When it comes to vehicle wraps, one of the most important procedures is also one of the final ones. Post-heating is the technique of heating the vinyl in all areas where it has been stretched to conform into channels and recesses, and also trimmed edges.
Post-heating allows the adhesive to flow and form a secure bond with the substrate, and also ‘resets’ the face of the vinyl in the key areas where it has manipulated to conform. This means that it will stay down tightly in areas where we often see lifting or popping.
The Post-Heating Process
The post-heating process is carried out after the film has been applied, and squeegeed securely into place on the vehicle.
- You will need a heat gun and an IR thermometer to accurately measure the temperature required for successful post-heating.
- For Arlon Cast films, the optimum temperature reached during post-heating is 110-120C.
- Make sure the vinyl is down securely in any recesses and channels.
- Check that the vinyl hasn’t lifted in any areas, leaving pockets of air that will cause the film to burn when we apply heat.
- If the film lifts as the temperature increases, it indicates that there is still air beneath the film. This air will expand, causing the film to lift and burn through.
- Working on areas 8-10 inches wide, move your heat gun over the vinyl, until the required temperature is achieved. This may take some time, depending on the quality of your heat gun.
- Repeat this process over all channels and recesses, being sure not to miss any small areas.
- Then apply the same process to any trimmed edges and areas where the film has been overlapped.
- Once post-heating has been completed, and you have inspected the vehicle for any imperfections, the vehicle needs to remain on your premises for the next 12-24 hours. This will allow the adhesive to harden, and the facestock to stabilize.
If you follow these steps, you will have a vehicle wrap that not only looks great, but will stay securely in place for the life of the film.