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ETFE Anti Graffiti Film & Coatings

ETFE Anti Graffiti Film & Coatings

Modern signage may have its roots in ancient Greece and Rome, but it's doubtful that signs saw graffiti damage, stickers, or any formidable threat in the early days. That’s no longer true. When graffiti vandals targeted two overhead highway signs on interstate 35 in Kansas City, area taxpayers were hit with a $20,000 bill to replace them. Similarly, Seattle Public Utilities spent approximately $1 million in 2017 for graffiti enforcement, which included the removal of graffiti from buses, tunnels, park and rides, and bus shelters, in addition to education and outreach.

Not all graffiti ends up on signs. Given the ubiquitous nature of corporate and municipal signage, sign surface protection from the elements, street artists, and vandals is a necessity.

In addition to graffiti removal, there are several recognized challenges to ensure long and useful sign life, including sufficient durability, the ability to survive the extreme climate, and non-stick features that repel adhesives, such as those found in stickers.

using their unique formula of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene ETFE Saint-Gobain works behind the scenes to mitigate the onslaught of abuse on signage. Saint-Gobain is responsible for manufacturing the broadest range of melt-processed fluoropolymer films globally, including ETFE.

What ETFE Offers

ETFE is a fluorine-based plastic used to deliver corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range for a variety of applications, including signage. A polymer, ETFE is comprised of carbon, fluorine, and hydrogen. It combines a high melting point temperature with anti-ghosting properties while its chemical structure and tensile strength enable it to withstand substantial and repeated bouts of physical abuse during its long useful life.

Originally developed in the 1970s as a lightweight, heat-resistant film to serve the aerospace industry, ETFE represents an excellent technology that meets the stringent requirements and harsh environments typically found in signage. Additional features include:

  • ETFE film is durable, highly transparent, and extremely lightweight. As the film is UV transparent, it will not yellow or structurally weaken over time.
  • ETFE is stress crack, chemical, tear, and weather resistant.
  • ETFE does not degrade when exposed to environmental pollution, UV light, harsh chemicals, or extreme temperatures.
  • The polymer's low surface energy makes it an excellent choice for release applications up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Materials including paint, will not stick to the outside surface of the film.
  • Bondable characteristics for metalizing processes and adhesive coating. While the solution is non-stick when used as a surface protectant treatment, it effectively bonds to the metal.
  • Deposits of dirt, dust, and debris won't stick and therefore are washed away by the rain so that ETFE-based signs are essentially self-cleaning.
Paint Protection Film on Car Mirror
Paint Protection Film on Car Mirror
VERSIV™ Toll Coating and Contract Manufacturing equipment picture
Film Processing

Why Saint-Gobain

in addition to imperviousness from adhesives and graffiti, Saint-Gobain film stands up to whatever is literally and figuratively thrown at it, including chemical exposure, high temperatures, and the effects of long-term outdoor aging.

Meeting specifications for anti-graffiti or protective overlays for signs is only part of the story. Saint-Gobain is dedicated to furthering the transformational power of materials for global applications where very little is standard.

Although there are competitive ETFE solutions in the marketplace, Saint-Gobain enjoys the majority of ETFE sales as the recognized knowledge expert in the field. The company attributes its success to its people, which it considers its greatest asset as they provide expertise in polymer chemistry, materials processing, and finished goods converting for both commercial and infrastructure signage. With a corporate history spanning more than 350 years, not only is Saint-Gobain one of the world's oldest companies, but it is also one of the most diverse, stable, supportive, innovative, and responsive ETFE suppliers.

For more than 50 years, Saint-Gobain has been the recognized leader in precision coding technology. For sign protection, VERSIV films are industry staples. Saint-Gobain VERSIV film is a low-energy top coating that is abrasion and chemically resistant and offers excellent clarity and optical properties. VERSIV protects the film surface in many environments and enhances the appearance of the finished product. VERSIV films also meet the requirements for a broad range of environmental extremes such as chemical exposure, high temperatures, and long-term, outdoor aging performance.

Optimal signage protection means employing Saint-Gobain products. Cleaning is easily done with a spray down or standard cleaning project products. Damage is minimized, so repair and replacement are rare. And the surface coating causes no damage to the sign itself.

Saint-Gobain customers work directly with individuals in research, engineering, and operational departments to create solutions that exceed the most demanding expectations. The company has an exceptional reputation for product expertise and innovation. Saint-Gobain is widely recognized as a world leader in the development of multilayer fluoropolymer solutions that combine outstanding surface protection performance and reliability.

This article was produced by IEEE global spec. Visit the Saint-Gobain Composite Solutions engineering 360 page on IEEE global spec.