Overcoming the Challenge of Low Surface Energy Materials



When printing for LSE (low surface energy) materials, it’s important to keep in mind that these tend to come with their own special requirements. LSEs include a variety of materials and are common on motorsports vehicles like ATVs, motocross bikes, and snowmobiles, as well as pretty much any other type of plastic surface. The one factor that unites all of these materials is their low surface energy, which makes them more challenging to bond.

For graphics and signage printers, LSE applications require specialized products to get the job done right. Installations require adhesives designed for these particular materials to ensure a complete, reliable, and durable product.

Consider these three options from Thomco:

  • 3M IJ180C-10LSE is a permanent adhesive with slideability, specifically designed for adhering to LSEs. The Comply™ Adhesive features micro technology that provides excellent air release and a smooth appearance.
  • 3M IJ39 is a vinyl film ideal for solvent, eco-solvent, UV and latex inkjet printing and screen printing. The permanent, pressure-sensitive, high-tack adhesive works well whether your project is meant for the short or long-term, indoors or outdoors, and on any number of LSEs and powder-coated paints.
  • Nekoosa SPM400FWP/HT5450 is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, with various grades to choose between long-term installations and shorter-term removable pieces that can cleanly remove within a year. Choose from a matte white, gloss white, or clear finish, with these permanent, removable, or high-bond permanent pressure sensitive vinyl adhesives. They’re compatible with print and cutout machines and work with a number of printers, including latex, UV inkjet, eco-solvent and true solvent, conventional and UV offset, UV screen, and HP Indigo.


Talk to a Thomco representative today to find out what’s best for your next project!

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