Race Team Chooses Non-PVC Polyurethane Films to Promote and Protect Team Cars
Race courses are tough on cars and their finishes. Any graphics must be able to withstand the abrasion from dirt and other debris that is constantly being kicked up as the cars tear around the track. And then there are the destructive road chemicals on the track and in the air that wind up on the race cars, damaging their gloss finishes and the valuable advertising messages of team sponsors. Which is why the BC Racing Team and Absolute Racing chose SWM’s non-PVC polyurethane graphic films to promote and protect their team cars in the 2016 Audi R8 LMS Cup series.
The SWM (formerly Argotec LLC) booth (4216) at the SGIA Expo encourages visitors to “go beyond vinyl — demand polyurethane graphic print & overlaminate films for your toughest outdoor applications.” Why? Because it’s tough! And open track auto racing certainly fits that description. That it won the “non-PVC print media product-of-the-year” award at the 2013 SGIA Expo gave the BC Racing the confidence to choose ArgoGraph-White graphic print media to promote its sponsors and ArgoGraph-Clear overlaminate film to protect those important advertising messages.
Born from SWM’s highly successful ArgoGuard polyurethane paint protection film, premium ArgoGraph graphic films are just as durable, conformable and UV resistant as their PPF brethren. They also have exceptionally high gloss, are self healing and environmentally friendly, containing no PVC, halogens or phthalates to harm the planet. This also makes them an ideal medium for printing and protecting fleet graphics, vehicle wraps, exterior signage, building wraps and other graphics that need to survive in rugged outdoor conditions, like durable decals and product labels.
ArgoGraph polyurethane films are sold to graphic film converters and coaters who add adhesive and then market the films to the graphics industry. They are printable via solvent, eco-solvent and latex ink systems. Appropriate for horizontal or vertical surfaces, polyurethane print media and overlaminate films are easy to install over a broader temperature range than vinyl, are highly conformable over smooth and rough surfaces alike, routinely require only squeegee and white-glove installation, retain their true colors when stretched over 3D surfaces and are much easier to remove than vinyl when it comes time to change graphics or advertising messages.
Absolute Racing, in charge of maintaining the look of BC Racing’s cars as well as the official series Pace Car, also came to appreciate that the descriptor “non-PVC” means more than just the environmental concern of not containing vinyl and its harmful chemicals. Also critical to any outdoor advertising medium is its ability to resist ultraviolet radiation and retain its color, not yellowing or turning brittle because the plasticizers have leached out, as can be the case with vinyl films, making it difficult to remove at a later date.
Finally, in selecting polyurethane print media and overlaminate film, the Absolute Racing team did their homework and learned the difference between premium and commodity non-PVC materials. As used in the graphics industry, non-PVC can mean either polyurethane or polyethylene, neither of which contain vinyl. However, while polyethylene is the most popular low-cost plastic in the world, and may be appropriate for low-impact indoor applications, it did not have the superior outdoor performance characteristics that BC Racing needed for their race cars. They needed non-PVC polyurethane graphic films.