All options covered
As the UK’s largest stockist and distributor of graphic materials from 3M, trade-only supplier William Smith provides a wide range of high-quality vehicle livery films that are available in both self-coloured and digitally printable formats. To enable alternative cost-to-performance options where price may be a major consideration, the company also supplies premium-grade films from other specialist companies, such as Arlon and more recently VION.
The flagship 3M IJ380 is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective vehicle wrapping solutions currently available. This 10 year- durable digitally printable cast film incorporates 3M’s Controltac pressure-activated adhesive to ensure ultimate conformability to vehicles with deep corrugations, rivets and three-dimensional graphics found typically on vehicles owned by the large commercial fleet operators. The film is said to have comprehensively resolved problems often encountered with less technically advanced vehicle graphics solutions such as a tendency to lift in difficult recesses and crazing and cracking of the film due to the high stress levels imposed during application.
Complementing 3M IJ380 and meeting the demand for more cost flexibility on short-to longer-term vehicle livery applications are 3M’s 10 year-durable IJ180Cv3 and eight year-durable IJ170Cv3 films that incorporate 3M’s renowned Comply Version 3 Adhesive Technology. This enables locked air to escape during application through micro-replicated channels beneath the surface of the face film to greatly reduce or eliminate the risk of bubbling, stretching and cracking and to ensure perfect adhesion to the substrate and a smooth wrinkle-free surface finish.
These digitally printable films are supplemented by the 3M 1080 range of cast self-coloured vehicle wrapping films. The choice of options available includes gloss, matt, carbon fibre and brushed metal-effect formats.
Similarly positioned and offering a further price-to-performance option is the range of printable and self-coloured vehicle wrapping films from Arlon. These include the seven-year printable DPF 6000 RP/XRP series with optional X-Scape adhesive for bubble-free applications, the 2600LX Ultimate Premium Plus self-coloured films to which 12 new colours/effects have recently been added and the 2300X series available in 14 colours, including carbon fibre, brushed metal and high-gloss effects.
The special Automotive-X airflow adhesive technology enables perfect adhesion and conformability for full and partial vehicle wraps. The 100-micron cast films offer seven-year durability and are suitable for application to flat, convex and concave surfaces and within channels and over rivets.
William Smith has now added the VION range of digitally printable and window graphics materials that can be used for vehicle livery in addition to mainstream signmaking applications. Digital Series VP5000 is a gloss white five-year polymeric digital printing film available with both clear and grey adhesive options. The high-quality clean white face film enables excellent printability, while the grey adhesive option imparts good hiding power. Digital Series VL5000 is a transparent over-laminate with a clear permanent adhesive and a choice of matt or gloss finish. It is designed for use with Series VP5000 to extend the life of printed graphics.
Supporting these vehicle livery options is a range of tools and accessories that will assist and improve film application and purposeful removal as required. The range includes surface preparation, cleaning and protection fluids, knives, blades and cutters, rollers, heat guns, squeegees, primers and edge-sealers. William Smith also offers vehicle wrappers a special Essential Tool Kit Bundle as well as providing Vehicle Wapping Training Courses at its facility in Barnard Castle, County Durham.