Suggestions Chrome for cut vinyl truck lettering - anything new?

Reveal1

Member
We do very little cut vinyl here, and it's been 4 years since we've done any lettering in chrome. Any recommendations on a durable chrome for truck lettering? Does such a thing exist? Last experience was Oracal 351 (2 yr.) and Rtape Vinyl EFX ( 3 year) After a search, it doesn't seem much has changed. I thought about Avery wrap vinyl in chrome , but wasn't sure how it would work for contour cut and it's 3 year. Recommendations?
 

unclebun

Active Member
Avery has a chrome cut vinyl that is rated for 3 years outdoors. It's what we use because it seems to have the lowest degree of problems. But chrome vinyl is all the same. It sucks to cut and handle. It veins. It's stiff and your cutter blade will scratch it while moving from place to place. If it bends too much it turns white. It fades to white after a couple of years (or less) outdoors. It's horrible to remove and clean up. And customers still ask for it.
 

Reveal1

Member
Avery has a chrome cut vinyl that is rated for 3 years outdoors. It's what we use because it seems to have the lowest degree of problems. But chrome vinyl is all the same. It sucks to cut and handle. It veins. It's stiff and your cutter blade will scratch it while moving from place to place. If it bends too much it turns white. It fades to white after a couple of years (or less) outdoors. It's horrible to remove and clean up. And customers still ask for it.
Afraid that was the case. I was thinking of laminating the chrome to removable air egress like 40c to make it easier to apply and remove. Ever tried that? Also wondering if the chrome could be laminated to reduce scratching and improve UV. I guess the result would be some thick, expensive, and hard to cut material.
 
I use the Avery wrapping film for this fairly often, I did this #7 in two pieces with my 24" plotter, and I have used leftovers for smaller cut jobs as well. The trailer is now over three years old and no complaints from the owner yet and I do his companies vehicle decals currently so he has every chance to mention any issues.
Alair-Homes-Race-Trailer-Vehicle-Decals.jpg
 

Reveal1

Member
I use the Avery wrapping film for this fairly often, I did this #7 in two pieces with my 24" plotter, and I have used leftovers for smaller cut jobs as well. The trailer is now over three years old and no complaints from the owner yet and I do his companies vehicle decals currently so he has every chance to mention any issues.
Alair-Homes-Race-Trailer-Vehicle-Decals.jpg
Like that idea - would be air egress.
 

JDubz

New Member
Chrome vinyl sucks, if you can even call it vinyl; seems more like a tin material. The stuff is hard on plotter blades, hard to weed, not flexible, tears easy and scratches easy. Looks like De.signs has the best option for you.
 

Lindsey

Not A New Member
Afraid that was the case. I was thinking of laminating the chrome to removable air egress like 40c to make it easier to apply and remove. Ever tried that? Also wondering if the chrome could be laminated to reduce scratching and improve UV. I guess the result would be some thick, expensive, and hard to cut material.
I sometimes laminate the Avery Chrome (SF100 Series) onto Avery SC950 vinyls (usually white or black), to help make removal easier later on down the road. It also allows me the choice to apply wet if I need to.
 
I've used a 3M 1080 and haven't had an issue - except when we forgot to take the front film off before cutting letters. That was a mistake. Not cheap though, since it's a cast wrap film.
 

Billct2

Active Member
We use the R Tape FX (but now I think it's owned by someone else). We apply clear over it with a little trap. Holds up OK. But the client always gets my standard spiel, "It's hard to read, doesn't last, scratches easy.."
 
We do very little cut vinyl here, and it's been 4 years since we've done any lettering in chrome. Any recommendations on a durable chrome for truck lettering? Does such a thing exist? Last experience was Oracal 351 (2 yr.) and Rtape Vinyl EFX ( 3 year) After a search, it doesn't seem much has changed. I thought about Avery wrap vinyl in chrome , but wasn't sure how it would work for contour cut and it's 3 year. Recommendations?



