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The next big thing

The next big thing

Productivity improvements and quality enhancements are more normally associated with hardware developments.  However, with the introduction of MetaWrap MD-X to its materials portfolio, Metamark claims to deliver the same benefits, and others, packed in a roll of a remarkable new material.

Wrapping, or at least the skill-set required to do it, has become a part of most signmakers’ production vocabulary. Design for vehicle markings has now evolved to the extent that fewer clients are happy to settle for simple, cut and applied lettering and more output is now printed, rather than cut, on panels of material, with subsequent application inevitably imposing the need to navigate complex panel surfaces. Even if a vehicle isn’t totally covered in printed graphics, wrapping disciplines and skills are called upon to successfully fit printed design panels over partial vehicle surfaces, and thus materials capable of handling wrapping’s special needs are required.

The materials typically used for wrapping today were originally developed, long before digital printing became popular, and for a different purpose. Generally speaking, for wrapping what’s required is a material that conforms to accommodate the need to stretch over features such as bodywork bulges and into recessed details. Some materials manage this better than others, with those best able to do the job usually being narrowly focused on it and not used for much else.

However, a new film from Metamark, has been recently released to the market and it is said to offer wrappers a genuine alternative to the materials they normally turn to. MetaWrap MD-X bills itself as an ultra-extensible next-generation wrapping film and, according to Metamark, its talents extend beyond wrapping.

The new film is evidently very conformable, as would be expected of one engineered with wrapping in mind and is said to stretch and conform very easily, with both experienced applicators and novices reporting that its user-friendly handling characteristics very quickly become familiar. They also claim that they can achieve great looking results quickly and reliably.

MetaWrap MD-X apparently handles ink and heat very well too, both notable and desirable benefits in a film used for wrapping and in applications beyond. Being an MD-Class film, MD-X is generously profiled, thus liberating more of the printer’s available gamut than materials requiring tighter ink limits. Heat softens the application handle in a very linear and predictable fashion and speeds application over complex surfaces, enabling the applicator to approach such detail confidently, knowing that he’s not likely to damage the printed material.

Unlike many traditional wrapping films, MetaWrap MD-X resists squeegee marking. This is an important performance advantage given the gloss finish preferred for most decorative vehicle finishes. A gloss finish readily discloses mechanical surface flaws, such as squeegee marks, and, in some lighting conditions, this can spoil what might  be an otherwise good result. MetaWrap MD-X resists marking, thanks to the film’s novel formulation and engineering, and so looks good from all angles and in all light conditions.

MetaWrap MD-X and its application-feel offer distinct advantages over traditional wrapping materials, some of which are lost if the printed material is laminated using traditional laminating media. Metamark has therefore taken a systemised approach with MD-X and offers a mechanically matched laminate for the film. The laminate exhibits the same handling characteristics as the base film and confers the same application benefits too. In addition, it exhibits good clarity and the graphics it protects ‘pop’.

In technical terms, MD-X is a product of the most advanced manufacturing so far from Metamark. The new film’s performance demands a state-of-the-art adhesive system and Metamark has specified two. MetaWrap MD-X is available both with Metamark’s MetaScape air evacuation feature, and without it.

The MetaScape feature, which also features on other Metamark media, enables trapped air to be simply wiped away with minimal effort using a squeegee. For applications not requiring the MetaScape feature, the Apex formulation delivers the known benefits of easy repositioning, a highly developed ultimate bond, and clean removal when the graphic is taken out of commission. Both adhesives feature an opaque blocking agent to help resist strongly coloured substrates showing through or imparting a colour-cast to the print.

Metamark reports that it conducted extensive testing for in-hand feel for its new wrapping film before settling on the degree of compliance and conformability the product now exhibits.  It also underwent application trials and many process tests and acquits itself well on all counts.

Development effort and advanced formulation and engineering don’t come without a price attached, but it’s here that MetaWrap MD-X springs another surprise as it offers users a notably cost effective option. For this reason, and for others, Metamark is predicting that it will find applications beyond vehicle wrapping, and that thanks to its extensible nature it will be used to wrap more things, more often.

Metamark is prepared for a significant amount of interest in its new film and has samples ready for despatch so that both experienced wrappers and those on the learning curve can experience Metawrap MD-X’s handling and feel for themselves.

To request a free sample simply e-mail:  sales@metamark.co.uk

For further information visit: www.metamark.co.uk

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