Many of our clients come to us knowing exactly what they want on their banner or wrap. That’s great. Almost none of them come to us knowing what type of vinyl they want or which type will best suit their needs. That’s fine. Vinyl’s our business, not yours.
All vinyl are not created equal. Two manufacturing processes are used to create the vinyl film upon which we print: cast and calendared vinyl. While the basic vinyl is the same, manufacturing processes produce materials with significant differences, making them ideal for different applications.
Cast Vinyl Film
In cast vinyl film manufacturing, vinyl is heated until it’s a malleable liquid, then extruded from a machine onto a temporary carrier where it cools into its thickness. Because extrusion is constantly uniform and the carrier is pulled through the machinery (rather than the vinyl itself) its makeup is predictable and is typically stronger.
Calendared Vinyl Film
Calendared film begins life as the same mixture of vinyl, but instead of being extruded under pressure, it’s pulled through a series of hot rollers. Acting like a rolling pin on dough, these rollers flatten the film to a desired thickness, at which point it passes through cooling rollers to set its size.
Advantages of Cast Vinyl Film
Cast vinyl film can be manufactured very thinly, making it more malleable and better suited to application over irregular and textured surfaces. It’s also more resistant to shrinking and more durable for long-term applications than other types of vinyl. Cast vinyl film often maintains colors longer better than calendared vinyl.
Advantages of Calendared Vinyl Film
More rigid than cast vinyl, calendared vinyl is well suited for flat surfaces and areas with only moderate curves, and offers an affordable alternative to cast vinyl. Due to manufacturing processes, calendared vinyl also allows for a high-gloss surface, and is more resistant to abrasion than cast vinyl.
In most cases, our staff knows which type of vinyl will be best for your project. Occasionally, either type may work for you. We’re always happy to discuss your needs as well as the different outcomes you can expect from each.
When you’re ready to discuss your project or get a quote, call us at 970.223.2124, or use our contact form to get in touch.