PDA

View Full Version : Acrylic outgassing... How long?



max
12-12-2011, 04:33 PM
I know for sure that there are other threads somewhere pertaining to this question, but damn if i can find one (been looking for 30 minutes).
I am replacing some acrylic faces(3/16) in a lighted sign. Just got done removing the paper protective covering form the faces. I do know that i am supposed to wait a bit before applying cut vinyl graphics to it, but no sure how long. Anyone have any experience with a safe amount of time to wait to let it outgas? thanks so much for any info or conventional wisdom...

natedawg9640
12-12-2011, 04:43 PM
No answer from me but a bit of general tip regarding this. Do NOT use 3M controltac adhesive on polycarb faces. It reacts and will continually bubble.

oldgoatroper
12-12-2011, 04:45 PM
In all the years I've been putting vinyl on plexi faces, I have never once heard of this and never had a problem occur because of it.

In fact, we usually kept the paper on right up until application of vinyl to keep it clean.

Acrylic is a hard, chemically-stable (mostly) plastic unlike polycarbonate which is soft, and subject to damage from many more fluids than acrylic is.

Maybe you're thinking of polycarbonate faces?

natedawg9640
12-12-2011, 04:48 PM
polycarb is soft? lol. polycarb is bullet proof.

Coloradosigns
12-12-2011, 04:48 PM
same here. We keep the plastic on until ready to use.

oldgoatroper
12-12-2011, 04:56 PM
polycarb is soft? lol. polycarb is bullet proof.


...and it's bulletproof (mostly), because it is soft.

Acrylic is a hard plastic and a scratch can be buffed out and polished. Polycarb is soft, will scratch much easier than acrylic and can't be polished (because it is too soft).

If you have a piece of plastic and you're not sure if it is acrylic or polycarb, a quick and easy test is to run a utility blade along the sharp edge of a corner almost like you were wittling down the sharp edge of a wooden block with a hunting knife.

If the plastic is polycarb, you should be able to carve a long, flexible sliver from the corner. If its acrylic, all you'll get are little chunks and chips.

max
12-12-2011, 04:57 PM
Huh??? Well maybe this is something i dreamed up one night after a long Sunday of football and 2 or 12 adult beverages. anyhow please forget i asked. And definitely appreciate ya'll setting me straight. guess that also explains why i couldnt find any threads on the subject...
thanks again

Pat Whatley
12-12-2011, 05:06 PM
No, you didn't dream it. It comes up all the time and I can sum up the answers for you:
------------------------------------
Group A - Yes, it outgasses. I had a sign get so many bubbles the lettering fell off. Now I order it a year ahead of time and pull off the plastic/paper and let it breath. I flame it before lettering. It's the professional way to do it.

Group B - It's never outgassed and caused me a problem and I use 10,000 sheets a year. Those people are idiots.

Group C - Acrylic is the wrong material for the job and you're using the wrong vinyl and you should hand letter it and why are you even in the sign business if you don't know the answer to this question and it doesn't matter how much you're charging it's not enough and you shouldn't be talking about it in an open forum anyway..

Personally I've always questioned outgassing. If it's such a problem how come I've never gotten a sheet that had the protective covering bubbled?

Gino
12-12-2011, 05:07 PM
There are probably 100's of threads about this stuff and they all complain about outgassing in any of the electric sign faces regardless of what manufacturer made it after seeing tiny bubbles appearing in the vinyl.

Some lunkhead says it's outgassing. The supposed idea is that polymers used to make the particular product are trapped inside the product and for some reason decide to migrate to the surface at a certain point, thus creating bubbles in any obstructing objects, such as vinyl and ruining some poor sign shop's sign.

Problem is, we've never had that problem when screen printing on these same products, we never had when hand painting on these products and we never had it when airbrushing these products. I guess the migrating particles could pass through the paint without noticing it. However, now you have sign shops complaining about 100's of tiny bubbles suddenly appearing in their vinyl after a few hours. I can't say I never saw it, but if applied properly, I rarely, if at all ever see this phenomenon. I believe this is truly application failure. Correct application of vinyl on any substrate will never yield any bubbles. No magic gasses coming out.

Here's one I have seen. Painting an MDO board with primer and top coating it with three coats of oil-based paint, then putting vinyl down a day or two later..... That will bubble up for you. The paint needs to dry and evaporate and it can only do it through the top of the paint and if vinyl is in it's way, it will bubble it up. As for lexan and other sign faces.... I don't really believe it. It's a way in which the manufacturer's are taking the blame away from the applicator and placing it on the product. Why can't it just simply take the path of least resistance and outgas to the other side ??

Wiggum PI
12-12-2011, 05:08 PM
The 'outgassing' on acrylic only comes into play when the vinyl fails and the supplier is looking for something else to blame...

natedawg9640
12-12-2011, 05:45 PM
I'm still at a loss regarding the "testing method of shaving the edge" sounds backwards to me.

Controltac adhesive DOES react and cause gassing. Call and ask 3m if you don't believe it. Our supplier didn't even know.

oldgoatroper
12-12-2011, 05:47 PM
I'm still at a loss regarding the "testing method of shaving the edge" sounds backwards to me.


Backwards? How so? It's just a simple but sure test.

What do you do? Use an electron microscope?

oldgoatroper
12-12-2011, 05:54 PM
Controltac adhesive DOES react and cause gassing.

Causes gassing with which? Acrylic or polycarbonate?

john1
12-12-2011, 06:49 PM
i installed a full coverage digi print on 2 faces the other day instantly, no issues here.

Billct2
12-12-2011, 07:20 PM
The people who believe in outgassing usually recopmmend leaving it overnight.

Mike Paul
12-12-2011, 07:32 PM
Never had an issue but 24 hrs. is always recommended for polycarbonate.

Custom_Grafx
12-12-2011, 07:32 PM
I can't believe no one has given this guy the truth yet lol.

1) Acrylic does outgas, it's a fact.
2) Vinyl is porous, so doesn't bubble up (not in my, and looks like all the above people's experience anyway).
3) The only self adhesive film that will give you problems on acrylic, is polyester film (such as gold/silver chrome), because it is not porous, and will bubble if the substrate is releasing gas.

