This article is to explain more about the different thicknesses we produce and for what application they are good for.
0.15mm = 6 mil , semi rigid
0.2mm = 8 mil, this thickness and above are rigid
0.25mm= 10 mil
0.3mm= 12 mil
0.4mm= 16 mil
0.5mm= 20 mil
MEMBRANE PRESSING / VACUUM PRESSING: For Solids and Woodgrains, Dackor's 12 mil is most common as it can be membrane pressed by all however some company's even have the expertise to profile wrap as well. When you press, it uses heat and suction to form over the mdf components. This means that the material is pressed into the substrate. By going thicker you are able to hide more imperfections. In addition, by going thicker, deeper embosses can be incorporated for more realistic surfaces. Quality producers know that Dackor has a plethora of thicker materials as well and we do this to enable our customers to have higher quality parts and also to create more realistic woodgrain textures.
PROFILE WRAPPING: When profile wrapping, companies do not experience suction of the material into the mdf so thinner products can be used. The most common sizes are 6 mil and 8 mil. When we produce 6mil we do so with a semi rigid vinyl. This reduces cost but also enables the product to wrap well. Some companies love semi rigid due to its ease of wrapping however semi rigids often are not as strong or durable to scratches and wear. For that reason we offer rigid 8 mil product to enable the material to be thin enough to wrap yet more durable to scratch and more rigid to process.
SEMI RIGID VERSUS RIGID: The best way to describe the difference is that semi rigid feels more like a thin shower curtain that is more flimsy in your hand. This is caused by adding more plasticizers to enable the product to stretch. This also lowers the cost of the product. Rigid, however, uses a very low amount of plasticizers and enables the product to be more rigid. The product still goes on a roll however its really more like a thinner version of membrane press laminate.
FLAT LAMINATION: Companies can flat laminate 12 mil and thicker vinyls however this is typically done with a PUR line or 2 part epoxy. For most flat lamination lines you would utilize a 6 mil or 8 mil. This is personal preference. It should be noted the strengths and weaknesses are that the 6 mil applies more quick and cost less however being thinner it may show more imperfections in the substrate whereas the 8 mil is more rigid. Please note that the heat utilized in processing will be different as well based upon the formulation of rigid versus semi rigid as well as the thickness. If the product is more thick it may take more heat to absorb into the material.
MITER FOLDING: When folding the vinyl becomes a hinge. This means that you are routering a v groove in the back of the part and only kissing the vinyl. When you fold the part you get a crisp edge. One advantage of a rigid vinyl is that when you fold it thermosets better and is less likely to pucker on the edge. So there are some strengths to miter folding a rigid over a semi rigid.
CONCLUSION: Please note that there are so many variables in lamination. There is time, heat, duration, pressure, glue used, board, humidity , user and more. This means that like all professional laminations you really need to test produce product to be sure of the thickness and formulation to be sure more ease of processing.
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