A vehicle’s angles, curves, and other nuances will help you determine which vinyl wrap is best for your vehicle. Consider the purpose of your wrap as well as your budget. If quality and longevity are your preferences then a shop that offers the highest of quality vinyl is what you need. However both vinyl types offer differing benefits. Be mindful of the materials available and be sure to ask the shop.
A brief introduction. Vinyl manufactures include common brand names such as 3M and Avery. Both offer varying degrees of quality vinyl for cost effectiveness. The two main types of vinyl are Cast Vinyl and Calendared Vinyl. These are named in reference to their manufacturing process. Cast Vinyl is manufactured utilising a specified formulation, or recipe, where it is mixed then placed onto a cast and sent through a series of ovens to evaporate solvents. What remains is a film, the vinyl, and an adhesive backing is later added. Calendared Vinyl is made with a different process where the formulation is mixed then kneaded. Once formed it is processed through calendar rolls that turn in opposing directions and are heated at varying temperatures until the film is created.
The advantages to the Cast Vinyl wrap is that it has been cast onto the casting sheet in a relaxed state thus creating a very thin conformable material. Cast vinyl is recommended for longevity and looks as it is very paint-like in appearance and can last up to 12 years if properly cared for. On the other hand Calendared Vinyl is easier to handle due to its thickness and stiffness. It also performs well on moderately curved vehicles, and has a 2-3% shrinkage rate. Calendared Vinyl is also more cost effective as there is a higher production of the material which in turn runs down costs.
Overall Cast Vinyl is the highest quality material available in car wrapping. It is more expensive but it also has a longer shelf life of up to 12 years. Cast Vinyl will benefit a vehicle that has a complex surface with many angles and curves due to its high conformability. It is also recommended for higher end vehicles that wish to have a flawless paint-like finish, or for owners looking for a unique custom colour as Cast Vinyl has a larger selection of colours available.
In comparison Calendared Vinyl wrap is beneficial to lease option vehicle owners who wish to preserve the vehicles exterior while maintaining affordability. Calendared Vinyl is also best for advertising vehicles where cost is important and where the vehicle will typically have less curvature and more flat surface space.
Choosing the right vinyl for your car can be a tough decision when unaware of the degree of material used. Be sure to inquire with the shop what they offer, or use, and determine if that material fits your purpose, budget, and vehicle shape.