To test the above is true, without the use of any electron microscopes, please freshly peel some acrylic, stick on some vinyl, and next to it, stick on some polyester gold chrome, and revisit in a couple of days or whatever. You'll see the chrome has bubbled, where as the vinyl has not.

Pat, I'm guessing that mask doesn't bubble because like vinyl, it is also porous.

In short, I wouldn't worry about it. Like anything though, make sure you wipe nice and clean with IPA in case the mask has left any residue.

Techman
12-12-2011, 09:21 PM
Outgassing on acrylic or polycarb or glass or aluminum is a fantasy. I used over 300 plastic panels, hundreds of windows, dozons of aluminum panels and never had a single instance of out gassing. Not one. Never. I never washed those panels with alcohol. I never let them sit to air out. I just peeled the liner and applied the vinyl.

Blisters, yes I have observed some blisters but only after a noob tried to apply vinyl.

I have never observed any vinyl or metallic or metal layer including Mylar ever blister from anything other than poor application.

To me, using that magic alcohol wipe is just a waste of time. It doesn't do anything except stink up the place and enter your skin and poison your brain. .

I never knew one single person who personally had an "outgassing" panel. I never knew one single person who had first hand knowledge of one. I have read posts about them over the years but those turned out to be bad application.

I have asked this question ever since I heard of that fantasy of outgassing way back in 1998. Why doesn't the liner bubble? I asked it so many times and so has many others. Why doesn't the liner have bubbles? It doesn't. There is no high velocity gas movement.

Why is there NOT holes in the plastic if there was outgassing going on? One would think after time there would be a noticeable change in the plastic surface if there was.

What about when the company applies their liner. Do they have outgassing? No they do not. That liner is applied right there in the factory when the moving molecules would be at their highest density. But no. They do not have blistered liners. Simple. There is no such thing as outgassing. At least not in the amount one would see when applying a vinyl letter.

Once we took a liner and made it into a balloon and filled it to see if it leaked. Nope. two days later it was still firmly inflated. It didn't leak at all. So that idea that liner is porous is another fantasy.

Blister vinyl on plastic is caused by improper installing. That is ll there is.

I observed a noob appying vinyl to aluminum and have pickle skin. The very same texture as he had on plastic. Doesn't matter. Bad technique will show up on just about any smooth surface including glass.

Those instances of outgasssing is actually air being compressed under the vinyl while laying vinyl down.. It slowly but surely pushes the vinyl back up just like rivets push up a tent.

Outgassing. Bah Humbug.

S'N'S
12-12-2011, 09:40 PM
A BIG "DITTO" to that..............a real :goodpost:

SqueeGee
12-12-2011, 10:04 PM
We did a job with second surface application on 3/8" thick clear acrylic. Being that it was a second surface install in a POP setting, the application had to be flawless. And it was when we laid it down with our laminator right after we removed the sticky craft paper like protective sheet. The next day, however, it was full of small bubbles. Call it what you want but I call that out gassing and now wait 24 hours after removing the protective film before applying anything.

Custom_Grafx
12-12-2011, 10:50 PM
I didn't realise it was such a touchy topic...

Still, I wouldn't do polyester on acrylic...

Techman
12-13-2011, 01:24 AM
The next day, however, it was full of small bubbles.

I will come right behind that application and lay vinyl like it was painted on. Ive done it several times just to test it out for myself.

We had one test where another guy laid down a patch that gave bubbbles a while later. He swore his life about outgassing. I applied some vinyl right there and it was fine. He tried again and got more blisters.

There are a few techniques that all must be used to avoid bubbles. Miss any one of them and there will be bubbles on those really smooth surfaces. Slick smooth hard surfaces are the hardest.

visual800
12-13-2011, 07:32 AM
I posted this another sign board and personally I have never had anything outgas on me. Since this "outgassing epidemic" has been mentioned, they are now saying everyhting is outgassing! Toilet paper, computer hard drives and paper plates will actually lift food off of them if used to soon.

Ive used acrylic, pvc, lexan i have NEVER seen this outgassing occur. Maybe its the climate or the region. I know one thing I have a prob is is getting shocked by ripping the plastic film off these faces!

natedawg9640
12-13-2011, 08:51 AM
Causes gassing with which? Acrylic or polycarbonate?

I'm fairly certain it was a polycarb face. we had thought it was install error at first, so we went and popped the large bubbles and waited for the vinyl to clear out... bubbles came back in full force so a few weeks later we did the same thing. Happened the same way again. it was gassing so fast that the vinyl couldn't breathe it through. some of these bubbles were the size of silver dollars. Only after the 3rd round of popping did we get on the horn to 3M and come to find out that indeed, controltac adhesive cannot be used on polycarbonate. I'm not positive if that applies to acrylic as well...

Bill Modzel
12-13-2011, 08:59 AM
Years ago we were setting up for a local trade show. I built a small turntable with a white and a clear sheet of acrylic notched in the center to they slid together, (looked like an "X" when viewed from the top). We're a screen shop and do mostly decal work. Anyway, I applied an assortment of our decals to both sided of both sheets for the display and it looked great.

A year later, I pulled it out of the box to use again and every decal, whether mylar or white or clear vinyl was bubbled on both sides of the white acrylic and not one bubble on the clear. I've never had it happen again but it CAN happen.

SqueeGee
12-13-2011, 10:47 AM
I never knew one single person who personally had an "outgassing" panel. I never knew one single person who had first hand knowledge of one. I have read posts about them over the years but those turned out to be bad application.

As I have shared, I have first hand experience with bubbles showing up a day after having successfully applied vinyl with no bubbles on acrylic. I've been laying down vinyl for over 15 years. I've been to tradeshows, 3M training and several vendor workshops. If there is a super secret way of installing vinyl that the circumvents the problem that I encountered, then I'd love to hear about it. If what I experienced is not "outgassing", I would be equally interested to know what caused the bubbles to appear.

Clearly there are lots of variables(acrylic manufacturers, age of acrylic, type of protector sheet, geographic location, humidity, temperature, etc.) that could be coming into play. I think a blanket statement that outgassing does not exist is absolutely incorrect.

signmeup
12-13-2011, 11:22 AM
I know for sure that there are other threads somewhere pertaining to this question, but damn if i can find one (been looking for 30 minutes).
I am replacing some acrylic faces(3/16) in a lighted sign. Just got done removing the paper protective covering form the faces. I do know that i am supposed to wait a bit before applying cut vinyl graphics to it, but no sure how long. Anyone have any experience with a safe amount of time to wait to let it outgas? thanks so much for any info or conventional wisdom...

