Carbon Fiber Wrap
What Are Carbon Fiber Wraps?
Carbon fibers or carbon fibres are fibers about 5 to 10 micrometers in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. Carbon fiber is a strong, stiff, lightweight material that has the potential to replace steel and is popularly used in specialized, high-performance products like aircraft, racecars, and sporting equipment. So what is carbon fiber wrap? Are they related to each other?
Not to be confused, carbon fiber vinyl wraps just look like “carbon fibers”, they are not real carbon fiber. Carbon fiber wrap, carbon fiber vinyl, or carbon fiber film, all refer to the same thing – imitation carbon fiber. They are self-adhesive vinyl film that tries to mimic the real carbon fiber look.
Carbon fiber vehicle wraps are all the rage in the DIY vinyl wrap accessory scene today. The wraps can also be used for other projects such as on instruments for enhanced decoration or even on personal devices, like a cellphone.
Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap 3D/4D/5D/6D?
If you search for carbon fiber wrap, you will find that there are several different types including 3D, 4D, 5D, and 6D. So what are the differences between them?
3D – Twill Weave Pattern with a Matte Finish
The most basic of the four types is the 3D print. Its print uses a twill weave pattern and it has a matte finish. 3D carbon vinyl is thinner(3.0mil) compared with other three types. So it is the most flexible and stretchable which makes it easier to install on curved surfaces.
4D – Circular Weave Pattern with a Semi-Gloss Finish
4D is just the 4th generation of carbon fiber prints. Instead of a perpendicular, staircase weave, 4D consists of a rounded, spiraled weave and comes with a semi-gloss finish. 4D (3.1mil thick) is also suitable for applying on rounded surfaces.
5D – Twill Weave Pattern with a Glossy (wet) Finish
The 5D and the 3D share the same carbon fiber pattern. However, the 5D has an additional gloss layer. And it feels like true carbon fiber too. Because of the additional gloss layer, the vinyl is slightly thicker (3.4 mils), making it tougher to be applied on rounded surfaces. This will take some practice and patience to get the perfect install.
6D – Circular Weave Pattern with a Glossy (wet) Finish
6D carbon fiber vinyl shares the same print with 4D, except that it has a gloss layer. Since its thickness is the same as 5D, the installation requires skills too.
These four types have their different features and we can not say which one is the best. We always suggest to our customers the most suitable one. In short, 3D and 4D are great for wrapping more difficult surfaces. 5D and 6D are perfect for the hood or other large flat surfaces.
Carbon Fiber Wrap We Use
There are many different brands of carbon fiber wraps on the market. Each brand brings with them its own advantages. You need to select based on specific situations. Currently, ACME uses the premium brand 3M.
3M™ 1080 Series Vinyl Wrap Films Carbon Fiber Vinyl
With 3.5 mil thickness, 3M vinyl is perfect for exterior and interior applications, even for the complex curves and corrugations. 3M carbon fiber vinyl provides a five-year warranty, and its air-release channels on the back adhesive greatly reduced the difficulty of wrapping. For now, 3M only has a single matte finish for carbon fiber vinyl. If you have special requirements for the finish, please contact us.
Check more 3M vinyl wrap we use.