Authored By David Morgan, Technical Assistance, Drytac Europe
For anyone giving their site a deep clean, or
simply sprucing things up during downtime, it’s important that disinfectant
chemicals don’t cause damage to signage and displays. Museums, photo studios,
retailers, schools and many more sites will have a range of graphics materials
installed that will need to remain safely intact and in a good visual condition
Wall murals, decals, floor graphics, window
displays and signage may all need cleaning, but how to approach this will
depend on the graphics material, especially that of its overlaminate product.
An overlaminate is used to enhance graphics but is also essential to protect an
underlying image or surface from damage caused by UV exposure, scratches,
graffiti and indeed cleaning chemicals.
Drytac’s range includes several types of
overlaminating films, all of which will withstand cleaning with everyday
commercially available cleaning agents and disinfectants, but for more intense
cleaning it’s important to check the film’s chemical resistance. The majority
of customers will be using a PVC, polyester or polypropylene film – all of
which have different levels of chemical resistance.
PVC has good resistance to aliphatic alcohols such
as isopropanol, a widely used disinfectant within pharmaceutics and hospitals
and dilute acids/bases found in common cleaners like bleach. However, organic
solvents such as ketones (for example acetone), aromatics like toluene, and
esters should be avoided as they will damage the PVC material.
Polypropylene (PP) has a similar resistance to that
of PVC and is also durable against esters. PET can withstand cleaning with all
of the above, including organic solvents.
Regardless of your type of film, ensure that you
wash your graphic with a soft non-abrasive wipe to avoid surface damage and
scratches. Even the toughest overlaminate will suffer from attention with a
rough brush. Be sure to take care with exposed edges; chemicals and liquids can
detrimentally affect adhesives if given the opportunity to ingress. This is
especially crucial on floor graphics, as reduced adhesion could result in a
tripping hazard – and of course these are the graphics likely to be
cleaned more often.
As always, Drytac can answer any questions you have
about applying and maintaining your graphics for a safe and effective project
– just get in touch.