University of Michigan’s solar car, Quantum, has wrapped itself in Painesville, Ohio-based Avery Dennison film for when the car competes in the 2012 American Solar Car Challenge.
“The wrap is an important improvement to the car,” said Cole Witte, engineering director for University of Michigan’s solar car. “We eliminated a significant amount of weight with the wrap. The vinyl conforms very well to the compound curves of Quantum’s body, and looks just like paint. We focused on streamlining Quantum over the last two years and shaved off 200 pounds compared to our previous car.”
The wrap is Avery’s MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS™ and DOL 1360. They were installed on Quantum by TKO Graphix of Indianapolis.
This year, Quantum is lighter than its competitors’ cars that use paint instead of vehicle wraps. Traditional paint weighs about 9 lbs., while the wrap materials weigh between 8 ounces and a pound. The reduced weight, said the Michigan team, gives the University of Michigan solar team a distinct advantage as Quantum makes its way through an eight-state, 1,650-mile course. The race begins on July 14 in Rochester, N.Y., and ends eight days later in St. Paul, Minn.
The film is a digitally printable pressure-sensitive vinyl that is repositionable and slideable. In addition it features air egress technology, allowing air bubbles to escape during the installation process. TKO Graphix, a graphics services provider that has worked with the University of Michigan Solar Car team for several years, wrapped Quantum and several team vehicles in the digitally printable, pressure sensitive material.
Since its inception 20 years ago, the University of Michigan team has built 11 custom solar-electric vehicles and won six National Championships.