Why Surface Preparation is More Important Than Ever Before!
Due to an increased usage of silicone based additives in automotive paint that traditionally contained only solvents or oil derivatives, the pressure-sensitive graphics industry is facing adhesion challenges. The result of these changes is the need for increased awareness towards surface preparation and application methods.
To reduce the amount of solvents in some of the newer "heavy solids" paint and clearcoat products, silicone-based additives are used as flow agents. As the solvents evaporate during the curing process, silicone particles migrate to the surface, leaving a silicone residue. In fiberglass manufacturing, mold release agents may also leave a silicone residue.
Traditional surface preparation for graphics application has consisted of chemical washing. Most cleaners contain a hydroxyl compound (acetone, alcohol) or a petroleum base (kerosene, zylene) solvent. These solvents work by dissolving oil-based impurities that are on the surface.
Silicone, however, does not dissolve. Removal of siliconates occurs through emulsification (suspension of small globules within the liquid, like oil in water). Soap and water will generally outperform solvent for silicone emulsification. However, an extra wash process costs applicator time and it may not always be necessary.
Universal Products is taking an industry first step by informing and educating installers on a proven way to handle this change in automotive finishes. Our on-site quality technicians have developed TFX Pro System, a comprehensive application process, that when followed will effectively prepare the surface to bond with the adhesive. We recommend this process for all striping and graphics, regardless of who manufactured them. FAILURE TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN ADHESION FAILURE.
Now that you know why surface preparation is more important than ever before, please read about TFX Pro System.