Discover the complete Vehicle Wrapping Glossary with definitions of key terms and phrases used in the industry. Learn about different types of wraps, installation methods, and materials used to give your vehicle a new look. From full wraps to decals, carbon fiber wraps to clear bra, get the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.
Table of Contents
A feature of some vinyl wraps that allows for the removal of trapped air bubbles for a smooth and wrinkle-free installation.
A chemical that is used to help in the application process during installation, to help reposition the vinyl or to lay it properly.
A chemical that is used to apply the vinyl during the dry application method of installation.
A tool that is used to apply the vinyl wrap to the vehicle surface.
A method of printing where the design is printed on the back of the vinyl before being applied to the vehicle.
A method where a roller is used to apply the laminate film onto the printed design, this method helps to prevent bubbles from forming under the laminate.
A type of vinyl wrap that is less expensive and less durable than cast vinyl.
Carbon Fiber Wrap:
A type of vinyl wrap that mimics the look of carbon fiber.
A type of vinyl wrap that is more durable and higher quality than calendared vinyl.
A type of vinyl wrap that changes color depending on the angle of view and the lighting conditions.
The grooves, lines, or indents in the vehicle’s surface that are designed to direct water or air flow. Some vinyl wrap installation techniques take this into account, and installers may use special techniques to conform the vinyl into these channels.
A clear, durable film applied to the front of a vehicle to protect it from scratches, chips, and other types of damage.
Color Change Wraps:
A type of vinyl wrap that is used to change the color of a vehicle’s paint job.
The ability of the vinyl wrap to conform and stretch around curves and contours of the vehicle surface.
The process of cutting the vinyl wrap to a specific shape or design, using a specialized software and a cutting machine.
A type of wrap that is created based on the client’s individual specifications and design choices.
A type of vinyl graphic that can be applied to the vehicle surface. Decals are individual cut out images or letters, as opposed to a full wrap.
The design and layout of the graphics on a vehicle wrap.
The process of creating a digital mock-up of a vehicle wrap design to show the client what the final product will look like before installation.
Dry application method:
Method of installing the vinyl by using a dry application solution like a slide and tuck, this allows installer to reposition and adjust the vinyl before it set.
A printing method that uses heat to transfer dye onto the vinyl.
A type of ink that is used in printing that is less harmful to the environment than traditional solvent-based inks.
The process of sealing the edges of the vinyl wrap to prevent lifting or peeling.
Specifies how thick the film is, thicker films are more durable and last longer than thinner films. It is measured in mils, where one mil is equal to 0.001 inches.
The overall appearance of the wrap after installation, including the smoothness, alignment, and overall aesthetic.
Final step of wrapping process where the vinyl is trimmed and heated with a squeegee to conform to the shape of the vehicle and make a clean, seamless finish.
A type of wrap that is applied to multiple vehicles in a fleet. This type of wrapping is typically done for company or brand promotion and advertisement.
A type of vinyl wrap that glows in the dark, or under UV light.
A vehicle wrap that covers the entire exterior of a vehicle, including the roof, hood, trunk, and all the doors.
Gloss lamination :
A type of lamination that adds a glossy finish to the printed design, making it more reflective and shiny.
A vinyl wrap that has a glossy finish, making it shiny and highly reflective.
A tool that generates hot air and is used to heat up the vinyl during installation. The heat gun allows the vinyl to become more pliable and allows the installer to mold it around curves and edges for a smooth finish.
A tool that is used to cut and trim the vinyl during installation.
The process of applying a clear, protective layer over the printed design to protect it from fading, scratches, and other types of damage.
Lamination adhesive :
The type of adhesive used to apply the laminate film onto the printed design. It can be water-based, solvent-based, or pressure-sensitive.
Lamination film :
The clear film used during lamination process, it can be glossy, matte or textured.
The thickness of the laminate film, measured in mils, this thickness can affect the overall durability and longevity of the laminate.
An additional clear film applied to the vinyl wrap to protect it from fading and scratches.
A type of ink that is used in printing and is water-based with a latex binder. These inks have similar properties to solvent-based inks, but are less toxic and emit fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The design and placement of graphics on the vehicle, including the size, position, and orientation of images and text.
