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What is the best vinyl for vehicle wraps?

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

When it comes to vehicle graphics there are numerous brands to choose from but and each brand will offer two main types of vinyl, cast vinyl and calendered vinyl. Both of these materials have their own unique properties and benefits, and choosing the right one for your vehicle wrapping project can have a significant impact on the quality and longevity of the final product. Below is a comparison of each type.


Cast Vinyl for Vehicle Wraps

Cast vinyl is a high-performance vinyl material that is typically used for vehicle wraps and other high-end applications. This material is made by pouring liquid vinyl onto a casting sheet, which is then baked to create a thin, flexible film. Cast vinyl is known for its durability, flexibility, and ability to conform to the contours of a vehicle. It is also known for its high-quality printability, which makes it an ideal choice for detailed graphics and designs.



cast vinyl wrap
A van wrapped with Avery 1105 cast vinyl for the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

One of the main benefits of cast vinyl is its ability to conform to complex curves and contours, which makes it an ideal choice for vehicle wraps. Cast vinyl is also more durable than calendered vinyl, and it is less likely to shrink or fade over time. This means that cast vinyl can last for many years, even in harsh environments.



Calendered Vinyl for Vehicle Wraps

Calendered vinyl is a more economical vinyl material that is often used for short-term applications such as signage and banners. This material is made by extruding a thick layer of vinyl through a series of rollers, which gives it a flat, smooth surface. Calendered vinyl is less expensive than cast vinyl, and it is easier to work with, which makes it a popular choice for beginners or those on a budget.

While calendered vinyl is less expensive than cast vinyl, it is also less durable. This material is more likely to shrink or fade over time, especially in harsh environments. Calendered vinyl is also less flexible than cast vinyl, which can make it more difficult to apply to complex curves and contours.



Which Material is Best for Vehicle Wrapping?


When it comes to vehicle wrapping, cast vinyl is generally the preferred choice. This material is longer lasting and more flexible than calendered vinyl, which makes it ideal for conforming to the curves and contours of a vehicle. Cast vinyl is also more resistant to fading and shrinking over time, which means that it can last for many years, even in harsh environments.


That being said, calendered vinyl can still be a good choice for certain vehicle wrapping projects, especially if cost is a major consideration. If you are on a tight budget or if you only need a short-term wrap, calendered vinyl can be a more economical option.


In summary, when it comes to vehicle wrapping, cast vinyl and calendered vinyl both have their own unique properties and benefits. While cast vinyl is generally the preferred choice due to its durability and flexibility, calendered vinyl can still be a good option for certain projects. Ultimately, the choice between cast vinyl and calendered vinyl will depend on your specific needs and budget.

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