Everyone in the sign industry knows the term “Cast Vinyl”, but not everyone really understands what it means. This video describes what cast vinyl is and what it means to your sign and graphics business.

In Cast Film we’re taking PVC, plasticizer and different pigments and making them into a paint, then we actually paint or coat it right onto a substrate. We think of it as a substrate but you can think of it as a mold. That’s why casting is called casting; you’re painting right onto a mold. Now and you and I don’t normally think of a mold as being 6,000 feet long and 60 inches wide but it is a mold nonetheless. When we are done with that film the face that you, the sign writer, use is actually the face that was resting right on that mold. If we wanted to make a carbon fiber cast film we’d cast on a carbon fiber base, if we wanted to make a matte film we’d cast on a matte base.

The key here is that we made a paint. When making that paint we can use very high molecular weight or large polymers to do that with; polymers that are little hard to work with in their raw state but make a film that is so stable in application that you almost can’t do any better than that.

Once the casting is finished you’ve got a product that has gone through an oven “wet”, slowly dried out and finally brought up to temperatures around 400°f in order to cure; but when you cure materials with that high of energy it usually means it takes a lot of energy to destroy them, and that really ends up being the difference. Cast is film is only two mils thick, calendered film is almost three mils thick yet cast film lasts almost twice as long.

It goes through almost every application that vinyl film can be put into and survive, calendered film can cover about 70% of those applications but it’s that top 70% that separates the men from the boys. You can see why cast film is a more expensive product to buy, it certainly a more expensive product to make. But when you go the other side of the coin the end user benefits by all that because you are able to take a thin film that is highly flexible, completely malleable in areas such as fenders and covering car mirrors and all kinds of things like thermoforming that calendered film doesn’t have a prayer at. The process of manufacturing a thermoformed sign exposes the vinyl to very high heat, over 400°f at the same time it stretches vinyl up to 50% while demanding that color stay consistent and the film will last more than seven years. Cast film is your only option. Now think about a vehicle wrap. A vehicle wrap is the hardest application for vinyl; the film needs to be durable, conformable and absolutely perfect: conforming to door jams, deep channels and all those other difficult areas of a vehicle is a job that only cast film can do.

Share your feedback about this video! Share your feedback about this video!

Chuck Bules

Chuck began working at Arlon in 1981. He has helped with the development of film laminates for everything from pin striping to digital printing and full vehicle wraps.

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chuck Bules

Chuck began working at Arlon in 1981. He has helped with the development of film laminates for everything from pin striping to digital printing and full vehicle wraps.

Stay Connected: Subscribe to the Wrapitright Newsletter
What do you want to learn? Share your video ideas with us. What do you want to learn? Share your video ideas with us.
Hablas Español? Ver en Youtube Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Auf youtube ansehen Parlez-vous Français? Regarder sur Youtube
Connect with us on Facebook
Bitnami