A low-adhesive tape that is used to temporarily hold the vinyl in place before it is heated and smoothed out with a squeegee.
Matte lamination :
A type of lamination that adds a matte finish to the printed design, making it less reflective and more subtle.
A type of vinyl wrap that has a matte finish, as opposed to a glossy finish.
An additional layer of clear laminate applied over the printed graphics of a wrap to add extra protection and durability.
An additional layer of vinyl wrap that is applied over an existing wrap to freshen up the design or cover up any damage.
Paint protection film (PPF):
A clear polyurethane film that is applied to the painted surfaces of a vehicle to protect against scratches, chips, and other types of damage.
A part of the vehicle, usually the door, hood, or fender, that can be removed and wrapped separately before being reassembled onto the vehicle.
A vehicle wrap that covers only specific areas of a vehicle, such as the hood, roof, or sides.
A type of vinyl wrap that is printed with small holes to allow for visibility through the wrap, commonly used for window graphics.
Inks that are used in printing that contain a suspended pigments, these inks tend to be more durable and UV resistant.
The process of applying a transfer tape over the vinyl before it is applied to the vehicle, which makes it easier to position the vinyl correctly.
The ability of the print to be compatible with the vinyl wrap material, and the ability of the printer to apply the ink onto the vinyl wrap effectively.
Print durability :
The lifespan of the print and its ability to withstand exposure to the elements and other environmental factors, such as sunlight and moisture.
The surface on which the digital design is printed onto before being applied as a wrap.
Print quality :
The level of detail, color accuracy, and sharpness of the print.
The number of dots per inch (dpi) that a printer can produce, the higher the resolution the better the print quality will be.
A vinyl wrap with a custom printed design on it.
A wrap that has a detailed image or custom design that is printed onto the vinyl wrap prior to installation.
A type of vinyl wrap that has a reflective surface, which makes it highly visible in low-light conditions.
The ability of the vinyl wrap to be removed from the vehicle without causing damage to the paint or leaving adhesive residue.
A type of vinyl wrap that can be easily repositioned during installation and can be removed without leaving any residue.
Scratch resistance :
The ability of the lamination to resist scratches and other forms of damage.
A mixture of water and a mild detergent used during the wet application method of installation.
Inks that are used in printing and are dissolved in a solvent that helps to spread the ink evenly onto the vinyl wrap.
A tool that is used to smooth out bubbles and wrinkles in the vinyl during installation.
The ability of the vinyl wrap to stretch and shrink to conform to the shape of the vehicle, it is important because if the material isn’t stretchable, it might crack or tear in complex curves or shapes of a vehicle.
The ability of the vinyl wrap to stretch and shrink to conform to the shape of the vehicle.
Laminates that have a unique textured surface, such as a leather, wood or carbon fiber finish, that adds a unique and interesting look to the printed design.
A vinyl wrap that has a unique textured surface that mimics the appearance of materials like brushed metal, leather, or wood.
A printing method that uses heat to transfer ink onto the vinyl.
A type of vinyl wrap that is applied to the windows of a vehicle to reduce sunlight and glare while driving.
A printing method that uses ultraviolet light to cure the ink onto the vinyl.
A feature of some vinyl wraps and laminates that protects the wrap from fading due to exposure to ultraviolet light.
The ability of the lamination to resist fading or discoloration when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Vehicle Surface Preparation:
The process of cleaning and preparing the vehicle’s surface before applying the vinyl wrap, to ensure proper adhesion and a smooth finish.
A high-quality adhesive film made of vinyl that can be applied to the exterior of a vehicle to change its appearance.
A guarantee or assurance of the quality of the wrap and service done, generally offered by the installer or the supplier of the vinyl wrap material.
Inks that are used in printing and are dissolved in water to produce a more environmentally friendly and safer printing option.
The process of removing unwanted portions of the vinyl after contour cutting, leaving behind only the desired design.
Wet application method:
Method of installing the vinyl by using a water and solution mixture, this allows the vinyl to be more pliable and forgiving during the installation