Were there bubbles under the protective paper you peeled off? No? Then it should be all done "outgassing". I would allow the time it took me to peel off the protective layer.

Techman
12-13-2011, 01:59 PM
I think a blanket statement that outgassing does not exist is absolutely incorrect.

Outgassing of the plastic sheet is a myth.

Bubbles are caused by something other than some mysterious gas emanating from the plastic sheet. If those panels were emitting some strange gas the workers who make it or handle it would be androids.

Reaction from the adhesive? maybe. Reaction from some home made weasel **** possible. Reaction between the squeegee and improper install? most likely.

I've applied vinyl myself only to have pickle skin. I tried the old stab the plastic with a needle technique and found that didn't work either. Remove that mess and reapply with a proper sharpened squeegee and the right movements and had none.

Plastic sheeting is made from a molecular reaction. It is heated and rolled into shape and then lined with more plastic. It is either cast or calendared just like vinyl.

It is made by taking a monomer and adding a catalyst. That causes a molecular reaction where the monomers turn into a polymer. The catalyst leaves in the same amount that went in. The plastic comes out in the same amount that went in. Than means there is nothing consumed or escapes as gas. It just binds in a molecular reaction.

Terremoto
12-13-2011, 02:28 PM
There tends to be a lot of misinformation regarding the "outgassing phenomena" especially in respect to polycarbonate substrates.

The following link is 3M's index to it's PDF archive of product and information bulletins:

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Graphics/3Mgraphics/Products/TechnicalInformation/Bulletins/

(Be darned if I could figure out how to link directly to the PDF in question)

Anyhow..., scroll down to page 4 of the 5 page PDF that pops up and click the "5.1 substrate selection, prep and application techniques" link. Page 11 of the IB5.1 bulletin describes the outgassing phenomena.

The phenomena is described in many of their other Information Bulletins so it would appear that 3M is aware of the phenomena.

The phenomena is not so much outgassing of volatile hydrocarbons or other ominous chemicals but more a problem of the "hygroscopic" nature of polycarbonate. In other words polycarbonate absorbs moisture. I'm guessing it's more of a moisture problem than anything.

RTape has an information page on the phenomena as well:

http://www.rtape.com/resources/tips/how-to-prevent-bubbles

Being that the outgassing phenomena is likely more of moisture issue than anything probably explains why some have witnessed the problem and others have not.

I have personally witnessed the issue and seen severe pickle skin show up on perfectly applied vinyl. The path of least resistance is to blame the installer - after all, he's usually one of the lower paid guys around the shop.

Just my 2 cents

signmeup
12-13-2011, 02:38 PM
Moisture content in plastic is a fact. I vac formed a lot of parts over the years and if you have moisture in your plastic it will bubble as it's heated. Lexan is bad for moisture as is styrene. ABS is pretty inert. Allowing time for sheets "dry" with the protective sheet removed is just as likely to allow more moisture to be absorbed from the air as it is to dry it though. You need to purposely dry the sheets if you have a moisture problem.

Terremoto
12-13-2011, 02:52 PM
You need to purposely dry the sheets if you have a moisture problem.

The only problem there is the recommended procedure is to pop it in a recirculating oven at 250 degrees F for a few to several hours. Not really an option for most sign shops.

gerald
12-13-2011, 03:04 PM
When you paint anything you need to let it dry for 2 -3 days or you can get gassing bubbles. Some colors are woese that others. No idea why. Never heard of acrylic out gassing though.

Gino
12-13-2011, 03:05 PM
For those of you experiencing outgassing.... I have a question for you.

As tech said.....


Do you have a sharp and straight squeegee ??
Are you strongly and firmly squeegeeing your vinyl down ??
Whether you flood the area with a solution or do it dry.... do you get all liquids out or all air out ??


The reason for this last question is pure and simple. Anyone getting bubbles never got the air out to begin with. No matter how flat and smooth it appears..... as the vinyl constricts or shrinks which it does start doing immediately.... it will start producing bubbles at will within an hour and continue until heat hits it.

Why do you think you have to post-heat wrap media. One needs to remove the air with strong firm movements towards the edge of the vinyl. Once the vinyl has been laid down with good force, it will probably never lift without any outside influence.

Outgassing is generally not in any of the products we use in the sign industry. It's a term the companies have come up with to make you feel good about yourself. Besides, the amount of any GAS escaping or migrating would be so negligible, it's wouldn't create all these bubbles you all keep talking about. It's a gas, not something that can create bubbles. Outgassing is the same thing if you open a can of soda..... it outgasses, but it's an entirely different form of outgassing. You all are talking of GAS outgassing. Paints outgas while drying, carpeting outgasses and just about everything does, but our PVC's had that process removed while being made.

Do you realize how harmful those escaping solvents would be to breath if we were all cooped up with them so much ?? The entire sign industry would be sick all of the time. There is more problematic toxins in your drinking water than in the PVC's we use.

Our PVC products would have to catch fire or melt down to be of any concern..... and in great quantities. The last of the problem PVC's was stopped in the 1970's and has been entirely safe for use in our field.

Get this foolish notion out of your head that your inability to put a simple piece of vinyl down without bubbles is some magical gas.




Did you know that there are little people that live in your walls all day long and at night when you go to bed.... they come out and move things around and steal things....... then the next day you think you've misplaced your keys or threw away $15 you can't find. Yeah, right. Always blame something or somebody else before looking hard in the mirror. :doh:

Terremoto
12-13-2011, 03:54 PM
Get this foolish notion out of your head that your inability to put a simple piece of vinyl down without bubbles is some magical gas.

I've been laying down vinyl for a lot longer than I care to remember and have no trouble applying vinyl bubble free using a dry application. I can assure you that pickle skinned vinyl on polycarbonate is a VERY REAL phenomena whether you care to believe it or not.

Did you not read my previous post to this thread with the links to 3M and RTape? Quite frankly I would trust their opinion over yours!

