A Closer Look at Calendered Vinyl Film
SignIndustry.com - The Online Magazine for the Sign Trade.
Home | Site Map | Buyer's Guide Search  
Event Calendar Article Archive Message Boards Classifieds Product Showcases News Advertise Search Join Now

CATEGORIES
  3-D Signs
  ADA
  Architectural
  Awnings &
  Flexible Face
  Banners
  Business Development
  CNC Routing
  Computer Technology
  Digital Imaging
  Dynamic Digital
  Electric
  Estimating
  Finishing & Lams 
  Flatbed UV
  Garment Decoration
  Installation
  LED Displays
  LED Lighting
  Neon & LED
  Channel Letter
  Outdoor
  Painted Signs
  Screen Printing
  Sublimation
  Vinyl Signs
   Articles
   Product
   Showcase
   Message Board
   Tips & Tricks
  Hot Shots
  Press Releases
  Tips & Tricks
  Industry Resources
  Books
  Event Calendar
  Associations
  Business Center
  Retail Sign Shops
  Advertising Info

Supply 55 BannerPRO, EcoPRO continuous ink supply system, guardian laminators, quickmount


A Closer Look at Calendered Vinyl Film

Calendered films of today are providing many high-performance options that were once only attributable to cast films. The once "intermediate" vinyl film has matured significantly over the last ten years.

By Laura Schied, New Product Development/Marketing Manager American RENOLIT Corporation

In the graphics industry, cast films have long been considered the top product for many vinyl applications. But calendered have significantly closed that gap for many applications over the last few years.

RENOLIT Calendered Vinyl - Top performance for various applications

Check It Out!

  • Vinyl Articles
  • Industry Alert
  • Hot Shots Photo Gallery
  • Message Boards

    Visit Our Advertisers:

  • 3M Commercial Graphics
  • CADlink Technology
  • Clarke Systems
  • Estimate Software
  • International Sign Assoc.
  • JetUSA
  • Matrix Payment Systems
  • SGIA Specialty Graphics Imaging Assoc
  • Supply 55, Inc.


  • Cast films were thinner, more flexible and lasted longer. But many strides have been made in calendered films to challenge those traditional notions while maintaining an affordable cost. With today's advancements, the new calendered films have greatly improved performance and have overcome many prior insurmountable hurdles in the US market.

    The production process for calendered film once resulted in an inexpensive yet thick material that was better suited for applications on flat surfaces; however, today's calendered films are thinner, glossier, conform better and with less shrinkage, while still maintaining that cost advantage. Today, a high-performance calendered film can satisfy sign makers' needs for a wide range of applications.

    Different Components
    To create calendered film, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is mixed with plasticizer to make a flexible film along with other additives to achieve the desired physical properties, such as stabilizers, lubricants, pigments and processing aids. Although PVC is the primary ingredient in calendered films, each additive plays a vital role in changing the properties.

    Production process of calendered film
    Each film has its own formulation. Based on this formulation, the raw materials are mixed together to a dry blend and fed into the extruder where the mixture fuses together to form the melt. Via a conveyer belt the melt is transported to the mill.

    The mill consists of two counter rotating rolls. Due to pressure and heat, it flattens out the melt, makes it more homogeneous and prepares it for the calender rolls. Before that, a metal detector detects if there is any metal contamination in the strip.

    In the calender section, the strip goes through the first gap and will be flattened out into a film. After each gap the temperature and the uniformity will increase. The film also becomes thinner and wider - according to the customer's specifications.

    Next comes the embossing station, where different patterns and gloss levels can be applied to the film. Each embossing requires a special embossing roll which needs to be installed for the desired final surface finish.

    Now that the film has received its final dimensions and surface, it can be cooled down and transported to the last process stage of winding. Before the film can be wound, the thicker edges of the film need to be trimmed off.

    The cooled and trimmed film is then wound to a master rolls and put in metal racks for further quality control and finally shipping.

    Sophisticated production and process technology
    Present-day's successful calendered film manufacturers have continuously refined and improved the whole production process. This started with the further development of the base formulation, which led to a higher film performance regarding mechanical properties, durability and color consistency.

    Furthermore in the recent years investments in new equipment and process technology they have driven significant improvements in this complex manufacturing process. Today sensitive and intelligent control systems monitor and measure numerous parameters which are crucial to film quality. These parameters are related to the exact machine set up, but also to the film itself which runs through the calender. For example film properties like thickness, color, width, gloss level and so on are constantly controlled. As an result, the whole manufacturing process has gained much greater uniformity, and the films could be specified even tighter and the overall quality has become more consistent.

    The results have boosted the performance of calendered vinyl: they have an excellent layflat, shrink less and are thinner (2.0mil) and glossier than ever before.

    Both calendered and cast films certainly have their appropriate places in the market, but calendered films have especially made significant advancements. Applications that were once only reserved for cast films, are now open to calendered films. And while calendered vinyl films remain the more affordable option, they are not necessarily the inferior option anymore.

    Company
    Home
    Advertising Info
    About Us
    Contact Us
    Privacy Policy
    Site Map
    Resources
    Industry Resources
    Associations
    Retail Sign Shops
    Books
    Product Showcase
    Event Calendar
    Tips & Tricks
    Message Boards
    Classifieds
    Buyer's Guide Listings
    Search
    Add My Company
    Edit My Company

     

    Copyright 1999-2017, All Rights Reserved.