The Best Chrome I ever used is the gerber deluxe chrome 5-7 years no problem
 

Nifty Pixy

Nifty Pixy Designs
Hi I use smf Select Marking Films the distributor in Ontario is TCT graphics and 2 other locations. Their special effects vinyl is supposed to last 5 years outdoors. I laminate it with their clear laminates and work fine for me. Toronto 1-877-675-6690 Calgary 1-888561-5038 Vancouver 1-877-277-0045
Christine
 

Reveal1

Member
Thanks all; appreciate the different ideas. Thought I was missing some new breakthrough product or process that I should have known about. Sounds like chrome is still a challenge, but several of you have suggested some workarounds and other products to try, which I appreciate. A lot more productive than discussing COVID in the Chit-chat section.
 
We offer our customers two options...

Griff Polychrome. Reasonable chrome appearance with an orange peel texture. This is a polyester chrome film for use on flat surfaces only. Durability is rated at 5 years. Costs less than most cast vinyl, so it's a nice option for economy applications. We always apply this option over a regular cast vinyl for ease of removability.

Convex chrome. This is the closest thing to actual chrome on the market, at least from what I've ever seen. It looks like real chrome with no orange peel and a mirror finish. It's so glassy, they make prison mirrors with it. It can be applied to slight complex curves and is rated 5-7 years outdoors. It has a protective cover sheet that is a royal PITA to separate from the chrome film itself. It tears easily and great care must be taken to weed. It costs literally ten times the cost of cast vinyl. However, the looks match the price. The stuff is absolutely stunning, and if your customer doesn't mind paying the premium, it really is an amazing option.

I'll see if I can dig up a photo to post, but I may have to wait until Monday when I get back to the office.
 

Reveal1

Member
We offer our customers two options...

Griff Polychrome. Reasonable chrome appearance with an orange peel texture. This is a polyester chrome film for use on flat surfaces only. Durability is rated at 5 years. Costs less than most cast vinyl, so it's a nice option for economy applications. We always apply this option over a regular cast vinyl for ease of removability.

Convex chrome. This is the closest thing to actual chrome on the market, at least from what I've ever seen. It looks like real chrome with no orange peel and a mirror finish. It's so glassy, they make prison mirrors with it. It can be applied to slight complex curves and is rated 5-7 years outdoors. It has a protective cover sheet that is a royal PITA to separate from the chrome film itself. It tears easily and great care must be taken to weed. It costs literally ten times the cost of cast vinyl. However, the looks match the price. The stuff is absolutely stunning, and if your customer doesn't mind paying the premium, it really is an amazing option.

I'll see if I can dig up a photo to post, but I may have to wait until Monday when I get back to the office.
Thanks - looking forward to seeing a pic if you have it.
 

Jburns

Member
I have heard of some chrome vinyl when removed- paint comes with it-- so highly recommend a base cast vinyl first.
 

MikePro

Member
if i want to add longevity to any chrome/gold/specialefx vinyl I intend to throw outdoors....I'll laminate with a cast gloss vinyl.
it still won't make it last forever, BUT i have plenty of gold/chrome graphics that still look brand-new after 3yrs outdoors and the original longevity of the vinyl was listed for 6months outdoors.

edited to add: you can laminate with any cast laminate, but gloss or optically-clear is the best for allowing the special effects/chrome/gold shine-thru.
 
Thanks - looking forward to seeing a pic if you have it.

The truck photos I found were from 20 feet away so they don't do the product much justice, but I took these pics this morning to show a comparison. I don't even have to explain which is which. It's like a night and day difference.
 

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gnubler

Member
I've recently had two separate orders for truck decals using chrome/metallized vinyl - the construction truckers seem to love it. I took reference to some of the mentions in this thread for my second order and tried both Orafol 352 and Avery SF. The Orafol weeded easier and tore less than the Avery, and was half the cost, but in short all of this stuff is terrible to work with. Wrinkling/veining under the pinch rollers, air pockets running across the entire width, not cutting smoothly, instant scratches, etc. Chrome 'vinyl' is essentially tin foil with a sticky back.

I'm strongly considering instituting a 20% surcharge for all chrome vinyl orders from now on to cover material loss and help pay my bar bill. Is anyone else discouraging customers from using this material? If not, how are you pricing it?
 
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