Often times, when installers apply with PPF film and cut off the corner, they would basically take the material to the top and face the surface, then cut it away around the corners. But how to get do it in a different style, which we will be able to have full coverage corners (like color change) that create a higher quality finish?
The technique we want to describe is almost like a 40% pre-stretch. We are going to take an applicator and get it about a centimeter and a half away from the corner. Just make sure our material slides and glides behind it. It is critical that we have this setup and have the material held back as well as hooked right to the corner.
And again, it is half inch (about a centimeter and a half) away. This is where we are going to pick the material up high and hook the corner. By doing this, we are actually stretching the PPF film here, which in this case it is probably around 5-10% stretch. And we are stretching not just from the corner where we started, but stretching from farther back, which it is about 15-20 inches.
By hooking the corner, we are setting up with the tack solution first instead of glide solution, which help the material stay stable and clean. Then use our squeegee to get all the moisture up from underneath. We can spray on the top surface with the hooked corner and even out the moisture underneath, squeegee it down straight forward.
This is actually a 3D pre-stretch technique. With color change or even full print film, we generally use this at the end, then come back with heat to shrink the material back. However, PPF film does not work with heat, so we are not doing it, but just hook and lock.
We have the material locked right there where the tack solution is underneath for about 12-15 inches (around 30 centimeters) away from the corner. This means when we stretch that half inch (one centimeter) to the corner, the film is only going to stretch 6-7%. Just always make sure everything you wrap stretch under 10%, no matter it is full print, color change or PPF film.
So we have the applicator and we have set up half inch away from the corner. Pull and stretch the material, then hook it to the corner. And we can see nice and fluent movement there. Once the corner is hooked and the tack solution is placed as well as holding, use our squeegee to flat area in the middle afterwards.
This is actually very similar to how we work with color change film or cold pre-stretch technique – only this one is 3D. As we always mentioned, work with the corner first, and do the flat area last, because if we go with the flat area first, tension would go to the corner. And troubles are going to build up there at the same time.
When cutting, use the Belgium corner technique where we cut at a 45-degree angle, just like what we do with color change where we neutralize the corner by 2 inches (or 3-4 centimeters). So we are cutting flush to the base of the corner – 45 degrees away from the corner. This angle of cutting is critical for us to avoid any kind of wrinkles that build upright to the upper corner of the hood.
Trim back the excess film precisely afterwards so that we have around half inch (or one centimeter) to wrap around at the front. Hold the material away and cut it clean – this is where we can use our free hand to pull the film with even tension to help, then wrap it around. Remember to cut just a bit more at the top. As soon as we get the top edge uniform, take the application glove and simply just wrap the material around.
Once everything is set, we can either let the air dry or come back with tack solution, and form it around the corner straight forward. By using this technique, we are able to have full coverage corner, which help us bring the quality to next level as well as give extra protection to the vehicle.