BRIT IRON REBELS DECALS
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How the decals reflect light
The decals are made in layers. The top layer is a translucent color or clear layer. The second layer is made of small glass like beads or lenses. The third layer is a bright reflective material that reflects light back through the second and top layers. The second layer amplifies or intensifies the reflected light as it passes back through it on its way out to the driver of an approaching vehicle.
APPLYING BRIT IRON REBEL DECALS
The BIR decals stick very well to your bike or to a helmet's surface. The adhesive used is pressure sensitive. The harder you rub when applying them the more they stick. Only apply light pressure when first applying the decals to give you the opportunity to reposition the decal if necessary. Once you are done applying the entire decal, you should apply pressure one or two more times to set it in place permanently.
If you don't care about wrinkles, blisters or your decal falling off in a few months:
Just peel the decal from the backing and stick it down to whatever.
If you'd like your decal to stick to your helmet or bike for a long while, without wrinkles, or pimples:
First, and most important, have a pint or two. This will lubricate your brain and make the decals go down smoother.
Wash your hands. Remove all body oil with a good hand washing. Body oil is a primary cause of decals that peel. Also, clean the surface of your project with soap and water. Eliminate every possible trace of road grime, dirt, oils or other contaminants. Anything that is allowed to remain under the decal will cause a pimple or blister that can not be repaired. A clean looking helmet is not a clean helmet. There are pimple and blister contaminants on it that you cannot see. Motorcycle Helmets should be wiped with a cleaning solution as well. Just one 1/2 hour ride will put a road film on your helmet that will ruin the durability of the decal application. Prepare the work area. Any contaminant that touches the adhesive side of your decal will stay there and ruin the appearance. After a good washing, wipe your bare hand across the newly cleaned area to feel for a completely smooth finish.
If correct placement of your decal is important to you, do a trial application with the backing still on the decal. This is especially important for helmet and motorcycle applications. This will give you an idea where the Folds are going to naturally occur. Position the decal in place and try and hold it against the surface. Hold up the decal to the surface and mark its position with a reference tape such as masking tape. Decide on position now and not while handling the decal. Usually 2-4 reference points marked on the tape will guide you during installation. When installing, you will be aligning the decal to the reference points on your tape.
A decal is flat, it wants to be flat. When you install a flat decal on a curved object, you are actually stretching the decal but not in direct terms (never stretch decals, especially reflective ones). When applying the decal, use light pressure first, until the application is complete. Apply the center of the decal first, then, starting from the center and working your way out towards the edges, always using light pressure from your finger as a squeegee and not skipping over any section. Here you can apply slight stretching techniques to conform a flat decal over a curved surface. Just don't stretch more than necessary, excessive stretching will cause durability problems including cracking later as the decal cures.
Once you have applied the decal, give it a good hard rub down with a clean soft cloth. This will set the adhesive and should be repeated 2 or more times over the next 48 hours.
The best way to avoid them is to not allow pockets of air to form as you install. However, if the decal installation is pretty perfect except for blisters, you can solve problems by simply pricking a tiny hole with a very sharp sewing needle on the side of the wart. Use only brand new fine point hand sewing needles to puncture a wart or blister. Any other needle will leave a visual mark. This will allow you to push down the blister as the air or solution exits from the tiny hole. Do not push on warts without a pinhole or you will cause a permanent wrinkle.
Warts or pimples
The only way to solve these problems is to remove contaminants prior to installation. Once you have installed a decal with a speck of dirt or lint under it, you can't get it out again.
A fold usually happens at a point where excess material collects resulting from bending the decal around an irregular shape. Minor folds can just be pushed down and held against the surface until the adhesive bonds. Severe folds must be resolved by gentle stretching the decal in opposing directions to remove some of the excess vinyl at the fold. If you manhandle the decal while stretching, in the case of reflective decals, you can expect the decal to crack within a few days to weeks.
Peeling edges happen when you have handled the tip of the decal so substantially that the adhesive has broken down and will not longer hold or bond. This problem also happens when you didn't clean the road film and contaminants from the helmet. If it looks clean, wash the object anyhow! One outing on a motorcycle for just a few hours will cause a road film to cover your helmet.
This happens from repeated removal and retry of the same decal over and over again. Stretching distortions can cause a decal to crack or break loose from it's bonding agent in just a few short days or weeks.