Photographing the weather board, November, 2019.
Changes we’ve been watching for:
- Image/color fading
- Peeling or cracking
- Polycarbonate or polyester yellowing
- Adhesive failure
- The test board is made of painted metal and sits against a building facing east, with all other directions exposed to the elements.
- The test board was thoroughly cleaned with alcohol before we applied any decals.
- Over the timeline of the test, the board is exposed to sun, wind, rain, snow, and ice.
Section One tests various ink durability for:
- Digital roll solvent ink
- Digital roll solvent ink with 1 mm. of polyester lamination
- Screen print UV ink
- Digital flatbed UV ink
- Digital gel UV ink
The hypothesis: Graphics Output believes the digital roll solvent ink will fade first, and the screen print UV ink or the digital gel UV ink will fade last.
The results: The digital roll solvent ink without lamination has faded the most, but overall the inks have not faded much, if any, in the past two years.
Section Two tests screen print ink color durability for:
The hypothesis: Graphics Output believes that the red or yellow ink will fade first and the black ink will fade last.
The results: The yellow ink has started to fade, but overall the inks have not faded much, if any, in the past two years.
Section Three tests subsurface printed materials and various flatbed UV ink colors durability, including:
- Standard polycarbonate
- Hard-coated weatherable polycarbonate
- Hard-coated weatherable polyester
The hypothesis: Graphics Output believes that the standard polycarbonate will fade or delaminate first, and the weatherable polyester will fade or delaminate last.
The results: The standard polycarbonate has faded the most, and the outdoor polyester has faded the least amount, but overall the inks have not faded much, if any, in the past two years, with no signs of delamination.
Overall results: Most inks and materials used on the weather testing board have warranty lifespans of 5+ years, so the lack of fading, peeling, and cracking after only two years was expected.
Durability plays a huge role in decision-making when it comes to purchasing decals for your outdoor equipment. While many of our suppliers test their materials in weather chambers, which exaggerate and accelerate the effects of different weather elements, Graphics Output is taking the direct approach to see how long our decals actually last. If you have questions about shelf-life or durability of decals, contact us today by giving us a call at (260) 748-0577 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the second post in a multi-part series. Check out our first post here. We plan to continue to take monthly photos documenting the board and the effects of the elements and post additional occasional updates. Stay tuned for our results!