Custom_Grafx
12-13-2011, 03:56 PM
I have on numerous times seen polyester films bubble on acrylic. Lay it by hand, laminator or on the beach at sunset, you can get bubbles with chromes...

signmeup
12-13-2011, 03:58 PM
The only problem there is the recommended procedure is to pop it in a recirculating oven at 250 degrees F for a few to several hours. Not really an option for most sign shops.
I had a friend who devised a method of drying plastic sheet by standing them on edge with a 1" space between them and blowing a construction heaters' output through them. Did the trick.

signmeup
12-13-2011, 04:06 PM
I have on numerous times seen polyester films bubble on acrylic. Lay it by hand, laminator or on the beach at sunset, you can get bubbles with chromes...
No one is saying you can't. I dispute that the cause is "gas" trapped in the sheet. Moisture sure... if it's heated sufficiently it will produce vapor and this vapor can displace the vinyl. It will even displace the surface of the plastic if heated to the "plastic" state. (OK, technically water vapor is a gas) Note that heat is required to see this effect.

Custom_Grafx
12-13-2011, 04:12 PM
No one is saying you can't. I dispute that the cause is "gas" trapped in the sheet. Moisture sure... if it's heated sufficiently it will produce vapor and this vapor can displace the vinyl. It will even displace the surface of the plastic if heated to the "plastic" state. (OK, technically water vapor is a gas) Note that heat is required to see this effect.

I can live with that explanation.

GAC05
12-13-2011, 04:28 PM
Rocket scientists seem to believe in the mystical magical effect:
http://outgassing.nasa.gov/
Acrylic looks like it is at the upper edge of the % required to meet the classification of a low outgassing material.

"One must be aware that these data have been collected over a period of 25 years. It is likely that some materials have changed over this time span. The data can be used as a guide in selecting (with a fair degree of confidence) low-outgassing materials for space flight applications."
They test in a vacuum applying heat so your mileage may vary.



wayne k
guam usa

Gino
12-13-2011, 04:32 PM
I've been laying down vinyl for a lot longer than I care to remember and have no trouble applying vinyl bubble free using a dry application. I can assure you that pickle skinned vinyl on polycarbonate is a VERY REAL phenomena whether you care to believe it or not.

Did you not read my previous post to this thread with the links to 3M and RTape? Quite frankly I would trust their opinion over yours!

I wasn't talking to any one in particular but you.... as in general subject.
Dry.... wet.... it can be done with no bubbles and the first time around. I said, if you or ANYONE is getting these bubbles, you are probalby the problem, not this magical idea of outgassing.
Oh yeah.... and as I said..... just because it's written on 3M's, RTape or anyone else's website, doesn't mean it's true. Remember when A V E R Y was telling the entire world their vinyl problems were application error and they weren't ?? Just because THEY say it...... doesn't make it an absolute truth. Just someone trying to cover someone else's mistakes.

I never asked you to believe me. You keep telling your customers that there is a magical gas being emitted from your substrate and I'm sure that makes it all quite honky-dory.

No. whatever or however you wanna put this stuff down is on you guys, but when others are having problems, don't feed the hogwash that fairies and magical gas and mist pop out of the plastic and can cause PICKLING... whatever that is. It's about 99.9% someone didn't get all the air out from under their vinyl properly and the air was evenly distributed and created bubbles.

Don't you guys ever think that if these very gasses migrating to the surface were indeed coming to the surface and being trapped by the vinyl, they would give off a lot of possible toxins when popped ?? Don't you think these gasses would interfere with the adhesives on the other side of the vinyl and make it fail evenly and completely ?? Don't you think for a moment the gasses would take the path of least resistence and go out the back ??..... or the edges ??

The moisture I can understand, but don't think that's causing the problem because we generally flood these substrates, float the vinyl on and then squeegee the daylights out of it and never a bubble.... or almost never. However, we can easily work the bubble over to the edge and then completely out.

We have 12 faces to do tomorrow and I'll let you know how much outgassing we get when were done. The substrate is still covered in protective mask. Some are Leaxn and some are modified acrylic. Ill let you know what happens.

We're probably gonna do these dry.

Gino
12-13-2011, 04:40 PM
Rocket scientists seem to believe in the mystical magical effect:
http://outgassing.nasa.gov/cgi/uncgi/sectionc/sectionc.sh
Acrylic looks like it is at the upper edge of the % required to meet the classification of a low outgassing material.

"One must be aware that these data have been collected over a period of 25 years. It is likely that some materials have changed over this time span. The data can be used as a guide in selecting (with a fair degree of confidence) low-outgassing materials for space flight applications."
They test in a vacuum applying heat so your mileage may vary.

wayne k
guam usa


Not saying it doesn't take place in other areas or mediums, but not in the form we use our products in the sigh industry. They changed that over a 1/4 century ago. Even then, what was changed was the formula and what comes out. However, there is no amount of that much outgassing in our substrates.

Another way of looking at it. If we, in the sign industry, experiencing this outgassing phenomenon were to be consistent, would these people be experiencing it each and everytime it happened and wouldn't it look exactly the same everytime ?? Why does one guy have it heavy in one corner, or another person have it in lotsa small bubbles and another person have huge blister looking things. Next one they do has nothing. Then they have a two sided sign and one side is bad the the other side isn't as bad ?? There is little to no uniformity to hold your outgassing theory as the culprit.

GAC05
12-13-2011, 05:03 PM
Gino I think the study helps point out that there are variables that are outside the control of the mounting technique of the installer.

Aside from that it is hard to argue with rocket scientists.
They get paid to don white lab coats, pocket protectors & black rimmed glasses - carry clipboards and poke things with their pens.


wayne k
guam usa

Gino
12-13-2011, 05:05 PM
Honestly, I can't access your link.

GAC05
12-13-2011, 05:10 PM
Gino I think I fixed it.
Should work here:
http://outgassing.nasa.gov/

Another thing this proves is that rocket scientists should not design web pages.....
or graphics.

wayne k
guam usa

Terremoto
12-13-2011, 05:31 PM
Oh yeah.... and as I said..... just because it's written on 3M's, RTape or anyone else's website, doesn't mean it's true.

So you would suggest I believe you then??? Are you always this opinionated???


