Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CAST AND CALENDARED VINYL?

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A:Though cast vinyl and calendared vinyl look the same they have some very fundamental differences that are established during their creation that yield specific application limitations. These limitations are essential to know when selecting vinyl for various projects.

Calendared vinyl, which gets its name from the manufacturing process, is created from a series of basic raw materials which are run through a series of calendered rollers once it reaches a molten state. The process of being fed through these heavy rollers establishes the flat smooth surface that is calendered vinyl. This process is fantastic for high volume vinyl projects as it is quick and can yield a very large amount of vinyl. The one set back to this process is due to its original molten state as a ‘ball’ of material that is flattened, the vinyl retains a memory of this shape and when exposed to heat tends to slightly shrink. Though this ‘dimensional stability’ is not of the highest quality it is subtle and ideal for shorter term projects. This vinyl process tends to yield thicker vinyl which is ideal for durability during its use.

Cast Vinyl, also named after its production process. This vinyl though is prepared as a liquid and is poured into casts that are then run through a process to solidify the mixture. After the solvents have evaporated the vinyl is ready and since it was in a relaxed state during this process it does not have the tendencies to regain any other shape which offered high ‘dimensional stability’. As you can imagine this process is a bit more time consuming and produces a vinyl that has a longer life span in addition to a difference set of specifications. Due to these factors it tends to be a higher quality material and a bit more expensive than its alternative.

HCG Signs offers various vinyls of both selections, understanding the limitations and capabilities of our vinyl allow us to better serve the needs of our clients. The 3M Company is the leading manufacturer of Cast vinyl which has been established at the top choice vinyl for vehicle graphics.