Heat Gun vs. Torch for Vehicle Wraps
It has been my experience that the torch does not work well for post heating. The torch produces a very intense and focused heat that tends to burn the film before it reaches the post heat temperature. The heat from a heat gun puts out a wider cone of heat and will heat a larger area.
The Process of Post Heating
If you watch Justin Pate’s post heat video on the Avery Dennison YouTube page, you will see there a few different options for post heating. Note all methods show using an IR thermometer, however one of the higher end heat guns actually has the IR thermometer built in instead of using a separate device.
As Justin demonstrates in his video, you simply point the IR at the area to be post heated while keeping the heat gun moving slightly so the film isn’t burned. Once you reach a minimum temperature of 175°F, move along the vehicle. This process actually does not add a lot of time to your installation, and it also helps ensure that the vehicle will not come back for vinyl lifting.
Post Heating Without Hitting Minimum Temperature
If you choose not to post heat or don’t double check your temperatures to ensure you are achieving the minimum post heat temperature, there is a good chance the film may lift. This is especially true in areas where there is a lot of tension in the film. The best example of this is in Justin Pate’s video at around the one minute mark, where he demonstrates door cups that are both properly and improperly post heated. When he removes the film from the vehicle and applies heat to it, the improperly post heated piece shrinks back to its original form while the properly post heated piece keeps its shape.
I typically recommend installing the entire side of a vehicle or at least several panels then go back and post heat. This gives the adhesive time to build on the panel, and if there is any air trapped under the panel, it will accumulate into pockets that can be pressed out as you work.
It is also recommended to do a final inspection the day after your wrap before releasing it to your customer. This gives you the opportunity to do one last inspection.
To learn more about Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, visit www.graphics.averydennison.com.
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