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Our good friends over at ECHOtape just did a really nice write up on how to choose the right protective film and the 10 questions you should ask. You can visit ECHOtape at METALCON 2015 in booth 437. Check out the piece from their blog 
Choosing the Right Protective Film: 10 Questions You Should Ask 
by Oct 30, 2014 – Not all protective films are created equal. When selecting ones for any project, it is critical you are able to determine how a specific product will perform in its intended application. Here are the questions you need to ask (and answer!) in order to choose the right product:
1.Will the film be applied to a rough or a smooth surface? Rougher surfaces have more surface area and require a thicker adhesive.
2.Is the surface area clean and dry? Dirty application conditions will likely yield unacceptable results. Embedded materials and unnecessary debris adversely affect a protective film’s performance.
3.Will the surface be painted or have a coating? Chemical reactions can exist between adhesives and coatings, especially the longer they are in contact with each other.
4.What type of surface needs to be protected?Be it wood, stone, metal, glass, plastic, or ceramic; these surfaces require completely different adhesives to perform successfully.
5.Will the film be exposed to elevated temperatures? Most rubber-based adhesives cannot handle temperatures above 150°F. Acrylic adhesives are effective at temperatures up to 350°F, and silicone adhesives up to 500°F.
6.Will the film be used outdoors? If so, for how long? The sun’s UV rays destroy adhesives over time. Protective film will not only yellow, but will become stiff and brittle, and therefore rendered ineffective. The length of time the film will be exposed to the elements will determine how much UV protection it needs.
7.What is the scope of the project? Do you need to protect windows with a PVC film or do you need to provide a moisture and vapor barrier on a slab where a LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) film is the answer?
8.Will the film be used in a safety or security application? On any project, it’s safety first. Is the purpose of the film to protect workers from shattering glass or to deter intruders?
9.How long will the film need to adhere to the surface? If this is a long-term job, some additional component(s) may need to be added to ensure the bond of the surface to the film for the length of time you need it to hold fast.
10. Will storage and transportation affect the film? Your crew may withstand extreme climates better than your materials! Consider their transport to the job site as well as the material’s subsequent storage so it doesn’t compromise effectiveness. Keep films and tapes in a cool, dry place.
Doing your legwork up front helps you choose the right protective film from the get go. Contact your ECHOtape professional to work with you on a trial run to ensure you are selecting the right protective film for the job.
 
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