With so many brands, colors and styles to choose from when shopping for color change car wrap, calendered and cast films are the common terms you would hear when referring to the grade of the vinyl wrap films; you may ask, what are the differences between these two anyways? Cast is considered as premium vinyl while calendered is intermediate, the major difference between calendered and cast is really about the manufacturing process. Vinyl wrap can be made either by calendaring or casting process procedure when manufacturer producing the film, resulting in a different quality of the films. Calendered vinyl has improved dramatically these couple years; the difference on both is not as great as it used to be.
In general, cast vinyl wrap is usually thinner and made of liquid PVC, the mixture of ingredients is then heated and producing a sheet of cast vinyl film, therefore, cast has little memory, leaving us easier installation process especially on curved corners. Calendered film used to be much thicker than cast, however, with many years of undergoing development, the film has gotten much thinner and closer to cast vinyl thickness. Most of the cast vinyl is thinner than 5 mil in total thickness and calendered would go over that, looking at the product spec thickness would help consumer determines if it is cast or calendered. Calendered vinyl film is made by an older process of dough-like substance of PVC and rolling it through calendered flattening rollers to form the desired thickness of vinyl sheet, leaving some inherent memory with a tendency to shrink when exposed to heat.
When shopping for car wrap, you need to ask yourselves couple questions: What is your budget? How long you want the auto wrap to last? Have you had any experience applying vinyl wrap film before? Calendered vinyl is less costly than cast vinyl, more scratch resistant while cast vinyl has the beneficial factors of easier application and longer durability than calendered film. Generally, cast vinyl will last approximately 5-7 years while calendered vinyl normally lasts approximately 3-5 years, the life expectancy of the wrap film would be different depending on the maintenance of the vinyl wrap and your geographical location. However, manufacturer such as 3M would suggest removing the vehicle wrap within 3 years for a clean removal. Lastly, the most important factor to take into consideration is the application. If you’d like to apply the wrap yourselves, cast and calendered vinyl film would be an important factor, cast is more user-friendly due to lower shrinkage when exposed to heat although it costs more but the success rate would be higher than calendered. Another benefit of calendered vinyl is that it has greater variety of colors and styles than cast. If you do not have much experience with wrap before, choosing cast film such as 3M 1080 wrap film series would be a great choice. If you’ve already wrapped your vehicle before, you may want to consider calendered vinyl wrap, it’s a cheaper option although it needs more skill and technique to apply due to the inherent memory during manufacturing process, and it’s easier to shrink back once it’s heated under the sun. However, if the film was applied correctly and all the unnecessary tensions have been released, the film can be comforted down and reduced the chance of shrinking. 3M Di-Noc is calendered film too and some consumers claim that this film is easy to work with, it is really subjective when it comes to installing the vinyl wrap. We do have another article talking about how to apply vinyl wrap if you are applying the film on your own. Keep these factors in mind when shopping for vinyl wrap and choose the one that fits you the best after weighing out the pros and cons. Happy Shopping!