformation and Wrap Resource Guides
As promised, check out our YouTube video—What Makes a Vehicle Wrap to see a vehicle go from the plain and mundane to a 24/7 moving billboard advertisement that never sleeps!
At Sunrise Signs we cater to all sorts of clients and encourage you to read our how-to guides on vehicle wraps for:
Ready to wrap your vehicles? Now that you know what vehicle wraps are made of, we invite you to get a quote and start your vehicle transformation today!