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Above: Weather resistance is a prime criteria in this Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping Film application by Australian firm Exotic Graphix

for new product development is often the weather- ing resistance testing. Simply put, the challenge with this testing is trying to accurately reproduce many years of material ageing in as short of a time as possible. A common problem with weathering testing is the method selection. Materials are often evaluated against one testing protocol represent- ing one set of exposure conditions. However, in the real world, these same materials might be applied globally across numerous exposure conditions. Even in the case of outdoor exposure testing, the material performance may vary greatly in different regions based on varied levels of sunlight, tem- perature, moisture, and other factors like pollution.”

Film developments Avery Dennison is actively involved in new film applications for UV stabilised compounds. “With the growing trend for styling customisation and personalisation, various film applications are emerging within the commercial and personal vehicle wrapping market segment, fleet truck advertising, innovative signage and architectural design,” Alessandro says. “These films offer custom appearances in terms of colour, gloss, speciality pigments, or digital printing designs. With the growing trend for new outdoor applications comes increased customer demand for higher durability by means of extended weathering resistance.” Some of the latest products the company has developed to meet this segment need include: Supreme Wrapping Film ColorFlow - highly conformable and durable vehicle wrapping film with colour shifting shades; Conform Chrome - a film which provides multiple colour options to achieve a chrome accent; and MPI 1105 –a wrap- ping film that provides digital printability for fully customised vehicle design and styling. “These products are developed with the custom-

er’s requirements in mind and include such performance criteria as ease of application and adhesion to complex geometry, long-term weath-

64 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2017

ering resistance and colour retention, and film removability for non-permanent applications,” says Mark Alessandro. “Some products, such as digitally printed films, include a multi-layer film construction with a transparent top layer to enhance the durability of the ink. Various film technologies are available for this overlaminate depending on the desired level of durability. Additionally, these films offer optional functionality, including an anti-graffiti property for public transportation or commercial applications. In addition to the outdoor applica- tions previously mentioned, these films are often utilised indoors for commercial signage, wall décor, and even customised appliance styling.” Alessandro adds that Avery Dennison has been involved in a number of recent case studies on improving weathering resistance. “When studying product durability, it is essential to understand the material sensitivities and types of failure modes a material will exhibit,” he says. “To achieve this, various case studies have been investigated to characterise product performance in many cli- mates. This data highlights the effect of environ- mental conditions such as light exposure, tempera- ture, and moisture on the physical properties and colour retention of these films. Moreover, these studies show the importance of understanding the details of the specific applications. Factors such as angle of application and compass orientation play a critical role in determining the amount of light exposure and temperature range a product will see, and ultimately, its durability. Further, the level of care, such as frequency of washing, and even the types of cleaners used, also plays a role in the product durability.” Innovative product development will continue to be the focus moving forward with key initiatives for continued advancements in UV stability and weathering resistance for products and applica- tions in this growing area, according to Alessandro. He adds that along with performance enhance- ments, sustainable product offerings and the launching of new colours, specialised appearances will continue. In parallel, advancements to acceler- ated weathering testing methods and technologies are being developed to allow for more advanced evaluations of these new products. This will drive more efficient and accurate durability modelling techniques, and ultimately the ability to launch new products to the marketplace, faster.



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