By Melissa Donovan
Anti-graffiti coatings address challenges that appear in high-traffic areas like retail signage or event graphics. Anytime a sign or some type of digitally printed graphic is placed at human height means it is in the precarious position of being damaged whether from paint, marker, or some other type of writing instrument.
According to Syd Northup, VP of sales, digital U.S., Marabu North America, the biggest advantage of an anti-graffiti coating is the “ability to clean any type of aerosol or latex paint that has been tagged by graffiti to an outdoor sign, banner, or wallcovering.”
He lists outdoor signage, banners, billboards, and wallcoverings as benefitting the most from anti-graffiti coatings. With the added protection of the coating, if a graphic is tagged it can then be cleaned without affecting the printed substrate.
While many print service providers may turn to an overlaminate to protect graphics from graffiti—and various products are specifically designed for this purpose—a liquid coating is an excellent alternative, especially if you don’t own a laminator. Liquid coatings can be applied using a brush, roller, or sprayer.
Anti-Graffiti Laminate Selection
We include various anti-graffiti coating options here for reference.
1 Shot, part of Matthews Paint, offers a graffiti-resistant clear coat that can be applied over digital and thermal graphics via spray, roll, or brush. The product is an acrylic urethane supplied as a two-component system in either gloss or matte finish.
EFI Armor Erase UV clear roll coating provides adhesion to styrene, acrylic, polyester, coated metal, coated cardboard stock, and other rigid materials. It offers an exterior life of one year, and in commercial display environments, it allows for easy cleaning of graffiti sources, such as aerosol or enamel spray paint. Coated surfaces can be cleaned with acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or high-pressure water to remove spray paint or permanent marker. The coating is also ideal for dry erase applications on rigid printed graphics and will not leave ghosted images on the surface. Suitable applications include transit shelters, train stations, and airport terminals. EFI states that coverage ranges from 3,500 and 4,500 square feet per gallon.
Marabu offers ClearShield Professional Anti-Graffiti. The water-based, two-part system is designed to withstand rigorous cleaning agents such as isopropyl alcohol, paint thinner, and methyl ethyl ketone. The company recommends that ClearShield be sprayed or rolled to a substrate for best results. When this is done, Northup says it yields about 400 square feet per gallon. The coating supports solvent, eco-solvent, UV, and latex ink. It offers UV protection, chemical resistance, and mar resistance.
According to a report published by Reports and Data, the anti-graffiti coatings market is expected to reach USD 102.8 million by 2028. Defining graffiti as an “impairment to property brought about by drawing, spraying, applying paint composing, or another stamping something to an individual’s assets without their consent,” the analyst firm predicts that in response, various players in the industry are developing products to address the growth. Over the forecast period of the report, which is from 2021 to 2028, a compound annual growth rate of 3.3 percent is foreseen. As the cost to remove graffiti can be exceedingly high, options like anti-graffiti coatings are ideal for digitally printed graphics.
Jun2022, Digital Output