Sign Builder Illustrated Contributor Jim Hingst writes: “The rule of thumb among professional installers is always apply graphics dry; never use application fluid. In my opinion, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Installing vinyl graphics to a plastic sign face without using a application fluid can result in a zillion tiny bubbles. Although these bubbles will breathe out from under the film and disappear after a few days of summer heat, the correct way to apply vinyl to a flat plastic surface is with a commercial application fluid. Note that I specify a “commercial-grade” product, not some concoction that you make yourself.
“Extremely hot application temperature and vinyl films with aggressive adhesive systems are a couple of other exceptions to the rule. A hot surface can cause the adhesive of graphics to pre-adhere to substrate. Pre-adhesion means that the vinyl sticks before you want it to stick, leaving you stuck with a graphics disaster.
“With application fluid, you can avoid pre-adhesion problems. These fluids aid installations by allowing you to float the graphic onto the surface, so you can reposition the graphic without distortion, until you register the graphics panel to the right location.”
To read more, check out the latest “Hingst’s Sign Post” blog HERE.