Air-Release Vinyl and Why It’s Important for Vehicle Wraps

What is Air-Release Vinyl?

M Wrap Vinyl WhiteAll of our wraps are produced using name-brand vinyl, printers, and inks. We only use 3M Premium wrap vinyl with air-release channels.  These channels are really important for any wrap applications, even though you as the client may never know the difference. Air release channels are tiny channels on the back of the vinyl, in the adhesive.  They allow air to flow through when the vinyl is applied, which eliminates any type of bubbling.

Prevent Bubbles on Vehicle Wraps

M SqueegeeHow does a bubble form? Well, when the installer is applying a graphic or wrap, they use one hand to hold the vinyl and use the other to smooth down the vinyl using a tool we call a squeegee.  When they are installing, it is possible for an air pocket, or bubble, to form under the surface of the vinyl.

In standard sign and vehicle applications that do not use air-release vinyl, it is common to see minimal bubbles that bake in the sun within a couple of weeks. That is due to the thickness of the material and sometimes the conditions of the installation.

Does Air-Release Really Matter for My Vehicle Wrap?

Monarch Trailer Graphic Wrap MadisonWhen it comes to bubbles on a vehicle wrap, using cheap vinyl without air release channels can cause serious issues. The installer can only fix them a couple of ways and none of them are ideal for your graphics.

If the installer pulls cheaper materials up off of the vehicle, it can cause the vinyl to stretch. The adhesive on these vinyls is a lot more aggressive and harder to re-position. This stretching can lead to potential discoloration and can cause a wavy look.

If the installer has to pop too many bubbles, you could potentially end up with a “hole-ey” wrap that stretches over time. As it’s conforming to the vehicle, those tiny holes could end up increasing in size. The goal is to have little to no bubbles at all on an entire vehicle wrap.

If the installer just leaves the bubble, that could have problems as well. In cases where the bubbles are left over vehicle emblems or truck and trailer rivets, they will always start to peel and crack after a couple of years. It’s always best if the vinyl has a nice surface to adhere to so it can conform completely to the shape. Over time, vinyl becomes brittle and not at stretchy.  The vinyl is bound to break down anywhere it is not fully-adhered.

Air-Release is The Solution

Gardner Vw Golf Partial WrapPremium 3M Vehicle Wrap Vinyl with Air-Release will eliminate all of the problems described above. This is going to be key to high-quality vehicle wraps. When we squeegee the vinyl down, the air has a chance to escape and we can re-position the vinyl as necessary to give your wrap the polished look. Bubbles can disappear like magic, right before your eyes, in the hands of a professional vehicle wrap installer.

Our Monarch Wraps use 3M Premium Wrap Vinyls only for our vehicle wraps.  There are a couple of exceptions to the rule as to what material we use for full-color vinyl graphics (not partial or full wraps). For smaller graphics that are applied to pretty flat surfaces, we can use an Intermediate Grade 3M vinyl that does not have air-release. This saves money for the client because you can still get a 3M product, but not have to pay the extra cost of premium wrap vinyl. For 1-2 color vinyl graphics, we use intermediate-grade non-printable vinyl.

It’s always important to make sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to choosing a wrap company.  There are so many types of vinyl, and a lot of companies want to try to cut corners and save pennies by selling inadequate wraps. Always make sure they are using high-quality materials and inks. We want to make sure your wrap lasts as long as possible, and we take all of the steps necessary to get the job done right!

Monarch is your #1 Choice in the Madison Area for Vehicle GraphicsVehicle WrapsSignsBanners, and Business Identity Products. Top-Notch Design, Print, Production, and Installation Services since 2000. Trusted by 1000’s of local and national companies. A 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company since 2013.

Specializing In:  1-2 Color Vinyl GraphicsFull-Color Vinyl GraphicsPartial Vehicle WrapsFleet WrapsCar WrapsTruck WrapsBox Truck WrapsVan WrapsSUV WrapsOversized Vehicle WrapsTrailer WrapsMotorcycle WrapsSpecialty Vehicle WrapsRace Car WrapsEmergency Vehicle WrapsColor Change Wraps and more!

Contact Monarch today!

Monarch Media Designs
1585 Greenway Cross
Madison, WI 53713
Ph: 608-661-4663