Removing Application Tape from Fleet and Vehicle Wrap Films

To ensure the long-term success of a fleet, or large-format graphic, it is important to finish the vinyl installation properly.

Due to the repositionable nature of Arlon’s fleet and vehicle wrap films, the bond between substrate and film’s adhesive builds slower than our standard “sign-vinyl” such as Series 2100. While repositionability is a great advantage during installation it is important that proper technique is used during the final finishing steps to maintain the bond created during earlier installation. Also Reference Tip #2: Application Rule of Thumb for All Graphic Film Installations and Tip #11: Selection and Use of Application Paper.

Some key points to remember when removing the application tape:

  • The installer must be careful not to strip application paper before strong squeegee pressure has been applied. 
  • If installing in a cold environment, use a heat gun or propane torch to soften the adhesive while using a squeegee. This ensures a faster and more complete contact – doubling the adhesion build versus applying only cold pressure.
  • Let as much time as possible elapse before removing application tape - up to three or four hours. 
  • Remove application tape from the center of the graphics, working toward outer edges to avoid lifting.
  • Pull the application tape parallel to the surface of the graphic (180°).
  • Remove tape in a smooth, slow manner rather than quickly or forcefully.
  • Touch-up edges and corrugation angles with squeegee or rivet brush after removing application tape. This will ensure that any inadvertently lifted segments of the graphic during the application removal are retouched to form a strong bond.