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Vehicle Wrapping Materials

With competition in vehicle wrapping on the rise, companies are under pressure to stand out. Rob Fletcher takes a look at some of the latest materials and finds out how they can help your business race ahead

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All print wraps in the 3M IJ180mC range are now 3D-conformable, which the company says will help open up opportunities for new work

Change up a gear

Vehicle wrapping has emerged as one of the most popular expansion markets in the last few years, mainly due to the amount of work that is on offer. Companies that have made the move into the sector are benefitting from such a venture, with this work opening up new revenue streams.

However, as a result of more companies moving into this line of work, there is now much more competition for valuable contracts. For businesses already in this market, and for those looking to make
the move, they must be able to offer something that helps them stand out from the crowd.

A sure-fire way of ensuring that you can offer the best finishes to customers is by investing in the latest materials. This way, you can take advantage of the newest technology and techniques on the market, and transition this over to the work you produce.

Exciting and unique

One of the leading names in this market is Grafityp, which has a wide range of wrapping solutions on offer to sign-makers. Graham Jones, head of marketing at Grafityp UK, says he only expects the sector to grow, with new opportunities for those seeking to enter the arena.

“This is a growing area that is becoming more and more popular as there are finishes and effects that you simply can’t obtain with a paint gun,” Jones says, adding: “People are always looking for something exciting and unique and wrapping enables a whole extra world of opportunity to achieve this.”

Grafityp says it is committed to developing new wrap products that offer environmentally friendly benefits to the user

However, Jones also warns that with competition also likely to increase, it is of paramount importance to ensure you are working with the right materials in order to produce high quality output for your customer. This way, you are much more likely to secure repeat business and stand out among competitor.

Jones explains: “The quality of a wrap can have a massive impact on the experience for everyone involved in the process from the wrap installers to the client. If a wrap is easy to fit, it will take less time to wrap, and be a far nicer experience for the wrapper.

“The client is looking for a material that will look fantastic and it’s also important the wrap is cleanly removed, leaving a pristine paint job underneath. Grafityp Cast wraps are air escape with excellent conformability.”

Grafityp’s range of wraps is far-reaching and features a whole host of options for various jobs, but Jones highlights one product in particular that has been proving popular in recent months. Jones says Nardo Grey gloss has proved a big hit with customers and expects interest to grow with the new black option in Satin, while Matt Army Green has also been added to the range.

Clearly not a company to rest on its laurels, with new products coming to market all the time, Jones says Grafityp is committed to developing new materials. He adds that, as is the case with all areas of both the sign-making and wide-format print markets, the focus is on the environment and Grafityp is looking to reflect this in its latest solutions.

Jones says: “Grafityp for many years has been at the forefront of innovation with eco-friendly films. We already have an extensive range of coloured CAD cut signage materials, and printable material. This is something that will be available for wrapping in the near future.”

Setting the standard

Also helping companies get ahead of the game is Innotech Digital, which recently added a number of new options to its portfolio, namely the General Formulations Automark Conformable Wrap Vinyl.

Innotech Digital recently added to its General Formulations Automark Conformable Wrap Vinyl portfolio

This semi cast vehicle wrapping vinyl can be used in conjunction with GF240 - 60 mic AutoMark, as well as Matte Clear UV Wrap Laminate or GF231 AutoMark 60mic Gloss Clear UV Wrap Laminate for added protection.

Repro-Arts in Great Yarmouth is one company that is already feeling the benefits of this new technology, with managing director Clive Hill praising the impact the new vinyl has had on the work the business produces.

Hill comments: “We’ve been around since the 1950s and are well-known for our vehicle wrapping service. We tried the GF Automark product and were very impressed with the results; it goes on easy and the print finish is outstanding.”

Meanwhile, 3M also recently bolstered its own product portfolio by announcing that all print wraps within its IJ180mC range are now 3D-conformable. The firm says this will open up a whole host of new application opportunities for those that use the product in wrapping work.

In addition, the IJ180mC-10, IJ180mC-114 and IJ180mC-120 wrap films all have 130% film stretch, which the company says allow them to conform to recesses, curved surfaces, corrugations and rivets without snapping back.

Pen Webley, marketing manager for 3M’s Commercial Solutions division, said: “At 3M, we value greatly what our customers tell us about their wants and needs. The demand for vehicle wrap films with 3D functionality has led to testing of our flagship range of printable products, resulting in this new classification.”

