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> Self Adhesive film and Digital Print Media


  Self Adhesive film and Digital Print Media
1. Printing the same image onto different films one obtains different colour results
This is due to the capacity and absorption speed of the film. In the case of a film with low absorption capacity on the surface, a high quantity of ink will remain and the print colours will be very deep. On the contrary, a film with a very high absorption capacity will result in the same image appearing duller.
2. Lowering the print definition increases the print “banding” (stripes) effect
When the definition of a print is reduced, the print speed increases. This leaves the film with less time to absorb the ink and thus remains the signs of the width of the print heads.
3. The print definition on a gloss film is superior to the one done on a matt film
The gloss film gives to the print a brightness that heightens the definition. The print on matt film results in a less shiny definition and this often doesn’t make the quality of the print stand out. However, it is an optical effect as the definition usually is the same.
4. The colour of the print, even when laminated, tends to become dull
The lamination usually gives to the print a mechanical protection. If the image tends to get dull quickly the cause has to be sought in the resistance of the inks to solar light.
5. The film is not good flat on the printer
When a self-adhesive film isn’t good flat, the reason is to be found in the humidity of the room being too high or to the contrary to a environment that is too dry: the quantity of water present in de room has enourm influence on the siliconed paper that for it’s nature tends to absorb or release the water present in the fibres. To solve this problem it is advised to keep the film in rooms with temperature and humidity as stable as possible, and to let it get used to the conditions of the new room for at least 24 hours. It is important the keep the film in the polythene bag: it signifies protect it not only from dust but also from brusk temperature-changes.
6. The ink tends to float on the surface of the film
  • the ink is not compatible with the used film. For example, a water-based ink can only print onto specially treated film, otherwise it cannot be absorbed.
  • the printer profile is not the right one: there are calibrated profiles to release a large quantity of ink. It is recommendable to try other profiles compatible with the absorption capacity of the film.
7. Once printed, spots appear on the surface of the film
It is likely that the film entered into contact with something before being printed: a mere hand placed on the film could contaminate the surface and compromise the print quality.
8. Cannot print onto the film
The causes could be the following:
  • compatibility with the ink
  • print profile
  • cleanness of the printer heads
9. Identical printer, identical used film, different print results
Check the following:
  • Software and related version
  • Type of ink
  • Print profile used
10. The print material doesn’t enter into the printer (printer cannot pull it through)
This problem usually happens with materials of great thickness such as PVC banners. Check and amend the distance between the pulling rollers and the base of the printer.
11. The print is deformed
This happens as a result of a high traction pressure (or ‘pull pressure’). Check the pressure of the pulling traction rollers.
Use and Application
1. The film printed with solvent ink, once applies, tends to raise at the borders
The cause is the solvent of the inks that pass through the film interacting with the glue and the stability of the film.
This becomes even more so when the film is applied to surfaces that are not smooth and have a poor adhesion.
It is recommendable to leave an edge of 1 or 2 millimetres of non-printed film at the sides of the image.
2. The film, once printed and applied, after a short while lifts from the surface
The causes could be one the following:
  • If the print has been done with solvent bases ink, the solvent present in the print ink is able to pass through the film and reach the glue, which, softened by the action from the solvent, can lift from the surface onto which it has been applied. This becomes more likely if the just printed film is laminated with protective film without giving time to the solvents in the inks to dry naturally.
  • Insufficient cleaning of the surfaces before the application
3. During the application of a film, the printed image is damaged
It is very easy to damage the image when applying if the right precautions aren’t taken. For the application of a film, it is recommended to use rubberised rollers and anti-scratch applicators with felt protection. The best solution is to laminate the print with a good transparent film/lamination that gives to the image a excellent mechanical protection.
4. A laminated film, applied onto curved surfaces, tends to lift up
The lamination acts as an extra force (extra thickness and therefore extra tensile strength) and is contrary to the curve onto which the decoration has been applied. The selection of the lamination is essential and has to be compatible with the film with which is has to be combined, and applied ONLY after the inks are perfectly dry. Lamination film designed for cold lamination must be used with cold calendered rolls.
A.P.A. S.p.A. - Sede legale: Via Marradi 1, 20123, Milano - Cod.Fisc./P.IVA/Reg. Imprese Milano-Monza Brianza-Lodi 04072260153 - R.E.A. MI 992370 - Cap.Sociale €130.000,00 I.V - PEC: apaspa@pec.it - Rev: 12/2018
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