It's about 99.9% someone didn't get all the air out from under their vinyl properly and the air was evenly distributed and created bubbles.

Outgassing, trapped moisture, magic gas, call it what you will. The issue of severe bubbling (Pickle skinned is merely a descriptive term I use) is a very real problem that has little to do with how the vinyl was laid down or who laid it down.

Pig headed is a descriptive term I would use to describe your dogged determination to lay "99.9%" of the blame on the vinyl application technique and/or the vinyl installer.


Don't you guys ever think that if these very gasses migrating to the surface were indeed coming to the surface and being trapped by the vinyl, they would give off a lot of possible toxins when popped ?? Don't you think these gasses would interfere with the adhesives on the other side of the vinyl and make it fail evenly and completely ?? Don't you think for a moment the gasses would take the path of least resistence and go out the back ??..... or the edges ??

Now there's a research project for you Gino. Maybe you could prove to one and all that 3m, RTape, et al don't know what they're talking about. Maybe you could win yourself a Nobel Prize. Just don't hold your nose too close to the bubbles when you pop them or you just might win a Darwin.

Baz
12-13-2011, 05:33 PM
The only time i had bubbles appear after an install was when i applied chrome vinyl to a freshly painted truck. Other than that ... If you get bubbles the next day on vinyl that was applied to a plexiglass sheet, my opinion is you didn't press hard enough, did not have a sharp squeegee, did not completeley remove your application fluid. If you ran your vinyl and plastic through a laminator you should do a quick once over with a squeegee after to check if any bubbles show up. If so then you should increase your pressure.

I never give time to outgas on plexi. I peel the paper off and letter it right away. Never really had a problem with it.

Terremoto
12-13-2011, 05:39 PM
I peel the paper off and letter it right away. Never really had a problem with it.

That's probably the thing to do. Doesn't give your substrate a chance to absorb moisture that can be trapped under your vinyl only to cause problems later on when it's out in the blazing sun.

Gino
12-13-2011, 06:23 PM
So you would suggest I believe you then??? Are you always this opinionated???
As I've said to many before you....don't even try to put words in my mouth. If you can't comprehend, don't get all pissy and tell me what you THINK I'm suggesting or saying. I said nothing of the sorts. Read it again, Terre
Outgassing, trapped moisture, magic gas, call it what you will. The issue of severe bubbling (Pickle skinned is merely a descriptive term I use) is a very real problem that has little to do with how the vinyl was laid down or who laid it down.
It has everything to do with the way it was laid down from faulty tools, to improper techniques to just plain not knowing how to do it. Picles don't just appear because of a minute amount of outgassing which is unmeasurable by any standards is taking place because you think so. The pickles have to be placed there and those doing it can learn better and more effective ways to stop their pickling from happening.
Pig headed is a descriptive term I would use to describe your dogged determination to lay "99.9%" of the blame on the vinyl application technique and/or the vinyl installer.
I think you have it bassackwards. I truly believe your allowing your pig headedness about YOUR theory is only keeping the masses down and blaming something else other than themselves. Yeah, that's the way to teach those not doing it correctly.
Now there's a research project for you Gino. Maybe you could prove to one and all that 3m, RTape, et al don't know what they're talking about. Maybe you could win yourself a Nobel Prize. Just don't hold your nose too close to the bubbles when you pop them or you just might win a Darwin.
I think you should understand how the system works before you go around making fun of others when you haven't a clue as to what your saying or writing. Do you realize that there were quite a few people responsible for A V E R Y's rescinding their three year stance on application failure and finally give into the masses ?? I was in Atlantic City at a show when I did my part and nearly got kicked out by security for standing up for the sign shops of the country. Yes, through perseverance and constant pressure, sign makers throughout the country and the world got A V E R Y to give in and give back to our community.


Terre.....I'm not arguing that this stuff doesn't outgas. It probably does to some minute degree, but not to the point that it's causing this much problem[s] in forming this many bubbles for some people and absolutely none for others. For the most part, we're all using the same vinyls and the same substrates.... the only difference is... we can't see the tools and the techniques each other are using and therefore that seems to be the common denominator. If you wanna believe it's some phenomenon outgassing causing only vinyl to bubble up and not paint, screen ink, protective coating, tape, painters tape, any of our vinyl applications and/or whatever else one might stick on there, you go right ahead.... as for me......... not so much.
Gotta go... have to go buy some Christmas presents and the Goddess doesn't want me home too late. :Canada 2:

Terremoto
12-13-2011, 06:58 PM
Terre.....I'm not arguing that this stuff doesn't outgas.

Really!


It probably does to some minute degree, but not to the point that it's causing this much problem[s] in forming this many bubbles for some people and absolutely none for others. For the most part, we're all using the same vinyls and the same substrates.... the only difference is... we can't see the tools and the techniques each other are using and therefore that seems to be the common denominator.

I disagree! I worked in one shop - concrete slab floor - likely no vapor barrier under the slab - near a swamp. We bought our Lexan on a big wooden spool that would last us anywhere from 4 - 6 months before we had to replace it with a new roll. Had an ongoing problem with the bubbling, blistering, pickle skinning - pick your favorite term - and we had fifteen people working there - lots of different styles and techniques to the vinyl application.

Worked at another place in the same town - small shop - just me doing the vinyl application (and pretty much everything else) - not a single failure. The shop is always warm and no evidence of moisture coming through the concrete slab floor.

There's a lot more to this issue than application technique or applicator guy/gal. You can beak off all you want about it being the fault with the technique or vinyl installer but I'll flat out tell you you're 99.9% wrong and there's plenty of industry specific data to back up what I say - I've even supplied links to some earlier in this thread.

To me it sounds like you're arguing just to hear yourself heard.

Techman
12-13-2011, 11:02 PM
plenty of industry specific data to back up what I say

There is plenty of in field usage data to counter the idea of "outgassing" as a genuine problem. I would never believe there is enough "space" in the surface of a plastic panel to hide enough water vapor to cause a friggin blister problem in a plastic panel. That explanation holds no value for explaining the same problems with blister skin on glass or aluminum panels.

Test it this way. Next time anyone encounters one of those phantom outgassers ....Let a noob install part and let an experienced install part. See four yourself as I did.

