Today, I will answer the question: How does FLITE Technology™ differ from the competition’s adhesive technology?

I’ve heard people say:

  • “It is so low tack. Will it stay down in deep channels?”
  • “Is there any adhesive on this film?”
  • “It is so easy to snap up, that it’ll probably fly off once driven on a highway.”

The adhesive in FLITE Technology™ may have a lite initial contact, but today, I’ll show you why FLITE Technology can stay down better in areas where it counts, like channels, rivets or compound curves.

Wrap Vinyl Film Components

First, any wrap vinyl film will have the following components: A white vinyl film, adhesive, and a release liner, also known as the backing paper.

The backing paper is removed which then exposes the adhesive, and, yes, FLITE Technology™ products have adhesive on them. I would also add that tack, as it is commonly used, is distinct from ultimate adhesion.

Adhesives can be designed to have a high initial tack that it’s almost the same value as its ultimate adhesion. However, adhesives in wrap films tend to have a low tack but ultimately rise to a level of adhesion that is way higher than its initial tack.

So what is the difference between the adhesive technologies then?

Topography-Based vs. Inhibitor-Based Technology

Arlon’s FLITE Technology™ is topography-based while the competition is inhibitor-based.

Topography refers to the surface of the adhesive itself while an inhibitor refers to a non-adhesive components on the adhesive’s face, which prevents it from making contact onto the application surface.

An inhibitor-based technology uses inhibiting particles and commonly referred to as a slidable film. This technology’s advantage is that it can accommodate higher tack adhesives and maintain its slide ability because these particles hold adhesive up and away from the surface until you apply squeegee pressure.

However, once the adhesive contacts a surface, the film can be difficult to snap up. In addition, the inhibitors are not dissolved into adhesive, so there will be areas without any adhesive contact.

There may be several factors on why it’s thick, but one important factor is the amount of adhesive contact to the surface, and in some cases, the particles can be left behind when the film is removed.

FLITE Technology™ Adhesive

FLITE Technology, on the other hand, does not use any inhibitors.

Instead, the adhesives unique texture minimizes the amount of contacts on the application surface. That is why it is not slideable, per se, since it is still adhesive, although minimal, that will make contact with the surface.

On the other hand, the absence of inhibitors will allow the adhesive to achieve 100% surface contact once pressure is applied. This would prove the “What is FLITE Technology™?” video, when the matte adhesive has flowed into the surface and turned into gloss.

Another advantage is that it does not require any adhesive promoters in channels for it to stay down.

Knowing the differences in the types of technologies will ease your transition into using Arlon products. With FLITE Technology, you can expect 100% adhesive contact, which means that your wrap will stay down.

Snapping up or repositioning the graphic is easier and better, and the removability is cleaner and easier because adhesive promoters are not required.

Stay tuned for more Tech on the Road videos.

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Louie Calma

Louie started working with Arlon Graphics’ Technical Services in 2013.  By being part of a team whose goal is to bridge end-user’s demands to R&D and QA, he was able to gain both external and internal insights on how graphic films are designed, made, used and improved. His automotive background also allowed him to contribute ideas regarding technologies in the automotive industry that may affect a product’s design.

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Louie Calma

Louie started working with Arlon Graphics’ Technical Services in 2013.  By being part of a team whose goal is to bridge end-user’s demands to R&D and QA, he was able to gain both external and internal insights on how graphic films are designed, made, used and improved. His automotive background also allowed him to contribute ideas regarding technologies in the automotive industry that may affect a product’s design.

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