What is Cast Vinyl and how can I use it?

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Funny you should want to know what cast vinyl is. Cast vinyl is made by pouring the chemical components of the vinyl onto a large pan or sheet in a very thin layer. The casting process results in thinner gauge vinyl film that stays in a relaxed state.

Manufacturers refer to cast vinyl as having “no memory” meaning that it will form more easily and cleanly to complex shapes – like vehicle surfaces­ – and give a dimensionally stable result that retains color well.

Examples of cast vinyl products are vehicle wraps, high durability signs and lettering, and emergency vehicle and marine decals. Oracal 951, considered one of the gold standard cast vinyl products on the market, has a 10 year lifespan and comes in over 150 colors.

The counterpart to cast vinyl is calandered vinyl. Calandered vinyl is made by extruding the heated, mixed vinyl chemicals into a series of rollers that flatten it into sheets. This rolling and stretching process creates “memory” in the vinyl – that is to say, the vinyl has a tendency to return to its original flattened form.

Calandered vinyl tends to be thicker than cast vinyl, and therefore more durable and scratch resistant. One common example of calandared vinyl is Oracal 651. This type of vinyl is best suited for flat and simple curve applications.

Can cast vinyl be used for other stuff besides vehicle wraps? Oracal 951 is available in various widths and lengths, including 12 x 12 inch sheets. If you want to make durable, long lasting graphics for tumblers, coffee mugs or small vehicle decals, you can definitely use high quality cast vinyl.

Click here for more information on the best vinyl for Cricut and Silhouette machines


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