I lived in the honey island swamp for a lifetime. My office was just 1.1 miles from the Pearl river swamp. Our ground water table was a mere 1 ft. The daily humidity was averaging around 98% with 95 degree temps. You could paint latex and wait hours for it to dry. We never saw a single outgas panel. We saw plenty of re-do's because of the noob factor.

Bly
12-14-2011, 01:10 AM
I have on numerous times seen polyester films bubble on acrylic. Lay it by hand, laminator or on the beach at sunset, you can get bubbles with chromes...

Yep. Seen that myself too.

signmeup
12-14-2011, 07:57 AM
There is plenty of in field usage data to counter the idea of "outgassing" as a genuine problem. I would never believe there is enough "space" in the surface of a plastic panel to hide enough water vapor to cause a friggin blister problem in a plastic panel. That explanation holds no value for explaining the same problems with blister skin on glass or aluminum panels.

Test it this way. Next time anyone encounters one of those phantom outgassers ....Let a noob install part and let an experienced install part. See four yourself as I did.

I lived in the honey island swamp for a lifetime. My office was just 1.1 miles from the Pearl river swamp. Our ground water table was a mere 1 ft. The daily humidity was averaging around 98% with 95 degree temps. You could paint latex and wait hours for it to dry. We never saw a single outgas panel. We saw plenty of re-do's because of the noob factor.
Various plastics have a moisture content much like wood or concrete. Styrene can be particularly troublesome. My comments were only meant as an interesting aside. There needs to be significant heating for this moisture to become a problem. (the sun won't do it) My observations were in the field of vacu-forming not laying vinyl. This moisture will blow bubbles in the surface of the plastic sheet itself... no need for layer of some other material. As far as outgassing at room temperature... I'd have to see it to believe it.

Another interesting aside is that wood is largely cellulose, which was used to manufacture celluloid... the first thermo-formable plastic.

gerald
12-14-2011, 10:09 AM
If you spray with Mathews or other professional sign paint that uses a reducer and put vinyl on too soon, you will get bubbles. They solvents evaporate and that is part of the curing process. If you lay vinyl before this process is complete, you will get bubbles.

The small amount that does evaporate is not harmful I don't think, just enough to raise the vinyl.

For a simple test, spray some Mathews or other solvent based paint on a piece of aluminum. Come in the next morning and lay some vinyl on it. Come back in 24 hrs and check it out.

I have never had any real problems on acrylics but I have seen the paint issues first hand. The colder it is the longer the paint has to cure unless you have the facilities to heat cure.

Gino
12-14-2011, 10:58 AM
Had a long discussion with my major supplier, this morning.

He said there is a certain amount of moisture in the Poly-carbs which most of the time does not escape before laminating with the protective coating. This moisture is in fact, trapped in there by the protective covering, and if the wrapper isn’t removed far enough in advance of laying down vinyl, there is a chance of getting a stucco type look to the vinyl. For some unknown reason…. and he questioned it also, why doesn’t the laminate have any ill-effects, their answer is just…… it doesn’t because we use a different substrate.

Anyway, I asked him why I haven’t noticed it in our shop over the years ??
He says, we’re doing it right. We remove the laminate a few days before prepping or applying anything. This gives 99% of the moisture a chance to disappear.

Also, you won’t have this problem with acrylics or modifieds…. and we primarily use modified. The larger signs we will use the poly-carbs, but we follow the instructions.

He went on to say if you see anything larger than a pinhead…. that is not outgassing, but application failure. You won’t see bubbles from outgassing. Any bubbles are your own fault, not outgassing.

So, unless I’m wrong, doing it correctly, you still won’t see any bubbles. However, if you are the kind of shop that gets the substrates in, peels off the laminate and puts the vinyl down within minutes to an hour or two…. you might see this phenomenon of outgassing.

:Oops: So, I guess an apology is indeed in need for Terre for there is such an animal. To Terre, I apologize, for not recognizing that although it does exist…. as I said it did in a very minute state….if you do it wrong, you will get pickles. For all of those doing it correctly, you still won’t have a problem.



Did you know that if you squeegee your vinyl down with the palm of your hand, it will also fail ??
Did you know that not using a sharp squeegee it will fail ??
Did you know that not removing air will cause this strange outgassing ??
Did you know that it is as easy as 1-2-3 to fug anything up and blame it on something else if you’re not doing something right ??


Well, I’m sorry, but I still stick to my guns, if you follow the proper procedure[s] for anything and use the proper tools and techniques, you will almost always be successful. Use bad habits or cut corners and it will always come back to bite you in the crapper whether you have one term right or not.





:toasting:

Techman
12-14-2011, 11:34 AM
He also said anything more than a pinhead is application failure.

signmeup
12-14-2011, 01:11 PM
There is virtually no moisture in freshly made and properly stored plastic sheets.
Do a search for "manufacturing rigid plastic sheet" and you will see how it is made. Here is a link to one such video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKCLG9l7ek8
The raw plastic resin is heated to the "plastic" state (about 400 degrees for lexan) and squeezed out between two dies (rollers) the protective layer we remove is applied as the plastic moves further through the machine and has cooled a bit. There is no chance for moisture to be introduced until after the plastic has been formed and cooled. Improper storage conditions like leaving it out in the rain or in a damp basement can allow moisture to be absorbed by various plastics. Again, this has nothing to do with so called "outgassing". The heat required to damage the substrate or anything applied to it is far higher than anything a sign will ever see... especially before it ever leaves the shop. (with the exception of a vac-formed pan face)

Removing the liner several days before using the plastic is inviting moisture to enter it more freely. Not to mention allowing dust to settle on it.

Whatever is causing your "pickle skin" bubbling vinyl the next day is not coming from within the plastic sheet.

Gino
12-14-2011, 01:24 PM
There is virtually no moisture in freshly made and properly stored plastic sheets.
Do a search for "manufacturing rigid plastic sheet" and you will see how it is made. Here is a link to one such video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKCLG9l7ek8
The raw plastic resin is heated to the "plastic" state (about 400 degrees for lexan) and squeezed out between two dies (rollers) the protective layer we remove is applied as the plastic moves further through the machine and has cooled a bit. There is no chance for moisture to be introduced until after the plastic has been formed and cooled. Improper storage conditions like leaving it out in the rain or in a damp basement can allow moisture to be absorbed by various plastics. Again, this has nothing to do with so called "outgassing". The heat required to damage the substrate or anything applied to it is far higher than anything a sign will ever see... especially before it ever leaves the shop. (with the exception of a vac-formed pan face)

Removing the liner several days before using the plastic is inviting moisture to enter it more freely. Not to mention allowing dust to settle on it.

