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Determining When Economy Film is the Best Solution

Sometimes economy film is the best solution for your customer. Here are some tips to help you decide. Be sure to look at the product literature for the particular film you are considering so you know its performance characteristics.

The application surface. Economy film is typically used for permanent application – that is, the film is often difficult to remove so it is mainly applied to a disposable surface, such as foam board. Other suitable surfaces are metal, rigid plastics and painted substrates. Economy film is not recommended for surfaces that must remain intact. It should not be applied to a corrugated surface, or a surface with rivets or contours. While it may stretch during application to conform to these surfaces, it shrinks after application, which results in tenting or lifting after about a day.

Duration of the graphic. Economy film is well suited for short- and medium-term promotional graphics – in other words, typically three months or less.

Physical environment. Harsh environments are an enemy to economy film, whether indoors or outdoors. This includes extreme temperature variations, ice and snow, direct sunlight and humidity. These elements affect the performance of economy film faster than they do with other films, decreasing its durability and performance life.

Price point. When cost is the most important factor, and durability and performance characteristics aren’t quite as important, economy films should do the job for short- to medium-term promotional graphics. This might include graphics for a school’s homecoming weekend, or a marathon or other charity event.

These films are packaged in white boxes with a black 3M logo to differentiate them from other 3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Films. They come in 50-meter rolls, offering users an extra 63 square feet, as compared to typical 50-yard rolls.

Economy Solutions from 3M
3M recently entered the economy film market with these products:

  • 3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Film Series IJ10 and IJ11 provide users with a 3M solution on a budget-friendly scale. These films are made of 3.1-mil vinyl with a clear or gray-colored permanent, pressure-sensitive adhesive. They are available in gloss or matte finishes and have a heavier liner than most comparable products to resist material buckling while printing.
  • For added versatility, Scotchcal graphic film series IJ10 includes a product that can be used as both a digitally printable clear film and as an overlaminate.


Dynamic enough for inkjet printing with UV, solvent and latex inks, 3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Film Series IJ10 and IJ11 provide users with low-cost solutions for short- to medium-term promotional needs.