What is Vinyl

Signserve are proud to use Hexis Graphic Films in the production of Vinyl Signs. 


Vinyl is one of the most commonly used materials for sign making. Vinyl is a flexible plastic based product with an adhesive backing. It can be applied to various materials. Vinyl can be Cut, Printed, Laminated and Conformed To Shape. Vinyl is an “Umbrella Term” there are many different versions suitable for different uses. 

When Vinyl Fails prematurely it is 99% of the time because of only a handful of reasons;

  1. Wrong vinyl selected for project
  2. Printed Vinyl that has not cured fully prior to Lamination
  3. Vinyl lifespan does not exceed required lifespan
  4. Substrate the Vinyl has been installed to was contaminated

Vinyl comes in a couple of main categories: it can be either cast or calendered, and it can be either printed, or pigmented. Calendered and cast vinyl go through very different manufacturing processes that we’ll get into below. Printed vinyl comes out of the factory completely white and has colours printed on it. Pigmented vinyl comes out of the factory with colour pigment baked into it and is cut into shapes in order to create graphics.

Cast Vinyl

Cast vinyl is made by pouring vinyl in its melted liquid form into a mold. Cast vinyl then slowly cools, and then is reheated to cure. The process of creating cast vinyl makes it much more durable, flexible, and expensive than calendered vinyl. It lasts about twice as long as calendered vinyl and can be used in more applications. Cast vinyl’s ability to stretch makes it the perfect material for wrapping vehicles. Hexis is a vinyl manufacturer that makes a variety of different cast and calendered vinyls. Signserve use Hexis cast print vinyl for all vehicle wraps and some signage. It comes with “air regress technology” meaning it has channels allowing air to escape eliminating bubbles completely. Hexis is opaque and glossy, and features long term removable adhesive. It’s always laminated to increase durability. It can last up to 10 years outdoors. 

Calenderd Vinyl

Calendered vinyl is less durable, less expensive, less flexible, and has fewer applications than cast vinyl. It’s made by taking a large glob of vinyl and pressing with rollers into a flat square sheet. This method of creating calendered vinyl gives it the properties described above. Since it is stretched into it’s final form, calendered vinyl is stiff and sensitive to wear.

Hexis makes a variety of different cast and calendered vinyls. Signserve use Hexis calendered print vinyl for lots of outdoor and indoor signage. It’s typically printed on, laminated, and applied to a flat aluminum or ACM panel. This Vinyl lasts up to 5 years outside and has a thickness of 4 mils. It comes with a solvent based permanent adhesive. 

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