Whatever is causing your "pickle skin" bubbling vinyl the next day is not coming from within the plastic sheet.


Okay then. Why did I get my butt reamed out when I said that ?? :ROFLMAO:

Gino
12-14-2011, 01:41 PM
Hey....



I just watched that movie and I guess you didn't see this................... 71672 almost 3 minutes into it.

signmeup
12-14-2011, 02:23 PM
That explains a lot! Funny stuff Gino...

Actually, I was addressing this statement from your supplier, "He said there is a certain amount of moisture in the Poly-carbs which most of the time does not escape before laminating with the protective coating. This moisture is in fact, trapped in there by the protective covering,"
As can be seen from the manufacturing process this is impossible. The protective skin is applied before the sheet is fully cooled. Furthermore, it would take far longer for moisture to enter a rigid material like lexan than the manufacturer would want to have it laying around... getting dusty.

Techman
12-14-2011, 02:37 PM
So we now see there is a lot of pure speculation going on which goes on a lot in our line of work.

Sometimes someone will come along and actually test some of those old wives tales to see what is fact or fiction. I wish we could do more of it. Then no one could give out a lot of incestuous yet false information passed around within the group.

Terremoto
12-14-2011, 03:12 PM
A few things I should note is that in the shop I used to work at where we had an ongoing problem we were using the Bayer polycarbonate that came on huge spools. The vinyl we were using was either Avery A9 translucent or 3M translucent. The 3M vinyl was better but still had a problem.

Never a problem when we used the same vinyl on Acrylite. Same guys laying down the vinyl as well!

For testing purposes we brought in a couple of sheets of Sabic Polymers Lexan - they acquired the license from GE. Same problem as the Bayer stuff that came on the big spools.

One curious thing - no matter whether it was Avery or 3M - certain colors seemed to be really problematic - black and red if I recall. Yellow seemed to stay down just fine. Puzzling, no?

It gets more puzzling! From time to time we would re-do a polycarbonate sign face. Sometimes the old vinyl would be stuck down perfect and sometimes it would show the severe bubbling. (No way of telling who's product it was though.)

We would peel the old stuff and clean it good with 95% ethanol - as per some product handling bulletin from Sabic. Believe me, while I was trying to figure out what was going on I read a ton of product handling bulletins from Sabic, 3M, Avery, and Bayer. Many of them made mention of "outgassing" using that very term. Call it whatever you want - obviously these companies are aware of the issue!

In any case..., we would lay down the new graphics. Everything fine for the first few days then the bubbling would show up - BUT - stuck down tighter than cat crap to an army blanket where the old vinyl used to be. The severe bubbling would go right up to the edge of where the old lettering was - where it would be stuck down tight without a bubble. The boss cut one sign face up that was showing this and sent a sample off to the companies in question.

Where I work now we use whoever's handling the cheapest polycarbonate on any given day and order it in on an as needed basis. As a rule we don't carry any in stock. When it comes in we strip off the protective sheet and slap down the Avery A9 translucent dry. Never a problem in more than a year I've been here.

One thing to note. Where I used to work we did a lot of painting. Here, none. Not sure if that had anything to do with it or not.

One thing I'ld like to make perfectly clear though. In all the testing we did we pretty much eliminated the vinyl installer as the problem - some of these guys had been sticking down vinyl for 20 years or more. I would say the phenomena we witnessed when we re-did the odd sign face pretty much confirmed that.

Tiogy
12-15-2011, 04:41 PM
Okay - here's one issue we have. First, let me say that we have been installing vinyl for over 20 years and we have applied onto all kinds of surfaces and situations. I also have 15 years experience in auto-body refinishing and we apply a lot of reflective and gold foil onto fire apparatus and have been doing so successfully for many, many years but, one of the recent jobs involved applying a large reflective chevron on the back of a polyethylene water tank that had been painted about a month earlier.

A month or so after the application, we got the call that our reflective application was done improperly because there were lots of little air bubbles all over. I was real curious since I know my installer on that job has tons of experience with reflective and something was wrong with this picture. Upon inspection, I noted that some of the reflective was applied to stainless (painted with the same paint) at the same time using the same vinyl and yet there was not a single air bubble to be found on the painted stainless.

I removed the bubbled reflective, replaced with new and made note of the difference in material substrates. After some investigation, we found that the paint had been baked and should have been cured - no problem. I also noted that the paint had no signs of adhesion failure. I did the application myself to be sure that the customer was satisfied as they have trusted me for many years.

A month or so later, I received another call - same deal. I started asking around to some other local sign shops and they were seeing the same thing in some cases, bubbling of reflective and foils on poly tanks. Another odd thing is that this seems to be a somewhat isolated case for us as we have done quite a few painted poly tanks without issue. Why just this one? We just removed the reflective again and laid 2 pieces of chrome vinyl on the problem area to see if it would develop bubbles again with about 48 hours test time and nothing happened. So tomorrow, we will try again and see what happens but, this is a hard nut to crack and there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer anywhere.

I agree that we tend to be the scapegoats when these kind of things happen and believe me, I have made lots of application mistakes over the years as well as seen adhesive failures but, this is not one of those cases. Perhaps out-gassing is not the proper term but, there is absolutely something strange at work here.

oldgoatroper
12-15-2011, 04:52 PM
The (obvious) culprit here would seem to be the combination of the specific type of paint and the poly.

CES020
12-15-2011, 06:10 PM
There is virtually no moisture in freshly made and properly stored plastic sheets.

I'd have to disagree with that statement. We have never had the issue being mentioned here, but we do have lasers here and cut a fair amount of acrylic. I have seen many many times while cutting, it's blowing water out the other end of the sheet. Yes, it's water. Not liquid plastic, water. I've seen water droplets form on the top of the sheet while cutting too, yet there is no water in our dry air that we shoot through the cut.