Other 3D-functional products from 3M include the SV and LX480mC print wrap films, both of which are featured within the company’s non-PVC Envision range.


Elsewhere, Avery Dennison is committed to developing new products to help companies in this sector improve the quality of their work and tackle new challenges. Esra Boro, product segment manager for wrapping, EMEA, says that using quality wrapping materials for your work will help you to avoid issues further down the line.

Boro comments: “Our own investment is continuous; we see innovation and development as a key part of what makes Avery Dennison a trusted brand. For installers, a quality wrap generates three key benefits: a more professional finished result that they can take pride in; reassurance that customer complaints will be few and far between; and much better productivity – wrapping more cars in a day translates into a better bottom line.”

But what about the opportunities for companies seeking to move into the vehicle wrapping market for the first time? Is there enough work on offer to warrant such a move and, for those that do venture into the sector, what sort of work should they be looking to target?

There is a lot of investment taking place in the wrapping market, and we anticipate substantial growth over the next three to five years

Boro advises: “There is a lot of investment taking place in the wrapping market, and we anticipate substantial growth over the next three to five years at least. That growth comes from all segments of the market, with particular opportunities in personal car customisation; customers want to be unique and look cool.

“Colours and effects are crucial, with a trend towards more ‘pop’ and new visual experiences, but there are also real opportunities in paint protection and window tinting. Our goal is to continue providing on-trend colours and options to suit all tastes.”

With this in mind, Boro draws attention to how Avery Dennison can help those diversifying into vehicle wrapping, mapping out the details of some of its latest wrapping products designed to help give applications extra appeal.

Avery Dennison launched its new AD SPF-XI ‘self healing’ paint protection film at FESPA 2018

Last year, Avery Dennison brought to market six new Supreme Wrapping Film (SWF) colours. This launch followed the roll-out of its new AD SPF-XI ‘self-healing’ paint protection film at FESPA 2018, a high-end material that the company says can eliminate scratches at ambient temperatures.

Also new from Avery Dennison is its range of automotive window films for high performance, non-reflective and infrared applications. Such is the extensiveness of its offering, Boro believes that the company now offers a complete solution for aftermarket vehicle customisation needs and applications – with more new solutions on the horizon.

Boro adds: “New colours are in development right now, and we are also continuing to develop our paint protection offering. We can also say with confidence that there are some surprises in store very soon for 2019.”

Avery Dennison recently added six new colours to its Supreme Wrapping Film range

Also able to offer advice here is Pyramid Display, which supplies a wide range of films for vehicle wrapping. Amy Cattanach, product specialist for self adhesive materials, says there is plenty of room for growth in this market and encourages sign-makers to make the move sooner rather than later.

Cattanach comments: “Branding is more important than ever and not advertising on a company vehicle is a wasted opportunity. More fleet managers and business owners are now choosing a full or partial wraps whereas in years gone by they would have gone for cad cut lettering. 

“Also people realise the benefit of the paint protection that comes with a vinyl wrap which has a financial benefit over the life of the vehicle. At Pyramid, we aim to partner with our customers to help guide them to make informed choices when it comes to choosing wrap films.”

O Factoid: In July 2018, Folien and Zubehör set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest full vehicle wrap. The German team wrapped a Tesla Model X in just 22 minutes and 56 seconds. O

In terms of the solutions available from Pyramid, Cattanach picks out MPI 1105 with Easy Apply Repositionable and Slideable (EARS) adhesive. This 10-year film boasts six-year vertical durability and three-year horizontal durability for print, as well as the ability to handle deep U-shaped channels.

For an entry-level cast kit, Cattanach recommends MPI 1104 EA, a seven-year film with repositionable adhesive and warranted for deep U-shaped channels. Users will also benefit from four-year vertical durability and two-year horizontal durability for print.

As a further show of support for the market, Pyramid Display will this year open a Vehicle Wrap Training Centre at its Manchester branch, allowing customers to get up close and personal with materials, as well as take hints and tips from experts on how to carry out quality vehicle wraps. 

As is the case when moving into any new area within the sign-making and wide-format print industries, it is critical that you first establish whether your customers require this type of work. While vehicle wrapping may offer all sorts of opportunities, if there is no demand among your clients for the work, then there is little point in moving into the sector.

If you can establish a healthy level of demand among your customer base, then a move into vehicle wrapping may be right up your street.


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