Polyurethane domed decals are the pinnacle of printed graphics. While they can be a bit costly, all of our employees agree that companies should use them as often as possible. They are fundamentally unlike other decals, addictively tactile, and all-around just plain fun. Plus, poly-domed labels are champions of durability.
So what, exactly, makes these labels so special?
Impact and Scratch Resistance
The top layer of a domed label is made of a crystal clear, flexible resin called polyurethane, which is sometimes shortened to “urethane.” Polyurethane also is used in the automotive industry to line truck beds and in the aviation industry on the edges of helicopter blades, to prevent damage from small debris. This durable plastic provides a dent- and scratch-resistant coating. Domed labels even have a self-healing effect and can rebound to their original shape within minutes of a small impact.
Superior Clarity and Fade Resistance
Clear liquid polyurethane is poured over a regular decal and shapes itself, via surface tension, to create the domed effect. Since polyurethane has excellent UV resistance, it protects the printing underneath from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This protection preserves the graphic’s colors for up to 10 years or more without fading. Plus, unlike epoxy resin, polyurethane heavily resists yellowing and cloudiness, so the 3D bubble will not change over time, even with outdoor exposure.
Harsh Weather and Chemical Resistance
In addition to besting UV rays, polyurethane resin also completely resists both fresh and saltwater, weak acids and bases, and alcohols. Its flexible nature allows it to tolerate extreme temperatures. Standard operating temperature ranges from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Polyurethane doming is the most effective way to protect standard decals from the elements.
Just Plain Fun
Domed decals are surprisingly addictive. Their 3D shape is cool. The smooth, glossy, raised surface is fun to run your finger across. The slightly squishy but also still surprisingly hard clear dome is fun to press. Because these encapsulated labels draw attention to themselves, the products they’re placed onto draw attention, too. Effective branding and product identification has never been easier.
Utilize doming on prominently placed graphics, such as logo decals, to get the most out of your investment.
Some Notes About Domed Decals
- Domed decals are about 30 times thicker and heavier than a standard label, which means they often require a higher-tack adhesive.
- Doming is not available for all designs. Remember how “surface tension” creates the resin dome? Square (non-rounded) corners or too-small surface areas are not possible to dome because of this.
- Domed decals have longer lead times than non-domed decals because it’s an extra step in the process, and curing can take more than 12 hours.
- Doming is the most costly way to protect standard decals. Most companies use this method selectively to save money.
- Logos and badges are the most common use of poly-domed labels.
These miniature “N” decals are used to draw attention to the “Neutral” position on material handling equipment, such as forklift trucks.
While there are many ways to protect your decals and enhance customer engagement, they all rely on knowing what products will best suit your graphics application. To let the trained professionals at Graphics Output help you out, shoot us an email, or give us a call at 260-748-0577 today!