Flexible Engineering Grade
Since Nikkalite® 48000 Series retro-reflective sheeting often is applied to vehicles outdoors, special care must be taken to clean the application surface immediately prior to application of the sheeting. Use neutral detergent solution or mild solvents to remove oil, stain and other similar types of petroleum-based contaminants. This ELG sheeting can be applied successfully to the substrate, if the ambient temperature is between 15°C to 25°C (59ºF to 77ºF).
A. APPLICATION TO FLAT SURFACES
Nikkalite® 48000 Series retro-reflective sheeting can be applied using a hand roller in the case of small signs, cutout letters, and legends, and can be applied on substrates through the use of a hand or motor-driven roller applicator. If air bubbles form under the sheeting, puncture the sheeting with a pin and squeeze out the air through the perforations.
B. APPLICATION TO IRREGULAR SURFACES
The application of 48000 Series sheeting to bodies of vehicles often requires application to a combination of flat, corrugated and riveted surfaces. In such cases the following steps are recommended:
- When applying ELG sheeting on the irregular surface, first, apply application tape on the ELG sheeting entirely.
- Position the entire sheet of ELG over the application surface without removing the protective liner and holding it in place with pre-masking tapes.
- After satisfactory positioning, hold the sheeting in place with pre-masking along the edge of the sheeting only. Then peel off the protective liner little by little, pressing the sheeting against the vehicle body with a hand squeegee or a stiff-haired brush as the adhesive becomes exposed.
- After the entire sheet has been applied, remove the pre-mask and application tape along the sheeting surface at a 180° angle and squeegee the sheeting again. Squeegee out the air trapped under the sheeting through pin-hole perforations, especially around the heads of the rivets. A stiff-haired brush placed over the rivet heads and stroked with circular motions will facilitate this task. As necessary, a heat-gun should be used to warm the sheeting in such areas to give the sheeting greater flexibility, stretching, and adhesion.
During its lifetime the ELG marking may require cleaning at some stage. The ELG marking will probably have sand/grit stuck on the surface, therefore it is recommended that a low-pressure flow of water is used to help remove this loose dirt and sand/grit from the ELG marking first. Never use a strong jet of water. Rubbing the sand/grit into the ELG marking during the cleaning procedure may cause irreparable damage to the sheeting. Therefore, care must be taken during the cleaning process. A small solution of a mild detergent in clean warm water is recommended for cleaning the material surface. The detergent and cloth must be non-abrasive, free of any strong aromatic solvents or alcohol’s and is chemically neutral. Rinse the whole area thoroughly after washing and allow drying naturally or using a lint free cloth.