Vehicle wrap materials are based on vinyl that is printed by the wrap provider you have chosen in your area. Often, a protective laminate is added after the printing and laminates can come in variations of gloss from super shiny to semi gloss. Almost all of the materials come with a warranty for durability and fading for outdoor use and can be removed without leaving residue or damage to the paint. For window application (rear windows), a perforated film is used that virtually looks like it is a part of the wrap from the outside while maintaining good view from the inside to the exterior through.
Here is an overview of the most commonly used vinyl products as used by your wrap provider.
3M, a fortune 50 company, is one of the largest and well known vinyl producers in the world. Their products are sold worldwide and they have developed several lines of film and laminates specifically for the vehicle wrap industry. Some examples of their vinyl wrap materials are:
3M™ Controltac™ Graphic Film IJ380
Usage of this film allows digitally and screen printed graphics to be applied in deep contours and 3D corrugations commonly found on many van models.
3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Film with Comply™ Adhesive v3 IJ170Cv3
New value priced cast vinyl solution with pressure-sensitive Comply™ v3 Adhesive
3M™ Controltac™ Graphic Film with Comply™ Adhesive v3 IJ180Cv3
Short to long-term removable ﬁlm for ﬂeet and vehicle graphics as well as interior and exterior signs.
3M™ Scotchcal™ Perforated Window Graphic Film IJ1229;
For window applications, allowing the ability to look thru the material, typically from the inside looking out.
The company also offers a line of solid colors and textured wrap vinyl under the name of 3M Scotchprint Wrap Film Series which can be applied as vehicle wraps. Some of these colors and patterns are available as sample designs on custom-car-wraps.com.
Avery Dennison has become a major player in the production of vinyl for the vehicle wrap industry over the last few years. The company has developed a fairly new product for vehicle wraps called:
Avery MPI 1005 Supercast
With a 10 year outdoor durability this product has been very well received by the wrap shops as the next generation of wrap film. Avery Dennison also offers some alternative vinyls for flat surface application and outside wall graphics.
Oracal offers a fast and reliable way to fully wrap vehicles in solid, opaque colors. It provides an economical alternative to paint and delivers long term remove-ability from painted surfaces. The materials offered has a built in protective clear-coat which simulates factory applied paint and eliminated the need to over-laminate.
Choosing a Wrap Material
Often times your wrap shop of choice will have a preferred wrap material that they would like to use, or a small range of products that you can choose from with different price points. In many cases wrap shops are loyal to a single brand of material and may not even carry other materials, while other times wrap shops will order any material you like with no real preference between the top brands. In any scenario, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the qualities associated with each material to choose one that fits the look you’re going for (ex: super glossy graphics or matte black) as well as the usage (ex: an around-town car vs. an off-road rally car). With these things in mind you may choose a material for it’s looks, it’s durability, it’s reputation, it’s ease of removing it (if it’s a short term wrap), or the warranty (if it’s meant to be a long-term wrap).
Choosing a Wrap Shop
When choosing wrap shops to give you a quote on your vehicle wrap mockup, check their profile here on CCW and check what materials they list (if any). If you’ve done some homework and you’ve got a particular vehicle wrap material in mind, get quotes first from the shops that list that material. Shops that list certain materials will usually be very familiar and comfortable with that particular material and can give you insight into how it will perform with your vehicle and what to expect out of it – as well as what kind of warranty they can offer for it.