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High-Performance Inkjet Vehicle Graphics Endure Desert Sands

During 5200-mile rally from France to Egypt




Thermal-transfer printing is typically the output method of choice
for the sponsor graphics found on motorcycles and other racing vehicles
because thermal-transfer graphics produced with resin ribbons are
inherently resistant to abrasion and other outdoor hazards. However, the
graphics on this motorcycle driven by a member of the Brazilian team in
the Paris-Dakar Rally, were part of a larger collection of graphics that
was quickly output on 6 1/2- and 10-ft wide Vutek solvent-system inkjet

For the rally team's four cars, three motorbikes, and
accompanying support truck, Artfix of Sao Paolo, Brazil output more than
1830 sq ft of graphics in approximately two hours. To accomplish this
feat, Artfix used their four-color Vutek UltraVu 2360 FC and UltraVu
3360 FC printers.

Artfix, a screen-printing company equipped with digital capabilities,
considers vehicle graphics to be one of its core strengths. For this
job, the company developed special vinyls to produce high-performance
graphics in combination with Vutek's inks.

High-endurance graphics were critical for this event, during which
rally teams traveled more than 5200 miles and journeyed through five
countries between the starting point in Marseille, France and the finish
line in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. An Artfix executive notes that “Each
component of the job had to work well together to withstand the intense
heat and abrasive sand of the North African deserts.” Each graphic
also had to be precisely cut and positioned so it wouldn't detach
when exposed to sandstorms and temperatures exceeding 100″?F. (Artfix:




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