Written by Jake Markey

Vehicle graphics

In today’s competitive advertising market, companies use a wide variety of adhesive vinyl materials to stick to various substrates for many different uses. Adhesive vinyl can be used to cover walls, cars, boats, tables or most anything else you can think of with advertising or decoration. However, one of the most common problems the consumers of these products run into is picking the correct vinyl to use for their application. Most don’t realize that there is a difference between materials such as cast vinyl and calendared vinyl or permanent vs removable vs static. They each have their benefits and limitations. In this post, I’d like to touch on cast vs calendared.

Calendared vinyl is created out of a compound of materials (resin, plasticizes, color pigments, etc) made into a paste like substance that is stretched and rolled out to form sheets of material. The stretching and rolling makes the material ridged and rolled out to its conforming limits. cast vinyl is made of similar but more premium materials that makes a paint like substance that is “cast” into or rolled into a form. Unlike calendared vinyl, it is not stretched into form giving it excellent stretch-ability and the ability to conform. Also, due to the more premium materials the durability is greatly improved. The process and material cost makes cast vinyl more expensive than calendared vinyl. One of the biggest benefits of calendared vinyl is the fact the production cost is significantly less making the product more economical.

So how do you choose which vinyl to use for your application? A very simple starting point is: if your application is for short term, indoor use, is flat, or has simple curves, calendared vinyl would most likely be your choice. An example would be a decal of a company logo applied to a table for a business conference. If your application is for long term, outdoor use, or has very complex, contoured curves, cast vinyl would be recommended. An example of a good cast vinyl application would be a car wrap.

This is a general rule of thumb. It’s not to say you can’t wrap a car with calendared vinyl, but it will get damaged quicker and won’t last as long. You may save money up front, but it may cost you more in replacement costs down the road.

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