For the laser, the material has to be flat or the beam goes out of focus and can cause some issues on certain jobs. We buy the same material all the time and it's made to be cut with the laser, yet it's not flat. I've spend many hours on the phone with the distributors and then finally the actual factory people to discuss why the material is not flat.

On this particular material, it's protected on one side. I was told that the plastics absorb humidity, by just sitting there, even if in a properly conditioned space. What was happening with our product was, when you peeled the protective liner off, it opened up that "fresh" side to the air and the moisture would try and get out or in, respectively, depending on the conditions, and it would cause the material to bow.

Their answer was for us to remove the liner and allow it to equalize for several days. There was a word for what they said it was, the comment was "plastics are hydro____________", which I can't recall what the last half of the word was, but it started with hydro. I cut a job yesterday, flat on a table, which I don't normally do (normally use a cutting grid), and when I lifted the material, it was soaking wet with water under the cut.

There's plenty of water in plastics.

oldgoatroper
12-15-2011, 06:24 PM
I'd have to disagree with that statement. We have never had the issue being mentioned here, but we do have lasers here and cut a fair amount of acrylic. I have seen many many times while cutting, it's blowing water out the other end of the sheet. Yes, it's water. Not liquid plastic, water. I've seen water droplets form on the top of the sheet while cutting too, yet there is no water in our dry air that we shoot through the cut.

For the laser, the material has to be flat or the beam goes out of focus and can cause some issues on certain jobs. We buy the same material all the time and it's made to be cut with the laser, yet it's not flat. I've spend many hours on the phone with the distributors and then finally the actual factory people to discuss why the material is not flat.

On this particular material, it's protected on one side. I was told that the plastics absorb humidity, by just sitting there, even if in a properly conditioned space. What was happening with our product was, when you peeled the protective liner off, it opened up that "fresh" side to the air and the moisture would try and get out or in, respectively, depending on the conditions, and it would cause the material to bow.

Their answer was for us to remove the liner and allow it to equalize for several days. There was a word for what they said it was, the comment was "plastics are hydro____________", which I can't recall what the last half of the word was, but it started with hydro. I cut a job yesterday, flat on a table, which I don't normally do (normally use a cutting grid), and when I lifted the material, it was soaking wet with water under the cut.

There's plenty of water in plastics.


What was it? Acrylic or Polycarb or something else? Every plastic will have different hygroscopic tendencies.

CES020
12-15-2011, 06:53 PM
Acrylics, not polycarb.

signmeup
12-15-2011, 07:10 PM
I'd have to disagree with that statement. We have never had the issue being mentioned here, but we do have lasers here and cut a fair amount of acrylic. I have seen many many times while cutting, it's blowing water out the other end of the sheet. Yes, it's water. Not liquid plastic, water. I've seen water droplets form on the top of the sheet while cutting too, yet there is no water in our dry air that we shoot through the cut.

For the laser, the material has to be flat or the beam goes out of focus and can cause some issues on certain jobs. We buy the same material all the time and it's made to be cut with the laser, yet it's not flat. I've spend many hours on the phone with the distributors and then finally the actual factory people to discuss why the material is not flat.

On this particular material, it's protected on one side. I was told that the plastics absorb humidity, by just sitting there, even if in a properly conditioned space. What was happening with our product was, when you peeled the protective liner off, it opened up that "fresh" side to the air and the moisture would try and get out or in, respectively, depending on the conditions, and it would cause the material to bow.

Their answer was for us to remove the liner and allow it to equalize for several days. There was a word for what they said it was, the comment was "plastics are hydro____________", which I can't recall what the last half of the word was, but it started with hydro. I cut a job yesterday, flat on a table, which I don't normally do (normally use a cutting grid), and when I lifted the material, it was soaking wet with water under the cut.

There's plenty of water in plastics.
Happens with wood too. If you make a wood table top and only finish one side it will bow when the humidity changes. One side will give up or absorb moisture and expand or contract as the case may be. The term for materials that absorb moisture is hygroscopic.

Liquid water is not coming from your acrylic sheet. The surface of the plastic is below the dew point of the air that was heated by the laser. I've seen the same phenomena when welding steel with a gas torch... and there ain't no water in steel.

GAC05
12-15-2011, 07:13 PM
"I've seen the same phenomena when welding steel with a gas torch... and there ain't no water in steel."
You sure that is just not sweat dripping off your nose?
:Cool 2:

wayne k
guam usa

we need to ask Fred for a smiley welding icon for 2012

john1
12-15-2011, 07:35 PM
Just checked out 2 back lit signs i installed (2) 2.5x5' prints to about a week ago and they look flawless.

I call silliness on this outgassing.

CES020
12-15-2011, 07:45 PM
Happens with wood too. If you make a wood table top and only finish one side it will bow when the humidity changes. One side will give up or absorb moisture and expand or contract as the case may be. The term for materials that absorb moisture is hygroscopic.

Liquid water is not coming from your acrylic sheet. The surface of the plastic is below the dew point of the air that was heated by the laser. I've seen the same phenomena when welding steel with a gas torch... and there ain't no water in steel.

I guess those plastics engineers that were the ones that told me all about it were clueless. Stupid plastics engineers that make plastic for a living.....

There's a BIG difference in plastics that absorb water and steel.

Come on down, I'll fire the laser up and show you. I'll also have my plastic distributors here so you can tell them how wrong they are.

Westcoast Sign Guy
12-15-2011, 07:45 PM
This is the longest topic I've read as it pertains to plastic f*rts.

signmeup
12-15-2011, 09:13 PM
I guess those plastics engineers that were the ones that told me all about it were clueless. Stupid plastics engineers that make plastic for a living.....

There's a BIG difference in plastics that absorb water and steel.

Come on down, I'll fire the laser up and show you. I'll also have my plastic distributors here so you can tell them how wrong they are.
You made no mention of engineers, plastic or otherwise in your post.
I agreed with your statement about plastics being hygroscopic. I described a similar situation that occurs in wood panels to further support your post... about the flatness issue.

You and your "plastic engineers" and plastic distributors are free to believe that acrylic plastic contains enough water to leak out when it's cut. You are also free to believe that the earth is flat and that the Easter Bunny is real. Me... I'm sticking with science and physics.