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Applying Vinyl Masks Onto Genio’s Panels

by | Jun 5, 2012 | 0 comments

I finally had a chance to visit our new vinyl cutters today.  They where kind enough to let me photograph to process and I was only too happy to accept.

Vinyl on a Roaster?

We use vinyl stickers to mask off designs and branding on our stainless steel components.  The problem with roasters are that they get hot!   Vinyl only will melt and powder coating will eventually fade and create blemishes.  The only way to bring a little colour into the otherwise bland stainless steel was to use masked bead blasted designs.

Bead Blasting Stainless Steel Panels

To perfect the blasting process, we first had to find the right material to blast the stainless steel with.  Normal sand is much too course and would have destroyed any vinyl masking.  Our choices where ceramic, aluminium or glass beads.  Blasting stainless steel with any ferrous metal particles would destroy the oxidized chrome layer that is naturally created, giving stainless steel its rust resistant super powers.  In other words, using normal steel to blast stainless steel will cause it to rust!  After numerous attempts and a few wasted panels, we finally settled on a very fine grade of glass beads that our sandblasters could use to dull out the stainless steel panels just enough.

Applying the Vinyl Masks

But before blasting we need to apply the vinyl artwork. The printers start with a blank sheet of vinyl where after a CNC machine cuts the shapes into the material. Then comes the delicate part of gently removing the negatives from the artwork sheet by hand. The workers use craft knives to lift the small corners and gently peel away the negatives, leaving the artwork exposed on the surface of the vinyl sheet. They then apply a transfer to the surface and lift all of the artwork off the sheet before reapplying them onto our stainless steel panels. A gentle rub with thinners removes the excess glue and the panels are ready for blasting.

The Results

Here is the before and after. Bead blasting really brings out the details in our roasters and I think the result is well worth the effort. Our latest offering also includes an option where we assign a graphic designer to you and they create a custom image for the entire machine, matched to your company’s logo, colour scheme and decor.

 

By: Neil Maree

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