Avery Dennison has announced that two cars competing in the 2011 VEOLIA World Solar Car Challenge are wrapped with Avery Dennison media products. 21Connect, the solar car from the University of Twente and Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, and Quantum, the University of Michigan solar team car, are powered by the sun and protected by Avery Dennison for the 1,800 mile/3,000 km, week-long race through the Australian Outback, from Darwin to Adelaide, October 16 - 23.
"The opportunity to support the engineering, innovation and dedication of student-led solar car challenge teams at two universities on two continents was irresistible," said Helen Mets-Morris, vice president and managing director, Avery Dennison Graphics and Reflective Solutions. "Avery Dennison is very focused on bringing new, innovative ideas and research to our products on a global scale. The enthusiasm of the students at the University of Michigan and University of Twente makes for great partnerships as they pursue the world title."
The finishes on both teams' solar cars will be lighter than those painted on competitors' cars. Paint involves many layers and hours of preparation, and is the traditional method used to decorate the bottom half of the car. Bringing Avery Dennison's pressure-sensitive wrap technology to the World Solar Challenge is a new improvement that will give both teams an advantage.
The University of Michigan's Quantum solar car is wrapped with Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS, a digitally printable pressure-sensitive vinyl that is repositionable and slideable, making application easy, in addition it features air egress technology, allowing air bubbles to escape. TKO Graphix, a graphics services provider that has worked with the University of Michigan Solar Car team for several years, wrapped Quantum in the Avery Supercast material.
"Quantum has been streamlined and is 200 pounds lighter than our previous car," said Santosh Kumar, strategy director for University of Michigan solar car. "The wrap is part of our whole system of improving the car. We estimate that we shaved fifteen pounds off with the wrap. The vinyl conforms very well to the compound curves of Quantum's body – and looks just like paint."
Solar Team Twente's partner, NykampNyboer, suggested wrapping 21Connect instead of using paint. The car has been wrapped by installers of Vinytouch, a Dutch specialist. "We are focused on partnering with innovative companies, like Avery Dennison, to find new solutions to improve our car," said Jens Hegeman, external relations manager and driver for Solar Team Twente. "Together we can optimize the performance of the car through sustainable technology. The benefits of wrapping the car with Avery vinyl are significant for its speed."
21Connect is wrapped with Avery Dennison's newest product, Avery Supreme Wrapping Film, an opaque film that can be used to change the color of a car instead of paint. The product line is available in 33 colors with a variety of finishes and textures. It is also super-conformable. A perfect match for 21Connect with its compound curves.
"Avery Dennison products are a canvas and we partner with our distributors, converters, sign shops and teams like the University of Michigan and Solar Team Twente to transform them," added Mets-Morris. "It's exciting to partner with these college students that are pushing technology to the edge with the passion to win the race."
Wrapping vehicles with opaque or digitally printed vinyl has evolved dramatically in the last ten years with advancements in color and printing capabilities of the face films and technology advancements in the adhesives, such as Avery Dennison's Easy Apply™ Technology, that allow air bubbles to escape during application. Avery Dennison has a long history of pioneering firsts that goes back to Stan Avery's development of the world's first self-adhesive label technology.