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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone recommend a specific brand of fluorescent vinyl that can last more than 6 months, without breaking the bank? I've done stock lettering for a while now but I shy away from using the fluor stuff because it fades too fast from the sun. I had an economy orange that literally lost 50% of its color in 3 weeks on a guys car. He trashed the stock car after rolling it so it didn't matter anymore, but my designs really need the fluorescent colors to pop so I need to find a way to use it. I see other stock cars with fluor door numbers that last all season so I need to know what kind they are using. I'd like to hear someone else's results with ANY brand to compare to.

For the record, I typically use the mid grade stuff at HH sign supply, who doesn't list the brand. Thanks in advance!
 

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I've used Oracal 6510 and had it last a while outdoors, I believe they only rate it for 6 months as well though. Oracal has a 7510 that has a rating of 2 years, no experience with it though, here people usually want cheap. I believe I've seen a note that orange fluorescents may lose brightness quicker as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe the oranges are worse. At the race track people's fluorescent numbers still look good in the fall so I just assumed there were better options. But I do notice a lot of these guys have car covers for when they are at the track.

Maybe I should just make a disclaimer for customers and say fluor vinyl fades in sunlight, so a car cover is recommended for outdoor storage... or move to Seattle! :D
 

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I think for a lot of the racecar numbers these have an overlaminate on them to protect them. The overlaminates do a great job of taking the UV hit to protect the vinyl from fade.

Fluorescents appx. cost 24x10 yd:

Griff - $52
Universal Products - $69
Oracal 6510 - $83
ProCut Cast - $110
Avery SF 100 - $147
Avery Cast - $155
Oracal 7510 - $156
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for posting all those details. Based on the reviews and specs I was able to find, the 6510 Oracal can last up to a year or so. I think that may be the right price/durability ratio for a stock car. Bodies get replaced every year anyway.

I have not gotten into wraps and printers yet. All I've ever done was cut vinyl and for t-shirts we design and order the prints and press in house.

Maybe you can answer a stupid question, do these printer/cutter machines also print or spray the laminate or is that a separate device for that as well? I ask because it looks to me like most of the wraps are printed and then anything fluorescent gets overlaid, since obviously printers have fluorescent ink... or do they?? Shows how little I know about modern printing! I would love to be able to do large prints but the equipment is a pretty serious investment for my tiny scale operation.
 

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What Brian commented on is correct for overlaminates. Be advised that when you use overlaminates, it is essentially another layer of vinyl. Your cut pressures will need to be upped quite a bit, and you may have a little harder time weeding. You should also be careful of your pairing of laminate with vinyl. Since what we're kind of discussing is out of the normal realm of lamination (which is usually a printed vinyl with appropriate laminate), you may want to ask a vendor before you purchase. General rule of thumb is you can use Cast laminate on either Cast or Calendered vinyl, but you shouldn't use Calendered laminate on a Cast vinyl. Calendered laminate/vinyl is a lower end vinyl, it doesn't hold up to the heat/cold/uv as well, and using it as a laminate on cast could pull your cast job off.

There are clearcoats that you can apply as well (the aerosols Brian mentioned), I tried that a few times and didn't really care for the results. Once you get film lamination down it becomes fairly easy.
 

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Unfortunately this is true. Not sure what else to do. Fluorescents are bit more expensive and the numbers on a racecar can be somewhat large. Racecar numbers typically use fluorescent colors so they stand out. Using clear regular sign vinyl as an overlaminate would reduce the cost a bit and provide middle-ground protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most of my racers are dirt trackers, and anyone who's been to a dirt track can tell you it's near impossible to see the car numbers on the other side of the track once a the cloud of dust is floating around. Ironic, when I raced dirt I had dark navy blue numbers heh. The clear cover is a good idea but only if they are willing to pay for that. I can't cut prices anymore than I already do or I'd be sponsoring everyone.
 
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