Vinyl Graphics

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Vinyl graphics have been popular, non-destructive ways of modifying a vehicle for many years. They have been popular amongst racers, truckers, and non-commercial drivers alike, and have been produced in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Until somewhat recently, however, some vinyl graphics have remained difficult to install, remove, or modify without the help of a professional.

Advancements in Vinyl Graphics Technology

Many of the discernible advancements that have been made in vinyl technology have to do with the adhesives that are used to affix the vinyl to the vehicle. Older kinds of adhesives often used chemical solvents that could be harsh and dangerous, necessitating certain professional equipment for installation and removal jobs. Many types of vinyl also required extreme heat to deconstruct the adhesive, meaning that the torches or heat guns used could potentially mar the vehicle's paint job.

New types of vinyl are easier to both install and remove. Companies such as 3M, who specialize in vinyl graphics materials, have developed tools that can aid consumers in applying their own vinyl decals. They have also developed various kinds of easy-on, easy-off vinyl that doesn't require professional installation.

Vinyl graphics printed on some new kinds of vinyl can be lightly affixed and then repositioned on the surface of the vehicle, without destroying the vinyl or the vehicle's finish. They do so by using a pressure-sensitive adhesive, which won't become active until firm pressure is applied. Other kinds of vinyl allow air to escape when installed, reducing the occurrence of air bubbles.

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