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In the worlde of graphics and branding, ensuring the durability and longevity of your brand is a top priority. Cross-hatch is one way you can test for quality assurance, providing you as a manufacturer, or rotomoulder with insights into the adhesion strength and performance of the graphics you’re applying to your products. 

Cross-hatch testing, which is also known as cross-cut adhesion testing, is a standardised method used to assess the adhesion strength and durability of coatings, inks, paints, and applied graphic materials. The procedure involves making a series of intersecting cuts as shown above through the surface coating of the graphic to evaluate its resistance to peeling, flaking, or delamination.

rain water tank graphics

The Process For Setting Up Your Own Test:

Here at PSI Brand we encourage you to run your own testing on your graphics, to see for yourself whether your graphics, be they from PSI Brand or someone else stand up to the test. Here’s how to setup your own test:

  1. Preparation: Before conducting the test, ensure that the surface is clean, dry, and free from any contaminants that could affect adhesion.
  2. Tools: A cross-cut adhesion tester (click here for a great entry level option)  which is typically equipped with a set of cutting blades, is used to create the cross-hatch pattern.
  3. Scoring: Press the tester firmly against the surface, which will create a grid of parallel cut and a set of perpendicular cuts, forming a crosshatch pattern.
  4. Assessment: After the cuts are made we recommend applying some adhesive tape to the surface and then quickly removing it. The extent of the graphic removal or damage will show you the adhesion strength and integrity of your graphic.

The Importance of Cross-Hatch Testing

By undertaking your own testing, your testing for the following when it comes to your brand:

1. Quality Assurance:

  • Cross-hatch testing serves as a critical quality control measure, ensuring that graphics meet the durability standards you should expect when it comes to your brand as well as the performance requirements your customers have come to expect.
  • By simulating real-world conditions such as exposure to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and mechanical stress, the test quickly replicates the material’s ability to withstand any extreme that might be thrown at your finished product.

2. Reliability and Longevity:

  • Graphics subjected to harsh environments, must maintain their integrity over an extended period.
  • Cross-hatch testing helps you as a manufacturer or rotomoulder assess the long-term adhesion performance of graphic materials. 

3. Customer Satisfaction:

  • When you invest in graphics, you make an investment in your own branding whether that be for brand exposure, track and trace purposes or informational purposes, durability is a key factor in ensuring customer satisfaction.
    cross hatch test

    Challenges and Considerations

    There are a few things to consider when running your own tests and while cross-hatch testing provides some excellent insights into adhesion strength and durability, several factors must be considered to ensure accurate and meaningful results:

    • Surface Preparation: Proper surface preparation is essential to eliminate contaminants, residues, or uneven textures that may affect adhesion and test outcomes.
    • Testing Conditions: Factors such as temperature, humidity, and substrate type can influence adhesion performance. Standardising testing conditions helps ensure consistency and reliability.
    • Interpretation of Results: The interpretation of cross-hatch test results requires careful attention to detail and expertise. Factors such as the extent of coating removal, the appearance of the cut edges, and any signs of delamination or flaking must be accurately assessed.
    • Continuous Improvement: Cross-hatch testing should be viewed as an ongoing process aimed at enhancing product quality and performance. By analysing test results and addressing identified issues, manufacturers can refine their processes and materials to achieve superior durability and reliability.

    Conclusion

    In the world of graphics and branding, ensuring the durability and longevity of your graphics is a top priority. Cross-hatch testing stands as your test of confidence, providing brands with invaluable insights into the adhesion strength and performance of graphic materials.

    As suppliers of graphics, here at PSI Brand, we understand how imperative it is that your graphics stand up to rigorous testing. We would encourage you to test your graphics out, whether you source your graphics from us here at PSI Brand, or another supplier.  By testing your graphics, you not only ensure their resilience in diverse environments but also demonstrate your commitment to delivering the best possible product to your customers.