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Architects and interior designers are focusing more and more on creating unique and inspiring workspaces. One way to achieve special effects is with etched or frosted vinyl films installed on both interior and exterior windows. These graphics can be representations of the company logo or be used to create privacy for interior conference rooms or for decorative purposes. Often, the desired look is achieved with Avery Dennison SC 900 Series Etchmark and Frosted Sparkle films. Following are tips and techniques will help insure a successful install.
Proper Window Preparation
Proper preparation of the window the graphic will be applied to is very critical to a successful application. Each window should be cleaned using a window cleaner that is ammonia free. After the window has been fully wiped down and the cleaner removed, a second and final cleaning should be done using straight isopropyl alcohol (IPA), which will remove any residue that may have been left behind by the cleaning solution used.
Type of Vinyl Being Used
Avery Dennison manufactures two specialty window films called Etchmark and Frosted Sparkle. These films are 2.0 mil cast vinyl with clear permanent pressure sensitive adhesive. These products are fully compatible with CAD plotters and have up to a 5-year outdoor durability on vertical applications.
Depending on the size, location and type of graphic being installed, it may be necessary to use an application tape. For most applications a medium-tack application tape will be sufficient.
Recommended Application Procedures
A wet application technique is generally the best method for applying these types of films on glass. The application fluid allows for easy positioning of the graphic because it can slide into place on the glass. The fluid also helps make it easier for the installer to push out any air bubbles during the installation.
The application fluid can be a pre-mixed solution such as Rapid Tac or something you mix yourself. Two other options are an IPA and water mix (75 percent water to 25 percent IPA) or a soap and water solution of one teaspoon of soap to one gallon of water. If you are using the soap and water solution, be sure to use a soap that does not contain any perfumes or lotions as these can cause adhesion issues to the glass.
Joey Heiob is technical service representative, Avery Dennison, Label and Packaging Materials.