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3 Materials Commonly Used for Face Film Adhesive Production

Face films have chemical and physical surface treatments that enhance ink adhesion for digital, UV, thermal transfer and other printing methods. Face films can be used in other applications that don’t include printing. They can carry adhesive, provide dimensional stability and offer structure.    

Several different materials can be used as face films, and Ameri-Cal is experienced in helping customers select the correct one to fit their application.

From polyester to aluminum foil, different face film adhesive products have unique benefits based on the setting.


As one of the most common and relatively inexpensive films, polyester’s uses are endless.

It is the plastic film option with the best heat resistance, withstanding up to 275 degrees before being damaged. Polyester face film is available in a clear version, making it ideal for printable imagery on windows and other glass applications.  It is available in a variety of other finishes (chrome, brushed, white, black) and thicknesses. 

Polyester is dimensionally stable, tear-resistant and comes in a variety of thicknesses to serve multiple application needs.  The material also can look metallic with a sputter coat of aluminum on one side of the film.

Typical uses of polyester face film include outdoor or even under car hood applications because of its durability and heat and chemical resistance.


Another popular film, Vinyl is often selected when there is a need for some flexibility.

It is excellent at conforming to compound curves, whereas polyester tends to wrinkle under similar stresses. A notable benefit over polyester is vinyl’s lighter weight for the same amount of material.

Vinyl is ideal for printing because of its white color, lacking any added pigmentation. Other methods for printing, including solvent and UV, don’t require additional top coats or treatments when working with vinyl.

Aluminum Foil

The most significant benefits of using aluminum foil as a face film is its incredibly high-temperature resistance and its extreme conformability. It is the go-to film in applications that are higher than 275-300 Fahrenheit.

Examples of aluminum foil face film applications include engine cowlings, uses in outdoor power equipment, warning labels near vehicle exhaust or instances when a conductive film is needed.

Less Common Face Film Adhesive Materials

While not as mainstream, many other materials can be used as a face film. Some less traditional examples include:

  • Acrylic: Some specialized applications that require a non-birefringent film.
  • Polycarbonate: Popular for touch surfaces, easy to die cut and can be printed on. Common for overlay applications in home appliances like dishwashers and blenders.
  • Polypropylene: Used most commonly for temporary applications like signage. Comes in different colors and is less expensive than polyester.
  • Acetate: Best for durable, permanent applications that demand staying power. Hard to peel or remove.

Whatever your application, Ameri-Cal can recommend the right face film for you. Contact us to learn more about custom face film offerings.

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