Plasticizers are used to make PVC flexible, which is mo […]
Plasticizers are used to make PVC flexible, which is most commonly known as vinyl. The tricky part about plasticizers is that many times hot stamping foil can be applied without any problem. However, the plasticizers will begin to migrate up into the foil stamped area after the product is stamped and begin to deteriorate the color/lacquer coat. This can sometimes become evident in a matter of days or up to a year. Eventually, the plasticizers will compromise the metalization layer and completely erode the stamped image.
The best way to deal with plasticizer migration is to utilize a foil product specifically formulated for vinyl. However, even specially designed foil products may not be 100% effective due to the aggressive nature of plasticizers. A simple test is to stack a dozen or so stamped items and rubber band them together. Place the stack on the dashboard of a car and expose the stack to the heat of the sun for a week or so. Stacking them allows the foil stamped area to be exposed to the plasticizers from both the top and bottom. If it holds up under these types of conditions, you can feel fairly certain you are using the proper foil product.
There are an enormous amount of challenges that hot stamping foils can create. Many start from the manufacturing process (which is extremely difficult - just ask a foil manufacturer,) and many from on-press situations with the substrate or makeready. The best solution to most challenges is to make sure that you have explained your application to your foil supplier in detail before just simply throwing on whatever foil is available. Utilizing the correct foil product for specific applications is the best place to start, and can save an enormous amount of time and money.