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The ink-adhesive connection

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“While solvent printers produce a great looking product, the issues of adhesive degradation caused by solvent migration and retention can be devastating for vehicle wraps,” says Rob Ivers, Rob Ivers Inc., Raymore, Mo. “If all of the solvents are not allowed to escape before lamination, the vinyl will be softer, making installation more difficult. More importantly, the adhesive will be weakened, causing lifting and failure.”

Over-saturating prints with solvent ink is a mistake many printers make in an effort to create just the right hue. “For example, if a print is turning out too purple and the client wants it to be bluer, do you think you should add more blue?” asks Ritchie Daize, international print media sales manager for Arlon Inc. “No. Don’t add blue; take away magenta. People don’t think of taking anything away because they think the final colors aren’t going to print vibrant enough.”

Daize estimates that the average print has 40 to 60 percent more ink on it than is necessary to hit the desired colors. The results are wasted ink, wasted time and energy in print time.

Even if you’ve used the proper amount of ink, solvent migration can be a problem.

“The way to avoid the problem of solvent migration is to make sure solvents are completely cured before laminating,” Ivers says. “If you’ve used too much ink, you’re going to have to cure the print that much longer.”

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance writer and associate editor of InTents, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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