From an ocean away, Orafol Americas Inc. cheered on the USA Luge team following its participation in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia because of how the team’s sleds were ‘dressed.’ Orafol Americas teamed with long-time partner Panther Graphics to wrap the runners of the sleds for the team.
USA Luge wanted to update the look of its sleds and needed a system that would hold up under racing conditions. USA Luge was familiar with Panther Graphics’ work on the USA Bobsled team’s bobsled for the 2010 Vancouver games. Panther Graphics, an elite vehicle wrap, graphic design, sign and promotional branding sister company to Panther Racing, is no stranger to wrapping fast-moving vehicles – in this case, luge sleds that would slide around an icy track at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour. The wraps were designed by USA Luge, then printed on an HP L26500 printer and installed at the Panther Racing shop in Indianapolis, IN.
Panther Graphics used ORAJET Series 3751RA Wrapping Cast with RapidAir technology to wrap the runners. ORAJET 3751RA media is an ideal choice for challenging vehicle wraps. This 2.25-mil, cast PVC vinyl film includes RapidAir technology that features a low initial tack, repositionable adhesive, cast construction, and an advanced air release system for highly conformable performance over difficult curves, corrugations and rivets. The wraps were further protected by ORAGUARD 290G laminating film.
“We use Orafol materials because they are designed to hold up under extreme conditions,” said Aaron Shick, Business Development Director, Panther Racing. “In our shop, we use Orafol graphic products for cars that can exceed 200 miles per hour around a race track, so we were confident that the luge sled rail wraps would remain intact – and look great in the process.”
“The Orafol vinyl and laminating films we used were ideal for wrapping the rails because of their conformability and durability,” said Tony Kendricks, Lead Installer, Panther Graphics. “There were several different curves and contours to consider when creating the artwork and installing the graphics, so the material’s ability to conform to the contours was essential.”
In the past, sled rails were painted and USA Luge was concerned about the paint holding up, for example the paint chipping off if the rails were damaged. “By wrapping them with Orafol vinyl, we were able to eliminate that concern, as vinyl does not chip when damaged,” said Kendricks.