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Differences between 651, 751, 951 Vinyl

Differences between 651, 751, 951 Vinyl

One of the questions I see a lot is "What type of vinyl can I put on a boat?" and often people refer to "marine grade vinyl" such as Oracal, (pronouced "or-uh-cal" not Oracle) 751 or 951. Oracal doesn't really make a "marine grade" vinyl, although that is what people commonly call higher models because it's rated for a longer durability than lower models like 651. Part of the confusion is caused by ORAFOL's website that lists 751C and 951 for use with Marine applications.  This is a recommendation by ORAFOL and what they say the products are commonly used for, not that the vinyl is "Marine Grade" vinyl.  On the same page they also have vinyl they recommend for wall graphics, it doesn't mean the vinyl is "wall graphics grade" vinyl, it's their suggested usage for the product.  You'll also notice that 651, 751C, and 951 are recommended for "General Signage", but 631 is not listed.  Can 631 be used for general signage?  Sure it can, it may not last as long but can certainly be used.  Just as 631 not being listed doesn't restrict it from being used for such application, 651 not being listed under "Marine Graphics" doesn't restrict it from being used on a boat--651, 751C, and 951 all have the exact same adhesive.

751C is a premium cast vinyl. It is slightly thinner than 651 (60 micron vs 70 micron) Cast vinyl is a higher quality vinyl than Calendared vinyl (like 651 or 631) because of the manufacturing process. To put it in simple terms, cast vinyl is sort of turned into a liquid and poured out so it's "cast" into sheets. Calendared vinyl is more or less put through rollers and squished out into sheets at a lower temperature and is less forgiving about contouring. Cast vinyl is more pliable and can be used over contoured shapes like creases or rivets without stretching back into it's original shape. 751C in particular also has a longer time rating than 651. Cast vinyl is preferred for things like car wraps.

There's a lot more to it but that's it in a nutshell. In short, 651 will work fine on a boat. If you have to put vinyl over contoured shapes or cover/wrap large areas, cast vinyl like 751C or 951 would be a better choice and it will generally last longer than 651, but 651 isn't going to fall off when it gets wet or anything.  Likewise, Styletech, Siser EasyPSV, and StarCraft Magic are also permanent adhesive films that can be used on a boat, as well.  

Here's a list where you can compare specs.