Banner Material: The Pros & Cons of PVC

When it comes to printing a great banner, the substrate is everything. All that the customer sees is a flawless image, but printers know that what’s underneath counts more! Today, we explore the pros and cons of the industry favourite: PVC.

PVC is, hands down, the most durable substrate available. It is made by applying a PVC coating to a dense fabric scrim. This combination of a tough core and impervious coating enables a range of unbeatable features. Let’s take a look.

Pro: Weather-Proof

PVC is a plastic, so has all of the qualities that enable it to withstand nature, whether that be wind, rain, snow, ice or sun. It can withstand temperatures that plunge to -20 and has no upper limit. The substrate also has excellent fade resistance, wear resistance, tear resistance, and high tensile strength. This makes it the go-to choice for outdoor advertising, but also a wallet-friendly option for busy indoor spaces.

Pro: Good Print Quality

PVC is a highly reliable printing substrate, and is known for its vivid image quality. The amount of PVC coating and type of scrim will make a difference to the smoothness of the print surface. At Ultraflex, we offer front-lit PVC substrates that include:

We offer back-lit PVC substrates that include:

Pro: Print Compatibility

PVC is an excellent companion substrate for most printing techniques and inks. These include:

  • Solvent
  • Screen printing
  • UV
  • Latex printing

Front-lit PVC material is also suitable for use with eco-solvent inks.

Pro: Fire Safety

Whether indoors or outdoors, fire safety is a significant concern. Many Ultraflex Europe substrates have high specification fire ratings including B1, M1, and EN13501.

Pro: Cost & Availability

As PVC substrate is the industry standard, it is widely used and widely available. Its popularity keeps costs manageable, and delivery is normally available within 24 hours.

When selecting your supplier, ensure that they have a good range of PVC options. The scrim and GSM will make a difference to:

  • Image quality
  • The strength and life span of your finished product

Con: Ecological Footprint

The negative environmental perception of PVC has long been a problem. However, we are bringing to market products that create the PVC effect without the PVC. At Ultraflex Europe, we now offer a revolutionary PVC free material called Ultima Ecoflex. This completely PVC free materials has all the familiar characteristics of PVC:

  • High tear and tensile strength
  • Outdoor durable
  • B1 fire resistant
  • High fade resistance
  • Available 3.2 and 5.0m wide
  • Weldable

Find Out More

For detailed information about PVC and other banner substrates, please download our free PDF guide The PVC Banner Material Buyer’s Guide.