3M Scotchcal Graphic Film Specifications

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Many car decals are printed on 3M Scotchcal 3600 graphic film.
Many car decals are printed on 3M Scotchcal 3600 graphic film. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

3M's Scotchcal graphic film --series 3650 -- is a printing material designed for a number of applications; these include window or vehicle decals. Made by the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing company, the film is a thin sheet of plastic that is coated on one side with an adhesive. This adhesive accepts either regular or UV inks, and offers a high degree of durability and waterproofing.

Material and Adhesive

3M Scotchcal graphic film -- series 3650 -- is a 2-mil thick sheet of vinyl that comes in white, black or clear color. It has a 1- to 2-mil thick layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive applied to one side, and ships sandwiched to a liner sheet coated with polyethylene. Scotchcal is very stable, and only shrinks by 0.4 mm when it is applied to a surface.

Strength

3M Scotchcal decals are strong enough to withstand the pressures of being applied to a car. Its tensile strength rating is 5.5 pounds per inch when measured at 73 F. The adhesive dries to a strength of between 4 lbs. per inch, -- when applied to prepainted panels from Fruehauf -- and 6 lbs. per inch when attached to an anodized-aluminum surface. Drying time is approximately 24 hours.

Temperature Ratings

The best time to apply decals made of 3M Scotchcal graphic film is when the decal and the surrounding air temperatures are between 50 F and 100 F. The manufacturer rates Scotchcal as capable of withstanding temperatures between -65 F and 160 F.

Warranty

Scotchcal's warranty varies depending on how it is used, where it is used and where it is applied. A white or black film used to overlay a commercial fleet vehicle -- if printed with a 3M 9800 series Ink, and protected with a 9720UV coating -- has a 3M warranty seven years. This applies so long as the product is not used in the desert southwest, or mounted horizontally. When printed with Duracal inks, the warranty runs five years.

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